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Call of the Outdoors
108 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
Episode 19: Turkey Talk Secrets with Denny Gulvas
If you’re a Pennsylvania turkey hunter, you need to listen to this episode, featuring two of Pennsylvania’s own Grand National Champion Turkey Callers Denny Gulvas and host Matt Morrett, as well as Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. The amount of tips and information related to turkey calling is incredible and will leave listeners better prepared – and more excited – for Spring Gobbler season, which opens statewide on May 1, 2021. Denny Gulvas, of DuBois, is a proud Pennsylvania hunter who loves living in a state with plenty of turkey hunting opportunities. He’s dedicated most of his life to turkey calling and was inducted into the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Hall of Fame in 2020. Denny refers to turkey calling as an art. He explains that the whole process of calling in a turkey – from locating the gobbler, to setting up, to communicating, to watching the bird’s body language – is all an art and something that takes time and skill to learn. Denny has produced his own turkey calls since the 1970s, and he explains how he got started and what makes his calls unique. He spends a lot of time in the woods and shares some of his best tips and tricks for hunting and understanding turkeys and other wildlife. Denny has mentored plenty of young turkey callers and hunters, including his sons. In this episode, he also shares memories of his earliest hunting experiences with his dad and grandfather, including every detail of his first turkey hunt.
45 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Episode 18: State of the Turkey Flock, Spring 2021
Lots of Pennsylvanians are thinking about turkeys as the state’s 2021 Spring Gobbler season is right around the corner! In this episode, host Matt Morrett talks with Pennsylvania Game Commission Wild Turkey Biologist Mary Jo Casalena about the state of the turkey flock, as well as some of her own professional experiences. The answer to the No. 1 question our agency gets when it comes to spring gobbler season, “Why doesn’t the season open sooner?” is answered in this episode. Mary Jo explains why fall turkey harvest rates and habitat management strategies are both very important when it comes to managing wild turkeys in Pennsylvania. Details about why the Game Commission is leg banding males to get harvest rates and annual survival rates, a practice similar to waterfowl leg banding, is also included. Mary Jo covers some of the challenges that are currently facing our wild turkey population and shares what the agency is doing to best monitor and manage those issues. Mary Jo also shares many facts and figures related to our turkey population, including the average life expectancy of our gobblers is three years old. Mary Jo admits her favorite species to hunt is the wild turkey and “there’s nothing like the roar of the gobble in the spring.” In 7th grade biology class, Mary Jo decided she wanted to be a wildlife biologist to speak on behalf of wildlife. She recently celebrated her 28th anniversary with the agency, where she’s held a few positions, including pheasant biologist, then waterfowl biologist and now as the wild turkey biologist since 1999.
50 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Episode 17: How to Become a PA State Game Warden, Part Two
If you ask a Pennsylvania state game warden what their dream job is, they are likely to tell you that it’s being a game warden. In part two of “How to Become a State Game Warden” Pennsylvania Game Commission Marketing Director Matt Morrett talks with Assistant Director of Training Joel Gibble and State Game Warden (SGW) Travis O’Neill about how becoming a game warden is the career they wanted to pursue. Every state has some form of wildlife protection. Here in Pennsylvania, we refer to our officers as game wardens. The Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg is the academy where our game wardens go to train. In addition to the physical and educational requirements, game wardens must have an appreciation for wildlife and natural resources to be truly successful in their careers. Assistant Director Gibble and SGW O’Neill grew up with true passions for the outdoors, from hunting, fishing and beyond. They have both served our country in the military and they both work every day to serve the mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The pair discusses the unique role that game wardens have and how their primary mission is protecting wildlife, but the ways in which that is accomplished – through education, communication and enforcement – can look a little different on a daily basis. Assistant Director Gibble served as a game warden in Schuylkill County for several years before coming on board to help train the next generation of game wardens. He gives plenty of advice to those interested in becoming a game warden and also touches on some of the other opportunities that are available within the agency. He also shares memories from some of his best days and worst days in the field and how they helped to shape his career as a game warden. SGW O’Neill is an Allegheny County native and recent graduate of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation’s 32nd class. Believe it or not, he nearly talked himself out of applying for the class, which he explains in the episode. He went on to receive the class award for academics, with a score of 96.9 percent and gave the class speech at the graduation in February. Watch it here: https://bit.ly/3cRR8rU. He was recently assigned to his first district in Butler County and he tells some stories about his first few weeks on the job. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is now accepting applications through April 10 for its 34th class of state game wardens. Learn more or apply here: https://bit.ly/2OkvYdr. Click here to listen to “How to Become a State Game Warden, Part One:” http://bit.ly/3vBY2K9.
