Letter to PGC
By Randy Santucci

Meeting highlights were depressing. Do you not recall back in 2001 when the agency went to concurrent seasons the deer herd was decimated in many units? Hunters revolted and incrementally the agency backed off unit by unit to what we have had today. WE lost a lot of hunters and a generation of youth excitement that I believe we are still suffering for today; hunting licenses began in 2004 to plummet in direct response to the hunt becoming a waste of time in many areas. The buzz statement was taking my rifle for a walk. Like following 2001, Posted property increased at an alarming rate with hunters taking deer management into their own hands, purple paint and sign sales will likely again increase.

Eliminating rifles for fall turkey is another bonehead move. Pa. has always been hesitant to allow buckshot for deer for two reasons. Effective range is depleted and firing multiple projectiles at less velocity increased safety concerns and wounding of deer. You have now taken a single projectile situation and done the same thing with fall turkey. Hunters that cannot get birds within the effective range of a shotgun will be taking the longer shots and wounding that bird or possibly several birds at a time. The percentage of birds taken with a rifle were just that, an accurate number. Do you know how many birds in the spring are wounded from a shotgun pattern? You have done nothing but take away an enjoyed hunt for many older, handicapped and others putting in place a circumstance from here forward of not accurately knowing how many birds are killed unintentionally days after the 50- and 60-yard shots are taken. 

You are tradition killers that base decisions on your half dozen opinions. Your claims antler-less allocations will be reduced proportionally to offset the extra hunting time..... will unfold like it did in the early 2000's not happen, and if it does it will be after numbers are reduced far below hunting needs....I lived through this movie before. The more you make the sport of hunting too opportunity laden and take away the excitement of personal traditions that spawn individual hunter’s emotions to go hunting, the experience becomes pithy and overshadowed by other life experiences. When the bar is lowered, the effort to achieve the goal comes down with it. Two years and counting the Saturday opener has done nothing for license sales, I anticipate the same this year as another percentage of hunter’s traditional turkey hunt experience is again taken away by your decisions. 

©2011 • Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania