Gov. Wolf, DCNR announce additional state forest roads opening for hunting seasons
Governor Tom Wolf has announced that hunters heading into Pennsylvania’s state-owned woodlands this season will find additional roads opened by DCNR in 18 of the 20 state forest districts.
“I applaud DCNR’s work to accommodate one of Pennsylvania’s most proud pastimes, and I am sure hunters across Pennsylvania also will appreciate this action,” Governor Wolf said.
More than 3,000 miles of state forest roadways will be open during the statewide archery season, which opens Saturday, Oct. 3, and closes Saturday, Nov. 14. They will continue to stay open through other hunting seasons continuing into January, 2016.
“The Bureau of Forestry hopes to improve accessibility while promoting hunting where it is needed to benefit forest regeneration and the overall ecosystem,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “For that reason, a total of 536 miles of state forest roads normally open only for administrative use will again be available to hunters and others visiting state forestlands this year.”
“Regardless of whether they seek deer, bear, turkey or small game, hunters in our state forests will find more than 90 percent of that land now is within one-half mile of an open road,” said Dunn.
With the hunter in mind, DCNR continues to update a new interactive map of state forest lands across Pennsylvania that offers details on newly opened roads, timber harvesting activity, forestry office contact numbers and more.
Meanwhile, top-quality hunting is offered at many state parks—especially those in the 12-county Pennsylvania Wilds region—where state forestland often surrounds them. Inexpensive camping can be found at many of those parks.
Primitive camping on state forestlands is also an option, giving hunters a backcountry camping or hunting experience. Camping permits, issued by the managing forest district, are required when camping on state forestlands on designated sites.
Many of these campsites are close to state parks and forestlands enrolled in the Pa. Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program, permitting hunters to take one antlerless deer or more when properly licensed. Hunters are advised to check with state forests district headquarters or state park offices about availability.
Hunters traveling to some north central areas of the state are reminded some hunting areas and travel routes may be impacted by Marcellus Shale-related activities. Some state forest roads may be temporarily closed during drilling operations or other peak periods of heavy use to reduce potential safety hazards.
Also, hunters in Sproul State Forest are reminded a large-scale acid mine remediation project is complete and once-heavy truck traffic in the Renovo area now is gone. Roads now open include Boyer, Two Mile Road, Huling Branch, Whiskey Springs and Middle Branch.
Some state forest roads only will be opened for the second week of the traditional rifle season because they cannot withstand the expected heavy traffic of the first week of that season. Two- or three-month long openings will be in effect only where there is minimal threat of damage or deterioration to road surfaces or forest surroundings.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s 20 state forest districts and 120 state parks, visit here and select “Find a Forest” or “Find a Park.”
The new interactive state forest map can be viewed here.
Marcellus Shale information can be found here. Camping opportunities and details can be found on both the “Forestry” and “State Park” pages.
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