Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 38

Commission Game Mammals Section
supervisor. "The PTA was instrumental
in lining up trappers to establish and test
BMPs. The organization has always rallied to assist any state or federal initiative
to improve furbearer management."
The PTA also lobbied for the use of
snares for beavers and cable restraints
for foxes and coyotes, noted Charlie
Sykes, PTA president. Beaver snares
were allowed starting in 1998; cable
restraints, in 2005.
"Today, cable restraints and beaver
snares are standard equipment for many
trappers," Sykes said. "It's hard to imagine trapping in Pennsylvania's winters
without them, because of the problems
associated with freezing and thawing
waterways and soil on traps.
"These devices were tremendous
steps forward for trapping in Penn's
Woods," Skyes emphasized. "They
helped redefine how we trap for beavers,
foxes and coyotes."
Much has changed in Pennsylvania
since the PTA's startup. Muskrats have
lost tremendous ground. Minks, beavers
and bobcats are doing much better. New
and strong populations of coyotes and
fishers and a growing river-otter population have taken hold throughout the
Commonwealth. Raccoons, red foxes,
skunks and opossums still are abundant.
Gray-fox and weasel populations aren't
doing as well, but are holding their own.
"In my life, I've watched the muskrat population spiral downward,"
Eckels explained. "It's a sad predicament because they were a furbearer
that typically brought most young
trappers into trapping. It made the
start of muskrat season more important than turkey to school kids over

38

the Thanksgiving holiday."
Today, new trappers are as apt to start
their trapping careers stringing steel for
beavers, fishers or bobcats as they are for
muskrats. The coyote also remains a big
draw, according to Todd Strohecker, the
PTA's eastern vice president.
"The eastern coyote has had a hand
in increasing furtaker license sales,"
Strohecker noted. "Coyotes are cunning
adversaries; their large size and stealthy
nature adds to the mystique of matching
wits with and catching them."
The PTA also played a critical role
helping create a furtaker license. Previously, trapping privileges were provided
through a general hunting license, and
the 1985 requirement for furtaker license
immediately helped reduce pressure on
furbearers and ensure traps were being
set responsibly. It also provided the Game
Commission a better way to measure trapper numbers.

Bringing Them Back
Beavers were protected in 1903,
because they were believed absent from
Commonwealth waters. The Game Commission's first efforts to restore a furbearer
population trace to 1917, when a pair of
Wisconsin beavers were released in Cameron County. Within four years, the Game
Commission had its first beaver-damage
complaint, which came from the Poconos.
Beavers came back quicker than
anyone had a right to expect, even under
closed-season protection. By 1926, they
were found in 35 counties. By 1933, the
agency was receiving hundreds of complaints annually, often trapping and transferring beavers, which helped to expand
their range. Some were sent to repopulate



Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 11
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 14
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 16
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 40
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 43
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 61
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2020 - Cover4
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