It might be cold outside, but you don’t have to leave your cozy confines for a round-the-clock opportunity to view bald eagles at close range.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Eagle Cam is back online, offering viewers worldwide 24-7 access to live video and audio captured at a bald-eagle nest in Hanover, Pa.
The Eagle Cam is provided through a partnership among the Game Commission, HDOnTap, Comcast Business and Codorus State Park.
Once again this year, the Eagle Cam features two cameras, each equipped with a microphone, placed 75 feet high in a tree adjacent to Codorus State Park. Eagles have nested at the tree for more than a decade, and have successfully fledged young there many times.
While the 2017 run of the Eagle Cam at the same tree was successful, with two eaglets hatching in March and taking their first flights in June, there was some question whether the Eagle Cam would be back at the same tree in 2018.
The nest, which had partially collapsed and was rebuilt ahead of the 2017 nesting season, collapsed further since the Eagle Cam last was online. But once again, the adult eagles using the nest tree have rebuilt the nest, and appear to have it ready for another go in the coming months.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan J. Burhans said the uncertainty of what will happen next is part of why so many Eagle Cam viewers regularly tune in. As many as 1.5 million viewers have watched the Eagle Cam during a single nesting season.
“While it’s always a thrill to see a bald eagle in the wild, the Game Commission’s Eagle Cam allows viewers to see bald eagles in ways they never could through binoculars or a spotting scope,” Burhans said. “As we’ve seen in recent years, there’s no predicting what will happen next on the Eagle Cam. But while those eagles are in and around the nest, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll see something fascinating.”
Twitter and Facebook users also can share the Eagle Cam with friends by tweeting #PGCEagleCam.
PENNSYLVANIA HAS A NEW RECORD BUCK
History was made once again this year, at the Pennsylvania Game Commission headquarters, when a trophy whitetail rack shattered the previous record in the Typical Archery category in the state records.
Ron Shaulis, of West Newton, Pa., harvested the trophy buck on Oct. 24, 2017, with a compound bow on public land in Westmoreland County. The rack had a net score of 185-4/8, which surpasses the previous record of 178-2/8 from a buck harvested in Allegheny County in 2004.
“The 13-point rack was very symmetrical, and lost only 7 7/8-inches in side-to-side deductions, which included an inch-and-a-half abnormal point off the right-side G-2 point,” said Bob D’Angelo, Game Commission Big Game Scoring Program coordinator. “That’s not much in deductions on a set of antlers this size,” he added.
The rack had 25- and 26-inch main beams, more than 11-inch G-2 and G-3 points, a more than 20-inch inside spread and 4½-inch or better circumferences at the four locations where circumference measurements are taken on the main beams.
Shaulis put in a tremendous amount of time scouting and monitoring trail cameras, and it certainly paid off. He credits the Game Commission for sound practices with deer management in the state.
“I didn’t know what I had until I took the rack to the taxidermist,” Shaulis said. “He told me I should definitely get it scored, as it might be a new record. That’s when I knew I wanted to take it to Harrisburg to get it officially scored.”
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans congratulated Ron on his record buck.
“Ron’s enormous buck is the trophy of a lifetime and representative of the amazing quality deer hunting available in Pennsylvania today,” Burhans said. “While Ron’s buck takes the top spot for a typical taken with archery equipment, no record is safe in a state where more than 150 successful buck hunters have their names added to the state’s record book each year.”
Last year a buck taken in Clearfield County that scored 228-6/8 was a new No. 1 in the Nontypical Archery category.
View a video recording of Big Game Scoring Coordinator Bob D'Angelo scoring the record rack on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Facebook page.
Two more large racks will be scored live on the Game Commission's Facebook page in January. On January 11 at noon a large Perry County nontypical buck will be scored and on January 18 at noon a tremendous Clarion County buck will be scored. Follow the page to view the videos.