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2021 in review!

Jack Danchak
Posted 1/7/22

Some of the highlights of the Sportsman Outdoors columns that I reported on in 2021 include: January - National Rifle Association (NRA) cancels their annual convention because of the Covid-19 virus …

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2021 in review!


Some of the highlights of the Sportsman Outdoors columns that I reported on in 2021 include: January - National Rifle Association (NRA) cancels their annual convention because of the Covid-19 virus and announces new dates.

Pennsylvania Game Commission announces that their 2020 bear harvest figures are down from their expectations. 3,573 bears were harvested, making the 2020 bear season the sixth highest in the record book.

The Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County presented me with a plaque for serving 30 years as their president. They also presented me with a gorgeous wooden carved and hand-painted American Flag with a largemouth bass painted on it.

February - Reported on the Sportsmen’s Federation January meeting minutes.

NYDEC announces changes in the harvest of sunfish and crappie. The changes should increase the size limits of sunfish and crappie. The changes are reducing the sunfish statewide daily harvest limit from 50 to 25 and increasing the crappie minimum size limit from 9 to 10 inches.

FBI announced there were 4.5 million firearm background checks conducted in the month of January 2021. This is the most people ever to be applying for a firearm in a single month.

PA Game Commission announced that they received a bonus payment of over 2 million from natural gas leases that will be used for future purchase of wildlife habitat, lands or other projects for hunting, furtaking and wildlife resource management.

March - Emily Carrollo, a wildlife biologist with the NY DEC specializing on bear management, is moving to Pennsylvania to take over the job offered to her as head of the PA black bear program.

Reported on the Sportsmen’s Federation February meeting minutes.

April - The NYDEC imposed a fishing regulation making it legal to fish for trout 365 days a year. You can keep trout from April 1 to October 15, after October 15 you can fish for trout to March 31 but must release the trout you catch immediately.

PA’s 2020-21 deer harvest was reported, hunters took an estimated 435,180 deer, which topped the previous year’s harvest of 389,431.

May - NYDEC said hunting shooting incidents increased in 2020, they nearly doubled from the previous year. There were 22 hunting related shooting incidents that included three fatalities.

June - People are reminded not to disturb young wildlife. This is the time of the year when many wildlife animals are giving birth and nursing their young. While some young animals may appear to be abandoned, usually they are not and their mothers are nearby.

PA confirmed another deer tested positive with CWD. This occurred near the border of two NY counties, causing concern in New York State.

July - NYDEC reveals a 10-year Deer Management Plan that includes extended hunting hours and making it mandatory to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing while hunting big game with a firearm.

Twenty counties in NY State have opted-in to participate in the DEC’s new pilot junior hunting program that would allow hunters 12 and 13 years old to hunt deer with a mentored adult.

August - It was reported that deer can carry the Covid-19 virus. Hunters heading afield for this year’s hunting seasons should take usual precautions when handling the harvest of a deer. There is no evidence deer can spread the virus to humans.

September - Bassmaster Magazine of Alabama has announced their annual choice selection of ranking the top 100 bass fishing lakes and waters in the United States. New York State has six lakes listed in Bassmasters selection.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy closed down the bear hunting season. This is the first time in over ten years there will be no bear hunting in New Jersey.

October - NYDEC confirmed a northern snakehead fish was caught in the Basherkill Marsh in Wurtsboro. DEC said all northern snakeheads caught should be killed immediately to prevent the spread of this invasive fish.

November - New York’s firearms deer season in the Southern Zone starts on November 20 and ends on December 12. PA’s firearm deer season starts on November 27 and ends on December 11.

U.S. Congress passes a bill that will provide aid to combat CWD. This bill will authorize $70 million annually from 2022 through 2028 (7 years) for research and management of CWD.

December - DEC authorizes a special 7-day deer hunt, calling it the ‘Holiday Deer Hunt’ scheduled from December 26 to January 1. Legal weapons that may be used are bows, crossbows & muzzleloaders. This hunt is for hunters who have unfilled deer tags from the regular deer seasons.

Following an Iowa study that found more than 80% of deer sampled tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19, researchers are recommending that deer hunters wear a mask when field-dressing a deer.


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