HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs), Land Management Group Supervisors (LMGSs) and foresters spend a considerable amount of time gathering information about wildlife population trends in their districts. With the small game hunting seasons just around the corner, the Game Commission now is sharing that information – through its website – with those who enjoy Penn’s Woods.
To view these field forecasts offered by Game Commission officers, go to the agency’s Web site, and click on the “Field Officer Forecasts,” select the region of interest in the map, and then choose the WCO district of interest from the map. For LMGS or forester reports, select the link to the LMGS Group or forester link of interest within that region.
“Our field officers and foresters provide wildlife forecasts for small game, furbearers, wild turkey, bear and deer within their respective districts,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “These forecasts are based on sightings field officers have had in the months leading up to the 2009-10 seasons, and some offer comparisons to previous wildlife forecasts. Some WCOs and LMGSs include anecdotal information, as well as hunting and trapping leads in their districts.
“The Game Commission offers this information to hunters and trappers to help them in making plans for the upcoming seasons. Many WCO, LMGS and forester reports offer information on where to hunt or trap within their districts, as well as guidance on where to get more information, particularly for trapping certain furbearers, such as beaver and coyotes.”
Roe noted the Game Commission divides the state’s 67 counties into six regions, and then each region is divided into WCO districts comprised of about 300 square miles each. There are 136 WCO districts statewide. Each of the 29 LMGS groups is comprised of a number of counties or portions of counties within each region, and seeks to equally distribute the amount of State Game Lands and public access lands within the region. The number of foresters ranges per region, from four to nine.