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Butler County's great daily newspaper

Black bear season quite busy

The Pennsylvania Black Bear Season was reported by the PA Game Commission as a success as hunters harvested 3,170 bears across all seasons available to them.

The harvest was ranked as the 14th all time with bears being harvested in 58 counties and 22 out of 23 WMU’s in Pennsylvania. Butler County is not known as a big bear hunt county, but still provided 40 bears to the final count. The most bears ever harvested in the state was 4,653 in 2019.

What was impressive was that the PGC sold over 213,639 licenses, which was the 3rd most ever sold. The central northern tier counties continued to lead the state in bear harvest numbers and the largest bear taken in the 2022 season was a 755-pound bruiser on Oct. 15 in Monroe County during the muzzleloader season.

Though it was an impressive bear, it fell short of the all-time biggest bear taken in Pike County in 2010, weighing in at 875 pounds. Bears are measured by two categories; skull size measurement and also by their weight. Record books like Boone & Crockett use the skull measurement.

Sad farewell

Butler County lost one of its County Blue Bird Coordinators this past week with the passing of Darrell E. Daubenspeck. Daubie, as he was known by his friends, had been a wonderful advocate for the bluebird population in the county for many years.

He managed trails at Moraine and Northern Butler County for many years. He often was seen along trails, roadways, fields and grassy areas placing, repairing and monitoring the nests of bluebirds. I recall him calling in his local birds on his property by using a small whistle and feeding the birds meal worms which they relished.

He kept records of the success and failures of locations, eggs, hatches and fledglings. It was with great sadness when he had to find a nest destroyed by predators such as house sparrows or raccoons. He will be hard to replace as he left the bird world a better place thanks to his dedicated work.

Helpers sought

The Eagle had reported the shortage of volunteers in the County at many worthwhile events and projects recently. The need for helpers at many venues always continues to be a high priority for many organizations and service projects.

You can find opportunities in organized groups as well as individual efforts. Volunteering on environmental needs such as food and tree plantings, bird counts & nesting boxes, trash pickup, streamside improvements, trail grooming and wildlife habitat work are great places to start.

Places like the Jennings Nature Center, Moraine State Park, North Country Trails, Connoquenessing Watershed Alliance, and Preston Park would love to have you attend their events. If not a group person, at least work on your local parks and highway cleanups.

Trout season near

It’s truly hard to believe that trout season opens in less than a month on April 1 and the PA Fish & Boat Commission has begun to stock all of the local trout streams already. The PF&BC welcomes all of those interested in helping stock trout in local streams to join them in their efforts.

The entire stocking schedule can be found on its website trout stocking. Buckets filled with water and trout can be heavy so you should be in general good health to participate in the bucket brigade.

Watching the operation only takes your enthusiasm and interest! Last but not least, you can do some scouting on local fishing spots and learn about streams that might pique your interest.

Working for Wildlife

The PA Game Commission has its new 2023 Working for Wildlife patches available for collectors either through the mail, or as I did, over the counter at the Franklin regional office. The patch this year is a White tail buck and a nice product, while I was there, I also picked up a 2023 PGC calendar as a door prize at my next sportsmen’s event.

The fishing license button for 2023 anglers and collectors is also available now through PA Hunt/ I have collected the buttons since they have been offered and like the concept.

Boat registration

Hey boaters, don’t forget that the new boat registrations need to be purchased if your registration ends on March 31, 2023. They can be ordered online or through the mail to be updated.

I guarantee that the PFBC officers will be monitoring for expired stickers, so take care of business!

Jay Hewitt is an outdoors columnist for the Butler Eagle

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