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In order for any worthwhile and meaningful changes to be made, the PA legislature needs to be taken out of the process entirely and relinquish all control to the game commission for setting fees, sales of licenses, days available to hunt, etc.
I don't know. Game Commission officials are not elected by the people. The legislatures are the peoples' representatives. Removing the Legislators in effect gives the people no voice with the Game Commission.
 

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Agreed. The legislature has held the PGC hostage for years in regard to license fees and they are the primary reason the fee for a general hunting license has been the same since 1999. They are also the reason PA still only has 3 huntable Sundays out of the entire season. They are the reason we still have the antiquated antlerless license system and the pink envelopes. If anything, the state legislature appears give more preference to the non-hunters than they do the hunting population.
The Legislatures are in charge of the Game Commission. That's part of their job. Are you saying you want the price of a hunting license raised? I thought the doe license lottery system was to give everyone the same chance at drawing one. What kind of system are they going to replace that with?
 

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I remember one of the hangups back in the early 2000s was the screaming from hunters to elected officials about the dramatic effect Gary Alts deer model had on the state deer herd. Elected officials wouldn't have anything to do with allowing the PGC to raise license fees while hunters were complaining to them about the herd. Old school hunters were PO'd enough. A license increase on top of it to hunt fewer deer would have made their heads explode and the lawmakers they voiced their concerns too would have lost their votes. This alone is a reason to make a case for taking everything away from the legislature.

But, I can't see that being an excuse or legitimate reason now. The herd has rebounded and the overall quality of deer in PA appears to be better than it has ever been.
The Game Commission has to be accountable to somebody and the Legislatures are the elected officials who make our laws. That’s how our system works. The Commission cannot be its own separate entity accountable to no one. I do agree that the deer herd has been decent now for quite a few years after it recovered from the slaughter they did years back. Kinda hated to see them putting doe season back in with buck again this year.
 

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Thanks for the link Nick. Hunter numbers are collapsing across the country with less and less long-term hunters joining every year. We worry about deer recruitment and should be worried about hunter recruitment. Despite a surge during COVID, long-term hunter numbers continue to decline. When people see things like the changes the PGC has made allowing more deer seasons and more bear tags and such they panic thinking about hunter numbers from years ago. But it isn’t years ago. If the precipitous decline continues, at some point hunting will cease to be a viable tool in biologist’s arsenal and we’ll be so far off the radar of policy makers.

As far as they “why” I feel like mostly hunters are our own worst enemy. When I was a kid, in nearly any state you could find a friendly farmer or landowner to let you hunt at almost any time. Now, with deer season running from September to January nobody wants their deer hunting “ruined” so small game hunters are kept off and deer hunting is reserved for those with the $$ to pay trespass fees or outright leases. Outdoors TV smashes a steady diet of garbage that we “need” to buy down everyone’s throat and hunting starts to become a game of the rich. Much like it is in Europe.
Leases at least gave the deer some refuge from the Game Commissions attempt to thin the herd down to nothing. Not only that but the deputies out running around trying to pinch someone for some minor violation don’t bother you on a lease. I don’t believe hunters are causing any of the decline in hunting. The kids just want to play on their phones and computers now. You hardly even see them playing outside much anymore. Years ago a lot of hunters thought they had a right to hunt in any woods they saw. There wasn’t much respect for private property. Hunters that don’t want to pay lease fees have plenty of state game lands to hunt on.
 

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Kind of a bummer even though I do most of my hunting in Bow Season. Buck season was a magical time when we were kids. When you heard a close shot you knew a buck might be coming. The last time they did this for a few years in a row, the herd was thinned too far. It took awhile for them to recover. I remember it well. The shooting was nonstop for hours.
 

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I hear the rain comments. I hate to complain about it. The gypsy caterpillars stripped my trees pretty bad. They are now all growing new leaves but the ground is soaked and not much need for a whole lot more rain for a couple weeks.

Pouring now
Mushrooms popping up all over in peoples’ yards right now in NW PA in my neck of the woods. We’ve had plenty of rain but not overly deluged.
 

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I was thinking the same thing a few hours ago. Outside knocking out a few projects, and thinking no way I'd want to be in the woods today. Another couple weeks up here till we have to worry about it anyway.
Same here. Two weeks from today. I always get excited about the first day but the real action starts a month after that for me in November. The rut kicks in, I’m on vacation and it usually gets cool enough outside to hang deer.
 

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Just home now for a bite to eat. In the stand a little over three hours this morning. Saw ten, one shooter buck first thing with two does. Looked like a good eight. Passed on two smaller bucks and didn’t try to shoot a doe. Pretty exciting first day so far. Heading back out in late afternoon.
 

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Saw a doe and two yearlings tonight. Almost popped the doe but decided not to. Had a good first day. Saw thirteen all together including three bucks, one nice one. Saw eight on the ride home tonight on the quad, one was a nice little 8 point probably about 14 inches wide.
 

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Wife had 2 bucks sparring under her. Never gave her a shot. Smaller buck moved off and the bigger buck bedded at 7 yards behind a tree. She had a great night with action like that!

My son and nephew kept me busy. They filled 2 doe tags. Late night skinning and quartering!
Good time of year to try some light antler rattling. It’s easy to simulate it once you hear it for real.
 
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