Additional State Forest Roads Open Across State for Hunting Seasons and Outdoor Activities | New

Harrisburg, Pa .– Hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts who travel to the Pennsylvania state forests this fall will find additional roads open in 18 of the state’s 20 forest districts, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

“This improved accessibility, coupled with the promotion of deer hunting by DCNR, benefits forest regeneration and the entire ecosystem,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. . “As a result, the Bureau of Forestry is opening more than 515 miles of state logging roads normally open only for administrative purposes. They will again be available to hunters, hikers, foliage watchers, and others visiting state forests this fall. “

When combined with state logging roads which are normally open most of the year for public travel, over 3,200 miles of state logging roads will be open during archery season at statewide, which opens Saturday, October 2 and ends Saturday, November 13. Many of these roads will remain open during the other hunting seasons, until January 2022. Forest managers can close these roads at any time if weather conditions require, to avoid damaging or deteriorating surfaces. roads or the surroundings of the forest.

“Whether they are looking for deer, bears, turkeys or small game, hunters in our state forests will now find more than 90% of these lands within a kilometer of an open road,” said the forester. of State Ellen Shultzabarger. “We are encouraging safe and responsible use of additional roads as we share our forests this fall and winter. “

DCNR and the Pennsylvania Game Commission continue to update a new interactive map of state forests and game lands across Pennsylvania. The map offers information on the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and disease management areas, as well as details of newly opened roads, timber harvesting activities, forestry office contacts, etc. Use the new interactive map.

Meanwhile, premium hunting is offered at many state parks, including those in the 12.5 county area of ​​the Pennsylvania Wilds, where state forests often surround them. Inexpensive camping is found in many of these parks.

Primitive camping, where a motor vehicle is not used for storage or transport during the camping experience, on state forests is also an option, providing hunters with a camping or hunting experience in the back. -country. When primitive camping on the same state forest site for more than one night, a camping permit is required. Camping permits, issued by the forest management district, are also required for motorized camping on state forest lands and for camping at designated sites. Motorized camping is overnight camping in or near a vehicle when the vehicle is used for storage or transport during the camping experience.

Many of these campsites are near state parks and forests enrolled in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program, allowing hunters to catch one or more antlerless deer when properly authorized.

Hunters traveling to parts of the north central part of the state are reminded that certain hunting areas and travel routes may be affected by activities related to the Marcellus Shale. Some state logging roads may be temporarily closed during drilling operations or other peak periods of heavy use to reduce potential safety risks.

Some of the state’s forest administrative roads will only be open during the second week of the traditional shooting season, as they cannot withstand the heavy traffic expected of the first week of this season. Openings of two or three months will only be in effect where there is a minimal threat of damage or deterioration to road surfaces or forest surroundings.

After the last day of the regular antlerless deer gun season on December 11, many year-round forest roads in the state are open for joint use by authorized snowmobiles and motor vehicles. , including hunters and other recreational users. After December 11, forest maintenance staff clean many national forest roads to allow snowmobile travel when conditions permit. So be extremely careful, as you might encounter a groomer or snowmobiles on public joint-use forest roads during this time.

A high clearance vehicle with four-wheel drive and air chains may also be needed at this time, depending on existing road conditions. Since the state’s forest roads are groomed for snowmobiles and not plowed or ashed like most other public roads, they can also be impassable at times, due to deep snow or freezing conditions.

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