Chairman’s Message

By Chairman of the Board Randy Santucci

Yesterday, Today and a New Tomorrow

A wise elderly woman I once knew told me “Life is about change, how well you accept the changes life throws at you will determine how happy your life will be”. In short, move forward and don't dwell on the past, you cannot change it…..There is also a saying: “those who do not know about the past are doomed to repeat it”. There is a lot of wisdom in both these sayings, but I feel there is a mid-point to be established from both aphorisms that sportsmen find themselves living. We have seen our premiere position as one of the top deer hunting states in the country diminish, in large part caused from a severely flawed deer management program. We have also seen several of our state’s traditional small game species badly diminish. We have witnessed our habitat slowly digress, caused from timber legacy layers (canopying) which each year moves us further and further away from the beneficial seedling sapling variety, to the least wildlife beneficial saw timber forest variety. Clean farming and urban sprawl also are contributors. This is the past change we must accept, but the sins of deer management and the ignorance of not timbering our forests to create habitat must be the lessons we learn from our past so we indeed are not doomed to repeat them.

The PGC (Pennsylvania Game Commission) in recent years, has embarked on a habitat improvement initiative, a novel direction to go, but far too little far too late. The reality of habitat improvement by the PGC is that it is mostly on our game lands, (1.5 million acres) which makes up only about 5% of the total land mass of Pennsylvania. So as the PGC argues that their habitat improvement food and cover crews will allow all wildlife, including predators which they proliferate, to coexist and flourish, another aphorism comes to mind “liars can figure but figures don’t lie!” There is no possible way habitat improvement on only a few percent of our state’s land mass will correct the sins of the past now experienced across our state, particularly public lands and forests, especially the northern tier of our commonwealth. The current legislation about to be introduced HB1483 which The Unified Sportsmen strongly supports, is the only large-scale idea to benefit our state and recharge our withering hunting, stimulate wildlife, while providing extensive economic invigoration. You have heard of “Housing for Humanity” habitat is housing for wildlife. Without this new out of the box thinking provided by HB1483 we are destined to follow the decline of the last 50 years. Old failed ways must go and be forgotten, new ideas like this legislation must be the new direction to indeed keep us from being doomed to failure. Get on board and contact your representative to support HB 1483.


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