Pennsylvania –-(Ammoland.com)- The Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to retain four Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas (WPRAs) for the 2012-13 seasons, while closing the Pike Run WPRA in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The agency’s Ring-necked Pheasant Management Plan seeks to restore self-sustaining and huntable populations of wild pheasants in suitable habitats, and specifically calls for the creation of WPRAs. The agency is releasing wild-trapped pheasants into these areas, with a goal of achieving a density of 10 hen pheasants per square mile.
“The Pike Run WPRA in southwestern Pennsylvania has concluded and habitat patch analysis shows that Pike Run meets only one of five targets in the pheasant habitat model,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Pheasant densities are at one hen per square mile, which is far short of the 10 hens per square mile objective.
“In light of the area’s habitat characteristics and low pheasant densities, and in keeping with the pheasant management plan, Wildlife Management Unit 2A, which includes the previously designated Pike Run WPRA, is to be opened to hunting male pheasants and stocking of game farm pheasants is to be reinstated beginning with the 2012-13 season.”
Under the WPRA program, small game hunting is prohibited in the designated areas, as well as the release of any artificially propagated pheasants – including Game Commission-raised pheasants. Also, to limit disturbances to nesting hen pheasants, dog training of any manner and small game hunting is prohibited in WPRAs from the first Sunday in February through July 31 each year.
The Board also took preliminary steps to allow for crow hunting within WPRAs, which would be added to the exceptions that allow for groundhog and waterfowl hunting within WPRAs, and opened WMU 2B to the hunting of male and female pheasants.
“Working with major partners, such as Pheasants Forever, the California University of Pennsylvania and local landowners, we already have a jump start on creating WPRAs,” Roe said. “These groups have invested in creating the necessary pheasant habitat in these areas of the state.
“The Game Commission will continue to raise and release pheasants on public lands with suitable pheasant habitat each fall. And, with the additional revenues made available through Marcellus shale well leases on State Game Lands, we will increase our pheasant production level to 200,000 birds for the upcoming season.”
For the 2012-13 seasons, the designated WPRAs will be defined as follows:
(1) Somerset WPRA: That portion of Somerset County, WMU 2C, bounded on the western side starting at the intersection of Coleman Station Rd. and Stutzmantown Rd. proceeding south on Coleman Station Rd., crossing SR 31, to Brotherton Rd., continuing south to Round Hill Rd., then east onto Wills Church Rd., then to Archery Rd. The boundary then follows Berlin Plank Rd. (US Rt. 219) south into the town of Berlin where it joins the Mason Dixon Hwy. (US Rt. 219) proceeding south to Pine Hill Rd. to Walker School Rd. then east on Maple Valley Rd., to Sawmill Rd. to the Cumberland Hwy. (SR 160). The boundary then follows the Cumberland Hwy. (SR 160) south to Salco Rd. and then proceeds north on Salco Rd. to Huckleberry Hwy. (SR 160) in the town of Berlin. The boundary follows Huckleberry Hwy. (SR 160) north, crossing SR 31, to the intersection of Roxbury Rd., then north to Shanksville Rd. The boundary then proceeds north to Stutzmantown Rd., then west to the beginning at the intersection of Coleman Station Rd.
(2) Central Susquehanna WPRA: Portions of WMU 4E in Northumberland, Montour, Columbia and Lycoming counties from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River south to the intersection with PA Rt. 642 and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Milton. The southern boundary is defined by PA Rt. 642 east from Milton to Mausdale, then north on PA Rt. 642 to just south of Jerseytown, proceeding east on Eyersgrove Rd. to Eyers Grove at PA Rt.42. Proceeding south on PA Rt. 42 to Mordansville, northeast of Mordansville along Robbins Rd. (Rt. 600) to Mordansville Rd. (Rt. 541), south on Millertown Rd. (Rt. 4011), then continuing east to follow Mount Pleasant Rd. (Rt. 4020) and Mount Pleasant St. (PA Rt. 4034) to Orangeville at the southeast corner of the WPRA. PA Rt. 487 lines the eastern boundary from Orangeville north to Maple Grove/intersection with PA Rt. 254. The northern boundary begins with PA Rt. 254 west of Maple Grove to the intersection with Winters Rd. (Rt. 459) proceeding west to the intersection with Austin Trail (PA Rt. 4039). Continuing west on Owl Rd. (Rt. 599), north and west on Reese Rd. (Rt. 578), and north and west on Trivelpiece Rd. (Rt. 576). Eagle Rd. (PA Rt. 