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Last updated: January 18. 2014 10:25PM - 519 Views
By - tvenesky@timesleader.com



State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Nanticoke
State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Nanticoke
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Before a bill becomes a piece of legislation that can impact the lives of hunters, anglers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors, it all passes through the House Game and Fisheries Committee. State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Nanticoke, is the democratic secretary of the committee. Throughout the year we’ll sit down with Mullery to take a look at some of the bills the committee is discussing and which ones are ready to move out for a vote.


HB 1724 — Redesignate Wildlife Management Units and the issuing of antlerless deer permits on a county basis (awaiting committee vote)


Mullery’s take — “The position of a lot of hunters in the area is the traditional, county-based system was more successful. The WMUs can be confusing and hunters often don’t know if they’re in one or another. A county-based system is more recognizable and it gets us back to a smaller geographic region with data that is more compact.”


Mullery’s position — Support


HB 1726 — Directing the maximum sustained yield method (MSY) of game and deer management, and the enhancement of habitat for deer and other wildlife (Awaiting committee vote)


Mullery’s take — “The MSY method refers to sustaining deer and other game populations at levels that will maximize harvests without adversely impacting the forest and non-game species. I came across a recent study that showed MSY was used in just about every other deer hunting state but Pennsylvania. The bill would direct the Game Commission to adopt the MSY method, which would not only increase the deer population but improve the habitat for other species as well.”


Mullery’s position — Support


HB 1785 — Allow Sunday hunting on regulated hunting grounds with a valid permit, including non-commercial (Awaiting committee vote)


Mullery’s take — “I like any bill that allots sportsmen more opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. By giving them another day in this case would have a direct impact on the economy and may boost hunting license sales.”


Mullery’s position — Support.


HB 576 — Increase the penalty for the illegal setting of body gripping traps (Awaiting committee vote)


Mullery’s take — “This doesn’t change how trappers can currently set these traps, but rather increases the fines and penalties for those who do so illegally. The big concern was injury and death to hunting dogs resulting from traps set illegally. It’s a big change in the fine — from $100 to up to $1,500 — and the potential for up to three months in jail.”


Mullery’s position — Support


House Resolution 576 — A resolution urging the Game Commission to explore the possibility of moving the first day of the rifle deer season to the first Saturday following Thanksgiving (Awaiting discussion in committee)


Mullery’s take — “I’m no longer in favor of it. I understand the traditional aspect of opening day and how important that weekend leading up to the first Monday is to hunters. I don’t think it’s going to move out of committee.”


Mullery’s position — Does not support


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