The Pennsylvania Game Commission is urging adult and senior hunters to serve as mentors for the growing Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which now includes fall turkey as part of the line-up of eligible species.
Under the program, an adult mentor transfers his or her fall turkey tag to a mentored youth if the youth harvests a fall turkey. A mentored youth may have only one fall turkey license transferred to him or her per license year. The list of other legal species for the MYHP is: antlered deer; antlerless deer, with the transfer of an antlerless deer license from the adult mentor; coyotes; groundhogs; squirrels and spring gobbler.
Since 2006, Pennsylvania's hunters have been taking advantage of a remarkable opportunity to introduce those under the age of 12 to hunting through the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, and we have seen a steady increase in the number of MYHP permits issued, said PGC executive director Carl Roe. Hunting is deeply woven into the cultural fabric that defines Pennsylvania, and it is important that we recruit new hunters to carry on this tradition.
Roe noted that the logic behind the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting opportunities without compromising safety afield. In 2009, the first year a permit was required to participate in the MYHP, the agency issued 28,542 permits. In 2010, the agency issued 30,790; and, in 2011, the number of permits issued increased to 33,514.
Chesapeake Energy has donated $10,000 to the NWTF Pennsylvania State Chapter to cover costs of habitat enhancement projects, outreach and educational efforts and scholarships.
Habitat enhancements are taking place on state game lands in Bradford,Susquehanna, Sullivanand Wyoming counties, improving wildlife populations and hunting opportunities. Habitat enhancement is crucial considering 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat is lost each day in North America.
The donationis funding NWTF JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) events in Sullivan County and Wyoming counties.
The donation also is helping hold an outdoor education day reaching 200 sixth-graders in Sullivan County school district; providing equipment for Sullivan County High School and Sullivan County 4-H shooting teams and clubs; and funding for college scholarships for students in Bradford, Sullivan and Wyoming counties.
Provision of funding through Chesapeake's grant program has allowed our volunteers to accomplish so much more than otherwise would have been possible, said Bob Eriksen, NWTF regional biologist in Pennsylvania.This partnership is a great example of what can be accomplished when industry and conservation groups embark on a cooperative mission to improve the communities in which they work.
Chesapeake Energy, which operates in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has funded NWTF projects for the past three years in an effort to give back to the communities it serves. Chesapeake manager of community affairs Jane Clements cited the NWTF's record of conservation success in the reason for her company's donations.
Chesapeake supports efforts to improve community quality of life wherever we operate, with a focus on enhancing environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation, said Clements. Chesapeake and the NWTF share these goals, and we are pleased to help advance the federation's important work.