HARRISBURG, PA - As we close in on a new slate of deer seasons, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is holding a big-buck photo contest to showcase some of the huge whitetails caught on trail cameras this summer and fall in Penn’s Woods.
Submissions should be sent to the PGCtrailcam@pa.gov. Photo submissions – limited to 5 megabytes in size – must be of wild Pennsylvania deer taken with trail cameras. Winners will be selected monthly. The contest runs from Aug. 1 through Nov. 30, 2016 and photos must be taken during the month of submission.
All submissions must include the photographer’s first and last name, hometown, and the county where the deer image was recorded. The Game Commission has the right to use all submitted images. Individuals submitting photos are reminded the use of bait to attract deer to your trail cam is unlawful in Disease Management Areas and discouraged elsewhere.
Game Commission will select a group of “contending” photos for each month on the first Monday of each month starting Sept. 1 and ending Dec. 5. Once assembled, these contending photos will be placed on the Game Commission’s Facebook page in a photo album. Facebook users will determine the winning photo by “liking” the image. The contest will select monthly winners and, at its conclusion, one overall winner. Trail cameras will be awarded to all winners. The contest is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook.
WILD TURKEY SURVEY STARTS AUGUST 1
HARRISBURG, PA - The inaugural Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey begins Aug. 1, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission encourages the public to assist by reporting online the turkeys they see throughout the month of August.
Information submitted to https://pgcdatacollection.pa.gov/TurkeyBroodSurvey will help in analyzing spring turkey production. Participants are requested to report the wild turkeys they see, along with the general location, date, and contact information to be used if there are any questions.
“The turkey survey will enhance our internal survey, which serves as a long-term index of turkey reproduction,” said Mary Jo Casalena, the Game Commission’s wild turkey biologist. “By reporting all turkeys seen during each sighting, whether they’re gobblers, hens with broods or hens without broods, the data help us determine total productivity, and allow us to compare long-term reproductive success.”
Factors including spring weather, habitat, winter food abundance, predation, and fall harvest the previous year affect wild turkey productivity.
The 2015 statewide turkey population was approximately 216,000, which is slightly above the previous five-year average of 205,000 birds.
Pennsylvania’s turkey population reached its peak of about 280,000 birds in the early 2000s as a result of restoration efforts through wild trap and transfer, habitat improvement, and fall turkey hunting season restrictions. It then declined sharply to levels below 200,000, but, for the last two years has been trending back up, now exceeding the five-year average.