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Taxidermists already busy as Pa. deer rifle season begins

November 26, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Pennsylvania's two-week deer season begins today and could result in the shooting of more than a quarter-million deer.

"Preparing for deer season becomes a priority for most hunters as soon as the turkey is cleared off the table on Thanksgiving Day," said Carl G. Roe, Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director.

Hunters, who are required to be licensed, are supposed to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange, according to the game commission's Web site.

Harvest tags should be attached to the deer's ear before the carcass is moved. The harvest report card must be mailed to the game commission within 10 days.

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While the rifle deer season is just beginning, area taxidermists have been busy most of the month working with bears and deer from other states.

"I've already got stuff from Ohio and aways," Ed Carbaugh said.

Carbaugh, who has a business in McConnellsburg, Pa., said Fulton County, Pa., has always had a large number of avid hunters.

He receives about 100 deer a year.

"For deer, we most commonly do shoulder mounts," said Ashley Barrett, who works with his father, Steve, at Critter Creations in Chambersburg, Pa.

They could see 90 to 150 deer this season.

"We're scheduling right now for July. Our backlog is anywhere from six to eight months," Ashley Barrett said.

Out-of-state business has increased since the Barretts launched crittercreationstaxidermy.com<.a>.

Critter Creations has mounted everything from birds to a polar bear.

"I actually mounted a mouse one time," Ashley Barrett said.

"I do people's pets, dogs and cats," Ed Carbaugh said.

Rifle deer season ends Dec. 8.

Except for the southwestern part of the state, where some deer were killed this fall by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, most game officials predict good hunting.

There might be more opportunities because archery season action was slow, said Jeff Egley of Gone For A Day sporting goods in Elderton, Pa.

"You couple the warm weather with a big acorn crop and deer didn't have to move too far," Egley said. "A deer could get up out of bed and feed real close and then bed down again without making himself too visible."

Because of a change in state law, it is now legal to hunt from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

During the 2006-07 season, hunters killed an estimated 361,560 deer, 135,290 bucks and 226,270 antlerless deer - a 2 percent increase from the prior season.

Game Commission officials also will continue to collect samples from killed deer to test for chronic wasting disease, though it has not been found in the state.

The disease was first recognized in 1967 in Colorado. It attacks the brains of infected deer and elk, and is in the same family as mad cow disease. It did not appear east of the Mississippi River in a wild herd until 2002 in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.




On the Web:

Pennsylvania Game Commission: www.pgc.state.pa.us

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