Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    Last hunting season, I was out bow hunting on SGL 124 in Franklin county. They had a big machine out there just mowing down all the cover brush
    . I didn't think much of it, till the last Thursday of bow season , when they started on a large plot of land. When we returned for the first day of rifle season , it was obvious that they had been out there for the last 2 weeks mowing down the cover brush. The machine they were using was capable of mowing down a 12 inch tree. Saw absolutely nothing all rifle season. The had mowed down everything in the fields up to the edge of the woods. Why in the world did they do that. And more to the question, why would they do that the week before rifle season. There is no cover in spots up to 500 yards now. My friend and I were out this week walking the land to see where the deer were.It's pretty well butchered up. Anyone have any ideas what would be the rational behind such an action?
    In God We Trust............................

  2. #2
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    Without seeing it, I would guess that the 'cover brush' as you call it had reached a height that it was no longer suitable habitat for many species. So they mow it down with a machine as you describe, often called a 'hydro ax' or I think a brand name is Royer Woodsman.

    Was this at a high elevation? Google "Gold Winged Warbler" or check out the USDA-NRCS (my employer) website for more information. The short version is that the GWW is in danger of getting on the endangered species list and there is a lot of effort to improve the habitat and prevent that from happening. The efforts are not only on gov't. land but private land also.

    It could also be that what was growing there, wasn't desirable or may have had many invasive species in it. They may have mowed and are planning an herbicide treatment this spring.

    Timing was probably when the contractor who owns the machine was able to get there and the conditions were fit. Those machines are expensive, the Commission contracts with private companies to do the work, I don't think they own any themselves.

    You could contact the region office and ask them, a Land Mgmt Officer will probably get back to you. Give it a couple of years, the cover will be back.

    Dale

  3. #3
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    If they are just cutting straight lines it may be for fire breaks. Why not call the PGC and ask what's going on. Was there any forest fires in the past that you know of?
    “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    I second the habitat improvement statement. Down here we have soooo many IS plants

  5. #5
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    these were rows of cover brush , used to be farm land. was a field a row of cover a field and so on. next time I am out there I'll take a picture.I been hunting there for 20 years. They took down some of the taller trees once before. they were down some so far this year with a bulldozer pulling stumps out...
    In God We Trust............................

  6. #6
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    It is a possibility that they are prepping it to be used as a food plot.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    I'd guess they are going to replace the cover rows with warm season grasses or new shrubs. They have to spend a certain $ amount (2?) from each doe license on habitat management, looks like you are/will be the beneficiary.

    It doesn't sound like a GWW project, those are usually in blocks and at higher elevation.

    Or maybe they're making runways for a squadron of small one person helicopters within range of DC

    Dale

  8. #8
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    Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    Butchered is fair description. I don't know why they did it, but it literally looks like a tornado wiped it out. It was a mix of large 10' to 12' high hedgerows with farmed strips about 75-100 yds wide between them. These ran parallel to the access rd , and stretched up to as far as 1/2 mile till reaching the wood line.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    I went out there last month and didn't see any progress on new or "planted" growth. Hopefully I get out there soon to check it out again.
    In God We Trust............................

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: pa game area 124 butchered before rifle season lastyear??

    20151017_111634 (1).jpg

    here is one of the fields. I had to crop it allot to get it to load. I was out yesterday for the 1st day of Muzzleloader. Didn't see a thing.... Gonna be a hopeless season there..
    In God We Trust............................

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