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OUTDOOR NEWS

Game Lands tour set

Despite damage caused by Hurricane Irene, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will hold a public tour of State Game Lands 57 in Luzerne and Wyoming counties. The tour will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9. Registration is from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the headquarters building complex on SGL 57, Ricketts Station, Forkston Township, Wyoming County. Game Commission personnel will be on hand to explain various points of interest, including wildlife habitat improvement projects.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance are strongly recommended for this 14-mile, self-guided driving tour. Due to heavy storm damage caused by Hurricane Irene, the tour has been modified from its traditional route. The tour will begin at the SGL 57 maintenance building and travels Southbrook, Shale Pit, Beech Lake, and Mountain Springs Roads back to the building. The tour will pass habitat improvement projects completed by the SGL 57 Food and Cover Corps crew, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association and Ducks Unlimited. Representatives from the Game Commission and conservation organizations will be on hand to explain the projects and answer questions.

Directions: Take Route 487 north at the intersection of Route 118 and proceed 7.5 miles and turn onto a dirt road near SGL sign on right. Travel on dirt road one-tenth of a mile to a “Y” intersection and proceed left three-tenths of a mile to the headquarters complex. Each vehicle will be provided a map and brief explanation of wildlife management programs being carried out on this magnificent tract of public hunting land.

Active-duty military licenses to go on sale

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6, all Pennsylvania Game Commission issuing agents will be authorized to sell reduced-fee hunting licenses to Pennsylvania residents who are active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves components. The cost of these licenses will be $2.70.

The ability for all issuing agents to sell these reduced-fee licenses to Pennsylvania resident active-duty military, National Guard and Reservists is the result of Governor Tom Corbett signing Senate Bill 387 into law on July 7. The bill, sponsored by Senate Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Richard Alloway II, unanimously passed the Senate on Feb. 28, and was passed unanimously in the House on June 28.

Prior to the change in law, which now is Act 64 of 2011, qualifying active-duty military personnel could purchase these reduced-fee licenses only from a county treasurer’s office or a Game Commission office.

To qualify for the reduced-fee military personnel hunting license, including U.S. Coast Guard members, applicants must be a resident of Pennsylvania on active and full-time duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. They also must be assigned currently to a facility outside of Pennsylvania, and be on temporary leave in Pennsylvania. All applicants must provide documentation of: Pennsylvania being their home of record; their military status; their official orders showing that they are stationed outside this Commonwealth; and their leave papers.

To qualify for the reduced-fee resident Pennsylvania National Guard (Army or Air National Guard) hunting license or resident Reserves hunting license, applicants must be a qualified resident who, within the previous 24 months, has been deployed overseas as a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard or Air National Guard on active federal service, or a reserve component of the armed forces for a period of 180 consecutive days or more, or was released early from such service because of injury or disease incurred in the line of duty.

Only one Pennsylvania National Guard or Reserves hunting license may be issued for each qualifying deployment of a person applying for this license.

All applicants must provide documentation of: Pennsylvania being their home of record; their military status or discharge papers if applicable; their individual or unit orders showing the return date from overseas.

“It has been brought to our attention that military personnel may only have a laminated card showing their orders,” said Dot Derr, Game Commission Bureau of Administrative Services director. “Our understanding is that the applicant would be able to print the forms needed from his or her computer. Therefore, in order for a reduced-fee military license to be issued, military personnel must provide issuing agents with a printed copy of the paperwork required.”

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