4037) then continues northwest to the intersection with Whitehorse Rd./Whitehorse Pike (Rt. 661) heading west to just south of Sereno, and then south on PA Rt. 42 to Millville. From Millville, proceeding southwest on PA Rt. 254 to Jerseytown. Then northwest on PA Rt. 44, north on Swartz Rd., west on Shultz Rd., north on Ants Hill Rd., west on Wolf Hollow Rd., then north on Katy’s Church Rd. Crossing into Lycoming County and proceeding northwest on G Wagner Rd., west on Ridge Rd., crossing into Montour County, southwest on County Line Rd., south on Muncy Exchange Rd. (PA Rt. 1003), west on Hickory Rd. (PA Rt. 1008), west on Mingle Rd. (Rt. 433), west on Hickory Rd. (PA Rt. 1008) for the second time, and proceeding north on Gearhart Hollow Rd. (Rt. 441). Continuing west on Showers Rd. (PA Rt. 1010), crossing into Northumberland County, proceeding north and west on Pugmore Lane, north on Hockley Hill Rd. (PA Rt. 1011), west on Miller Rd. (Rt. 653), continuing southwest on Balliet Rd. (Rt. 664). Proceeding northwest and west on Schmidt Rd. (Rt. 564). continuing north on Susquehanna Trail (PA Rt. 1007), continuing west on Hughes Rd. (Rt. 655), crossing under I-180, proceeding south on Crawford Rd. (Rt. 507) to PA Rt. 54. Proceeding northwest on PA Rt. 54 to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
(3) Hegins-Gratz Valley WPRA: That portion of WMU 4E in Schuylkill and Dauphin counties from Matterstown Road (Rt. 1007), to PA Rt. 901 at Taylorsville. The WPRA is bounded on the north by the Mahantango Creek. Beginning at the town of Pillow in Dauphin county, proceeding east on Market Street (Rt. 1026) to the Mahantango Creek, which is the Northumberland and Dauphin county border until entering Schuylkill county at Klingerstown. Continuing northeast along the Mahantango Creek in Schuylkill county to Taylorsville Road (Rt. 4039) at Haas, to Taylorsville and then proceeding south on PA Rt. 901. Proceeding south and southeast on PA Rt. 901 to I-81. Proceeding southwest on I-81 and then west on PA Rt. 25, then from PA Rt. 25, proceeding south and west on Dell Road and then northwest and west on Pine Drive (State Hwy. 4009), continuing west on Pine Drive, T593 and north on T592 to Pine Creek. The southern boundary then follows Pine Creek west along the northern side of Broad Mountain to Spring Glen. From Spring Glen, continuing west on PA Rt. 25, crossing into Dauphin county to Gratz, then proceeding southwest from Gratz on Specktown Road (State Hwy. 1014) to South Crossroads Road (PA Rt. 1009). Proceeding south on South Crossroads Road (PA Rt. 1009) to PA Rt. 209 and southwest to Elizabethville. From Elizabethville continue west on Main Street (PA Rt. 209), then turn north onto Botts Road (T462). At the first intersection, turn north onto Feidt Road (T461), then turn 24 east onto West Matterstown Road (Rt. 4008), turn north onto Matterstown Road (Rt. 1007). Turn right or east onto Berrysburg Road (PA Rt. 25) which turns into Market St. Turn left or north onto Lykens St. Turn right or east onto Mountain Road (T639). Turn left or north on PA Rt. 225 into Pillow on PA Rt. 225, ending at Market St. (Rt. 1026).
(4) Franklin County WPRA: That Portion of Wildlife Management Units 4A and 5A in Franklin County from PA Rt. 30 on the northern border to the Pennsylvania/Maryland state border on the southern border, and from Cove Mountain on the western border to the towns of Laurich and Williamson and the Conococheague Creek on the eastern border. The WPRA is bounded on the north by PA Rt. 30 (Lincoln Highway). Beginning at the town of Fort Loudon at the intersection of PA Rt. 30 (Lincoln Highway) and PA Rt. 75, proceed east on PA Rt. 30 (Lincoln Highway), through St. Thomas, and continue east to Laurich. Just east of Laurich, proceed south along Back Creek to SR3012 (Jack Road). Proceed west along SR3012 (Jack Road), then south along Weber Road. Continue south and southwest along Weber Road to the intersection of Weber, Grapevine and Jacks Mill Roads. Proceed southwest along Grapevine Road and then northwest to intersection with SR 3013. Turn south onto SR 3013 (St Thomas Williamson Road) and then west onto State Rt. 995. Proceed west and then south on State Rt. 995 through Williamson to the West Branch of the Conococheague Creek (northeast of Welsh Run). Proceed along the West Branch of the Conococheague Creek to the confluence with Conococheague Creek. Follow the Conococheague Creek south to the Pennsylvania/Maryland state border. Proceed west along the PA/MD state border to State Rt. 456. Proceed northeast along State Rt. 456 to State Route 16. Proceed east on State Route 16 to Mountain Road. Proceed northeast on Mountain Road to State Rt. 75. Proceed northwest on State Rt. 75 to the intersection of State Rt. 75 and State Rt. 30 at Fort Loudon.