More than 2,900 archers applied for permits to hunt on 2,362 acres of county land leased by Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay. At a public meeting Thursday at the Findlay Township Activity Center, attended by program sponsors State Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, and Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Allegheny, 157 applicants were picked in a random drawing to participate in the Oct. 5 through Jan. 11 hunt.
"This is the result of the public reaching out to their elected officials asking for a change in policy," Mustio said. "One of the goals discussed was for the possible expansion if the pilot program is successful. Sen. Smith, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and I look forward to positive feedback from hunters and the Airport Authority."
"Allowing more people to participate in Pennsylvania's rich hunting tradition," said Sen. Smith, "controlling the local deer population and making more county lands available for hunting are the goals of the program,"
A full listing of the 2,933 applicants is posted on the Authority's website at www.flypittsburgh.com/archery. Permit recipients were contacted by e-mail with rules and procedures of the hunt.
The archery-only hunt will occur on airport properties west of Business Route 376 that were open to public hunting until 2008, when it was posted by the Airport Authority. Hunters will park in designated areas.
No access will be given on some 7,000 acres of airport land near the runways between Interstate 376 and Business Route 376, where sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to cull deer and airport employees are given individual permissions to hunt.
In an interview a few weeks ago, Brad Penrod, CEO of the Airport Authority, said airport staff would not be given special permission to hunt on the properties included in the lottery.
Fish and Boat meeting
Board members of the state Fish and Boat Commission will take their quarterly business meeting on the road tomorrow and Oct. 1.
They'll gather in Erie at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA 16505. Committee meetings begin at 11 a.m. Sept. 30 and 8 a.m. Tuesday. All committee meetings and the formal meeting are open to the public.
Recent reports of a python in Deer Lakes Park in Allegheny County were not accurate. The state Fish and Boat Commission identified the animal as a northern water snake, a native species.
Clock's ticking for completion of required hunter-trapper safety courses before the autumn hunting seasons.
Find a full listing, register for classes and access online training log information at www.pgc.state.pa.us.
Oct. 5 Ohio Township Nature Center, 325 Nicholson Road, Sewickley 15143. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Class limit 50. Details 724-238-9523.
Oct. 8, Oct. 10 Richland Sportsmen's Association, 5519 Richland Road, Gibsonia 15044. Both days 5:30-9 p.m. Class limit 50. Details 724-443-9094.
Oct. 12 Donaldson Elementary School, 600 Donaldson Road, Oakdale 15071. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Class limit 75 Details 724-238-9523.
Oct. 12 Baldwin Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, 3049 Churchview Ave., Pittsburgh 15227. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Class limit 80. Details 412-650-8508, 412-431-1680.