Pennsylvania Game Commission
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is the state agency responsible for wildlife conservation and management in Pennsylvania in the United States. It was founded over 100 years ago and has more than 700 employees.
On October 1, 2014, the Commission issued a temporary delay of the hunting and trapping season in certain areas within northeastern Pennsylvania. The closing was made in response to a threat found during a police manhunt for a suspect accused of murdering a Pennsylvania state trooper. Law enforcement officers found explosive devices planted in the woods, and the Commission closed hunting access to the affected area.
Mission and duties
The mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is:
- To manage and protect wildlife
- To manage wildlife habitat
- To inform and educate the public on wildlife and safe hunting practices
The duties of the Pennsylvania Game Commission include:
- Set hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits
- Issuing hunting and fur taking licenses
- Conduct tests for wildlife disease
- Pheasant release
- Animal Reintroduction
Conservation Officer - Specific Duties Specific job duties for a Conservation Officer may include investigating complaints or working with schools, communities and service groups to promote environmental conservation and compliance with laws. Conservation Officers may be required to teach courses in boating, bow hunting, trapping and snowmobiling along with hunter education. They may be involved with inspecting falconers, wildlife rehabilitators, bait dealer, taxidermists and gamer breeders. Other job duties may include:
Documenting state and federal misdemeanors, felonies and other violations of environmental conservation laws. Implementing plans to find violations. Processing violators and evidence and submitting reports. Conducting audits of commercial operations to ensure environmental compliance. Communicating environmental conservation goals to the public and media. Conducting safety courses for recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles or off-road vehicles. Maintaining relationships with outside law enforcement agencies. Working with hunters and anglers to ensure conservation laws are being followed. Patrolling assigned areas to ensure there are no violations occurring. Checking hunters and anglers for correct licensing. Subscribe to RSS feed for Public Safety and Law
Wildlife Conservation Officers
The main workforce of the Pennsylvania Game Commission are Wildlife Conservation Officers, also known as WCOs. These men and women are trained at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg. New recruiting classes are formed when positions open up, which is normally every 2nd or 3rd year. Classes are usually kept below 30 students. Training is an 11-month program in Law Enforcement, Natural Resource Management, Wildlife Management, and other subjects. Students are paid $1,150.40 on a bi-weekly basis and are required to live in provided housing.
WCO's serve as the police for wildlife crimes; enforcing the hunting and trapping laws as well as many other laws. They patrol the Pennsylvania State Game Lands and teach hunter-trapper education courses as well as providing many other educational opportunities for the Pennsylvania public.
Pennsylvania Game News
- Pennsylvania Game News is the PGC's monthly publication, dealing with wildlife conservation and the financial & legislative functions of the Game Commission.
- Monthly Field Notes, written by WCOs and their deputies, are funny stories about happenings in the fields. They are a monthly favorite of many.
Since the establishment of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, 5 officers have died in the line of duty.
|Officer||Date of Death||Details|
|Game Officer L. Seeley Houk||
|Game Protector Joseph McHugh||
|Game Protector John B. Ross||
|Land Management Officer Woodrow E. Portzline||
|Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove||
- "About the Pennsylvania Game Commission". Pennsylvania Game Commission. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- PAHomepage.com (October 1, 2014). "PA Game Commission: Manhunt Places Hunting Season on Hold". Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Pennsylvania Game News". Pennsylvania Game Commission. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- The Officer Down Memorial Page