Fire ban on game lands
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross today announced an immediate ban on all open fires on the agency's 1.4 million-acre State Game Lands system. The automatic ban is based on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry's current fire index rating being & quot;very high & quot; to & quot;extreme & quot; across the state.
Bear season outlook
HARRISBURG -- Even after last year's record black bear harvest, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials believe there will be outstanding hunting opportunities for the state's three-day bear season beginning Nov. 19, provided the weather cooperates.
Of the 145 agency Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) and Land Management Officers (LMOs) who work in the state's & quot;bear country, & quot; 90 of them believe hunting will be excellent this year. An additional 43 officers rated hunting prospects as good.
Pennsylvania's bear population was projected to number about 15,000 prior to the start of last year's hunting season. In 1999, it numbered 10,000. The light harvest in 1999 - 1,740 - helped spark 2000's record harvest. This year, biologists believe the population is about 15,000.
Extended hours setat state wildlife offices
COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife will extend the hours of its five statewide district offices prior to the popular deer gun season to answer questions from the general public. The toll free 1-800-WILDLIFE and 1-800-POACHER phone lines will also have similar extended hours.
The statewide deer gun season, which attracts upwards of 500,000 hunters, runs from November 26 through December 2. ODNR operates state wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay and Xenia, which will be open Nov. 23, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Nov. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. District offices will also offer extended hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 2
Eagle sightings urged
OAK HARBOR, Ohio -- The nation's symbol continues to fly high above Ohio and state wildlife biologists are asking Ohio residents to report bald eagle nesting activity they may observe in their communities. Ohio's resident bald eagles are busy this time of the year as they carry out nest maintenance chores in preparation for next spring's nesting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
.Active nets are currently recorded in the following Ohio counties: Coshocton (1), Delaware (1), Erie (7), Geauga (2), Guernsey (1), Harrison (1), Henry (1), Huron (2), Knox (2), Licking (1), Lorain (2), Lucas (5), Mahoning (2), Marion (1), Mercer (1), Noble (1), Ottawa (11), Portage (3), Ross (1), Sandusky (10), Seneca (4), Summit (1), Trumbull (5), Wayne (1), Wood (2), and Wyandot (5).
Turkey harvest good
COLUMBUS -- Hunters harvested a record 3,288 wild turkeys during Ohio's sixth annual fall turkey hunting season that was open in 32 counties October 13-28, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
The preliminary figure is an increase of 35 percent, or 860 birds, over last year's final total of 2,428. Hunters checked in 1,250 birds during the inaugural fall season in 1996.
Hunters took a combined 522 turkeys in Ashtabula, Geauga, Licking, and Trumbull counties where the fall turkey season was open for the first time this year. This total included 206 turkeys taken in Ashtabula County, 121 in Geauga County, 58 in Licking County and 137 in Trumbull County.

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