State Forest Roads Open. Hunters heading into Pennsylvania's state-owned will find additional roads open in 18 of the 20 state forest districts, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "More than 400 miles of state forest roads normally open only for administrative use will be available to hunters in state forestlands this year," DCNR Bureau of Forestry Director Daniel Devlin said. "We hope to improve accessibility while promoting hunting where it is needed to benefit forest regeneration and the overall ecosystem."
More than 3,000 miles of state forest roadways are open during the state's main archery season, which opens Saturday, Oct. 5, and closes Nov. 16. They will continue to stay open through the rest of the hunting seasons until January 2014. "Whether their quarry is deer, bear or turkey, 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 Devlin. Hunters traveling to some northcentral 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. To avoid potential conflicts on state forest roads during times of high public use, DCNR will attempt to limit or restrict truck traffic at the outset of major hunting and fishing seasons. Some state forest roads will be opened only for the second week of the traditional rifle season because they cannot withstand the expected heavy traffic of the first week. 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. A complete listing of open roads, effective dates and district office telephone numbers can be found on the DCNR website.
Ruffed Grouse Society Hunt. The Ruffed Grouse Society, based in Coraopolis, has scheduled its fifth annual Upland Bird Hunt within the Pennsylvania Wilds Region of Pennsylvania for Oct. 31-Nov. 2. Reservations are $350 per hunter and $175 for a youth hunter or non-hunting guest. With limited availability, the base of operation will be the Red Fern Inn, Kersey, which is central to thousands of acres of public hunting land, including the Allegheny National Forest, several State Game Lands and State Forest lands. A Pennsylvania resident or non-resident hunting license is required. The UBH adventure includes two days of hunting with a huntsman Nov 1-2 and a "Meet the Artist" program featuring a number of recognized wildlife artist and carvers. For more information, visit the RGC website.