Many of you have noticed the newly planted fields and the restoration signs while hunting this fall at State Game Land 333 in Centre County. The Central Pennsylvania Chapter, along with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed two upland restoration projects there, and anticipate improved habitat on the Game Land this year. In late May, the Chapter provided herbicide to the Game Commission who sprayed the plots. Soon after, the USFWS’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife crew and Central Pennsylvania chapter members mowed the standing dead vegetation including patches of autumn olive and Tartarian honeysuckle. The Pheasants Forever crew, including chapter volunteers, then planted 13 acres of native grasses and forbs, and another 8 acres of native wildflowers and grasses using the Service’s Truax seed drill. Following a dry summer, foxtail dominated both stands; however, we anticipate switchgrass, big bluestem and Indian grass next year, along with wildflowers including black-eyed Susans, coneflower, coreopsis and bee balm. The structure of these stands will provide excellent cover for pheasants, other upland birds, and mammals. In addition, the increased insect activity in these stands will provide abundant food, while vastly increasing pollinator habitat at the Game Land.
On October 1, 2022, eighteen youth participated in the Central Pennsylvania Chapter’s Youth Pheasant Hunt at Pointer Haven in Rebersburg. The day of fun started when the first group of six hunters arrived promptly at 7:30 AM, with safety instruction and clay bird shooting shortly after. Then off to fields of switchgrass and big bluestem they went for real birds – each group of two hunters working with a dog and a handler, plus two mentors. After the hunt, it was time for stories. There was also a presentation about the life cycle of pheasants and the importance of grassland and pollinator habitat and how to restore it. The highlight was an excellent lunch of beef brisket and pulled pork by Bonfire Old-Fashioned BBQ. The second group of hunters followed at 9:30 and the third group at 11:30. A big thank you to all the volunteers that made this happen plus the many sponsors from our spring banquet, and our donors including Big Dawg’s Plumbing and Heating, Mahogany Ridge Game Farm, Bryant and Carson Law Firm, Tom Jeffries, the Penn State Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Millheim Small Engine, and as always, our host, Pointer Haven Lodge.
Dan Aiello Henry Beiler Diane Brown David Burns Fred Dailey Rick Dailey Doug & Lisa Deibler Tom Dunlap Bruce English Larry John Haag Rudolph Hersh Chris Hoffman Tom and Shirley Jeffries Pete LeVan Charles McCole Kristie Miller Elizabeth Ottarson Garin Peck Dave Putnam Joe Putnam Paul Rebarchak Terry Schneidell-Aument Chad Seeger Terrence W. Yoder