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Hunting and Fishing: Attention Muzzeloaders Permit Zone Change, PA Deer Hunters Report Harvest, Bald Eagles

 compiled by CNBNEWS.NET

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is notifying purchasers of muzzleloader deer permits for zones covered by Regulation Sets 2, 3, 3A, 4, 6 and 8 that the season continues on Monday, January 2, 2012.  A typographical error for Reg. Sets 4, 6 and 8 erroneously lists January 3.

Hunters are reminded that 2011-2012 Muzzleloader Season permits purchased in 2011 remain valid for the remainder of the season in 2012 but a 2012 hunting license is required to hunt any special permit deer season that extends into the new year. The 2012 hunting and fishing licenses will be available beginning 10am on Thursday, December 15.

The 2011-12 Hunting Digest should be consulted for season dates, bag limits and regulations pertaining to specific deer management zones. The Digest can be viewed at on the division's website; the 2011-2012 Game Code is available for review at (pdf, 400kb), also on the division's site.



HARRISBURG – With the two-week statewide general deer season closed, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe is encouraging hunters to take the time to report harvested deer through the online reporting system, through the new toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone reporting system or by using the postage-paid report cards included in the 2011-12 Digest provided free to each license buyer.

“With all the activities this time of year, it is important that hunters not forget to report a harvested deer,” Roe said. “With the three methods of reporting a harvest, the Game Commission is doing its best to make completing this required task even easier.

“Unfortunately, based on more than 20,000 deer checked by Game Commission deer aging teams last year, less than 40 percent of hunters who harvested deer took the time to report that harvest.”

Roe noted that one of the recommendations to improve the agency’s deer management program from the 2010 Legislative Budget and Finance Committee’s audit of the deer management program was to increase harvest reporting rates.

“Proper and timely reporting of deer harvests is one way in which hunters can contribute to deer management efforts,” Roe said.

When reporting antlerless deer harvests, Roe urged hunters with multiple antlerless deer licenses to be sure that they file the correct report for the antlerless license used to tag the deer in the field.

To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commission’s website (, click on “Report Your Harvest” above the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column, click on “You can link to PALS by clicking here,” check “Harvest Reporting,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at the bottom of the page, choose the method of validating license information, and click on the checkbox for the harvest tag being reported.  A series of options will appear for a hunter to report a harvest. After filling in the harvest information, click on the “Continue” button to review the report and then hit the “Submit” button to complete the report. Failing to hit the “Submit” button will result in a harvest report not being completed.

The toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone harvest reporting system can be accessed by dialing 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681). Hunters should have their Customer Identification Number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call, and should speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially when providing the Wildlife Management Unit number and letter.

“Hunters may report one or more harvests in a single session,” Roe said. “Responses to all harvest questions are required.

“Hunters who use the toll-free number to submit a harvest report will receive a confirmation number, which they should write down and keep as proof of reporting.  Those who report online should print or save a copy of their harvest report submission as proof of reporting.”

Roe noted that hunters still have the option to file harvest report postcards, which are included as tear-out sheets in the current digest.

“We certainly are encouraging hunters to use the online reporting system, which will ensure that their harvest is recorded,” Roe said.  “The more important point is that all hunters do their part in deer management and report their harvested deer to the agency.”



(11/P141) TRENTON - The dramatic recovery of the American bald eagle has reached a milestone in New Jersey, with more than 100 pairs now nesting in the Garden State, according to a newly released analysis of the species' population. 

The survey by the DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program counted 102 pairs of actively nesting eagles, plus 11 more pairs in the process of establishing nesting territories. The survey documented a record 22 new nests, of which 16 are in southern New Jersey, four in northern New Jersey and two in central New Jersey. 

"The recovery of the bald eagle from one nesting pair in an isolated swamp in southern New Jersey in the early 1980s to more than 100 pairs today is a truly remarkable success story that is a testament to the excellent work that has been done to manage the species, and to how far we've come as a state in restoring and protecting our environment," DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. 

The species' recovery from the edge of extirpation is directly related to a ban on the use of DDT, a once widely-used pesticide that caused egg failure, as well as decades of restoration and management efforts by the DEP, which released 60 eaglets from Canada into New Jersey in the 1980s and early 1990s to rebuild the population.

Each January, the Endangered and Nongame Species Program conducts a mid-winter survey as part of a nationwide effort to track population trends. The survey coincides with the time of year when eagles are preparing nests for the breeding season. 

Statewide, 75 percent of the nests successfully produced offspring. A total of 119 eagle chicks were hatched, for a success rate of 1.25 per active nest.

The overall number of eagles counted during the mid-winter survey, including nesting eagles and those not nesting, stood at 238. This was 28 percent lower than the record 333 observed in 2010, likely due to snow and high winds impairing the visibility of observers.

Eagles primarily depend on fish for survival. With its broad expanses of undisturbed coastal wetlands, the Delaware Bay region of Cumberland and Salem counties remains the state's stronghold, with 60 percent of bald eagle nests.  

But eagles are being found in many more places. Eighteen of New Jersey's 21 counties now have at least one active nest. 

"In addition to the continued increase in the overall numbers of eagles, what's really exciting is that they are being found all across the state in all types of habitats, including along small lakes and reservoirs in northern New Jersey," said Kathy Clark, an Endangered and Nongame Species Program biologist who has worked on the recovery of the eagle since the program's early days.

This year, the Endangered and Nongame Species Program fitted a pair of eagle chicks that hatched at the Merrill Creek Reservoir in central Warren County with solar-powered transmitters that allow tracking of the birds' movement patterns by satellites.

The public can follow the movements of the two eaglets on the reservoir's website  The Conserve Wildlife Foundation maintains a blog about these and the rest of New Jersey's eagles at 

"The tremendous results of 2011 show that species declines can, with hard work and dedication, be reversed," said Margaret O'Gorman, Executive Director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.  "Continued investment in stewardship of wildlife is essential to continuing the recovery of eagles and other wildlife in New Jersey."

The Bald Eagle Research and Management Project is made possible by those who donate a portion of their New Jersey state income tax refund to wildlife conservation and those who purchase Conserve Wildlife license plates for their cars. The project is also supported by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and federal grants.

"The bald eagle, along with scores of other endangered and rare wildlife species, have a much brighter future in our state due to the work made possible by funds from the tax check-off and the Conserve Wildlife license plate program," said DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda. "It's not too soon to begin thinking about donating a portion of your refund to this worthy and successful effort."

The bald eagle remains listed as an endangered species in New Jersey. The federal government removed the bald eagle from its endangered species list in 2007. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is overseeing a 20-year recovery monitoring period.

The 2011 bald eagle project report, which includes a map and listing of the distribution of nesting eagles in New Jersey, can be found at


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