HARRISBURG — History was made once again this year, last week at the Pennsylvania Game Commission headquarters, when a trophy whitetail rack shattered the previous record in the Typical Archery category in the state records.
Ron Shaulis, of West Newton, Pa., harvested the trophy buck on Oct. 24 with a compound bow on public land in Westmoreland County. The rack had a net score of 185-4/8, which surpasses the previous record of 178-2/8 from a buck harvested in Allegheny County in 2004.
“The 13-point rack was very symmetrical, and lost only 7 7/8-inches in side-to-side deductions, which included an inch-and-a-half abnormal point off the right-side G-2 point,” said Bob D’Angelo, Game Commission Big Game Scoring Program coordinator. “That’s not much in deductions on a set of antlers this size,” he added.
The rack had 25- and 26-inch main beams, more than 11-inch G-2 and G-3 points, a more than 20-inch inside spread and 4½-inch or better circumferences at the four locations where circumference measurements are taken on the main beams.
Shaulis put in a tremendous amount of time scouting and monitoring trail cameras, and it certainly paid off. He credits the Game Commission for sound practices with deer management in the state.
“I didn’t know what I had until I took the rack to the taxidermist,” Shaulis said. “He told me I should definitely get it scored, as it might be a new record. That’s when I knew I wanted to take it to Harrisburg to get it officially scored.”
Last year a buck taken in Clearfield County that scored 228-6/8 was a new No. 1 in the Nontypical Archery category.
GAME WARDEN NOW OFFICIAL — For the first time in its 122-year history, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will call its law-enforcement officers “state game wardens.”
The change took effect Jan. 1.
“The job titles previously used to describe our field officers – game protector and wildlife conservation officer – didn’t fully identify their unique and diverse responsibilities,” explained Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “The goal here is to more clearly identify our officers and their purpose. We believe ‘state game warden’ will help communicate this.
“In addition, this title already is well understood by the public,” Burhans said. “The word ‘warden’ is America’s oldest title for the men and women who serve wildlife in this capacity.”
Since the recodification of the state’s Game and Wildlife Code in 1987, field officers were titled wildlife conservation officers. Prior to that, they were called district game protectors. But neither title resonated with the public. Many never associated them with Game Commission officers.
Burhans said renaming full-time agency officers ‘game wardens’ immediately will help the public know what these officers do.
It’s important to point out, though, that game wardens are sworn peace officers with statewide law-enforcement authority. They are highly trained and equipped as well as any police officer. They are expected to know and follow standards for protecting civil rights, gathering evidence that will hold up in court and prosecute violations of many different laws.
EAGLE CAM RUNNING — It might be cold outside, but you don’t have to leave your cozy confines for a round-the-clock opportunity to view bald eagles at close range.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Eagle Cam is back online, offering viewers worldwide 24-7 access to live video and audio captured at a bald-eagle nest in Hanover, Pa.
To view the Eagle Cam, go to the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov and click on the Hanover Bald Eagle Live Stream link in the Quick Clicks section of the homepage. The livestream can be accessed on the page that will open.
Twitter and Facebook users also can share the Eagle Cam with friends by tweeting #PGCEagleCam.