41 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Episode 16: How to Become a PA State Game Warden, Part 1
Being a Pennsylvania state game warden is more than just a job; it’s a passion fueled by protecting our state’s wildlife and natural resources. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to become a game warden – wonder no more – because this episode is packed with insight right from the Game Commission’s Director of Training Kyle Jury and State Game Warden (SGW) Hannah Robinson. The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s training program takes place at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg. The school started in 1936 and has produced just 728 graduates since that time. Hear how Director Jury and SGW Robinson’s paths led them to being two of those 728 and why they are passionate about their unique roles in protecting wildlife here in the Keystone State. The official training currently takes about 44 weeks, but the process to getting to that point requires multiple steps. Director Jury provides insight on that process, from the civil service announcement, to applying online, to the written, oral and physical assessments, to background checks and more. SGW Robinson is a Wayne County native and recent graduate of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation’s 32nd class. She was just assigned to her first district in southern Bucks County in February. Hannah had the opportunity to harvest her first pheasant while on field training last fall. As a graduation present from academy, her family surprised her with a new bow and she’s looking forward to becoming an archery hunter this fall. Click here to watch the recent graduation of the 32nd class on YouTube. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is now accepting applications through April 10 for its 34th class of state game wardens. Learn more or apply here.
97 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Episode 15: The Cory Gulvas PA Mountain Buck Story
The 2020 archery deer season is one that Cory Gulvas will never forget, as he successfully harvested one of the state’s largest typical bucks – ever – on public land in Tioga County, with a traditional bow. The history between him and this buck began two years prior, in September 2018, when he got his first glimpse of him on his trail camera. In this episode, Game Commission Marketing Director Matt Morrett talks one-on-one with Cory about what hunting and conservation means to him, as well as the details of his unbelievable fall 2020 deer hunt. Cory is an avid woodsman, a dedicated outdoorsman and a professional forester who has spent a lot of his life studying white-tailed deer, from understanding their behavior patterns and movement and beyond. In 2005, Cory’s passion for studying their habits was further fueled when he began searching for their sheds in the big woods. He now has a shed hunting dog, Mighty, that helps him comb through miles of mountains in search of antlers. Cory shares some of his tips and what he’s learned over the years and how this method of scouting has helped him have better success in the field. Cory explains how hunting is about so much more than harvesting an animal; the challenges, skills and lessons are just as valuable and important. As a traditional bowhunter and IBO Traditional Archery World Champion, he makes a point to shoot his bow every single day. Cory has a young family, and a very supportive wife, who encourages him to get out in the woods as much as possible.
65 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
Episode 14: Pennsylvania: A Pioneer in Conservation
We’re beginning the new year with a meaningful nod to the past. For 125 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has officially managed the state’s wildlife resources and our state has always been a national leader when it comes to wildlife conservation efforts here in Penn’s Woods. In this episode, Game Commission Marketing Director Matt Morrett welcomes the Bureau of Wildlife Protection’s Chad Eyler, as he shares about Pennsylvania’s earliest conservation efforts and how the realities of the 1800’s – dwindling wildlife, deforestation, pollution and unregulated hunting and trapping – led to the creation of the Game Commission. Chad shares his story about how his long-time passion for the outdoors – as an Eagle Scout, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, serving as a DCNR Park Ranger and much more – led him to become a Pennsylvania State Game Warden and serve wildlife and the public for more than 20 years.
50 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Episode 13: Making Hunting History in Pennsylvania
On Sunday, Nov. 15, Pennsylvania’s archery deer hunters made history as they took to the woods for the state’s first-ever regulated big-game hunting opportunity. It’s been an exciting fall, with plenty of expanded hunting seasons, including two more Sunday hunting dates during the statewide regular firearms bear season, on Nov. 22, and statewide regular firearms deer season, on Nov. 29. To celebrate the hunt, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans joined Marketing Director Matt Morrett in this episode to wish hunters a happy Thanksgiving and remind everyone about the important role our hunters share in conserving our wildlife. As the first day of rifle deer season in Pennsylvania is quickly approaching, Bryan shares his memories from his first-ever buck harvest, his personal sentiments on being a Pennsylvania hunter and his thoughts on all the hunting opportunities we’ve had so far this fall – from doves to squirrels to pheasants, turkey, deer, bear and more! To Bryan, conservation means “the wise use of natural resources,” and he shares why the work the agency does to actively manage wildlife habitat is so important to current and future generations of both wildlife species and humans. Hunters live a certain lifestyle that embodies the principles of conservation and requires them to take personal responsibility for their actions. From knowing the hunting regulations and laws, to taking clean and ethical shots, to getting their deer tested for CWD, to sharing tasteful photos on social media, to recruiting and teaching new hunters and continuing traditions, hunters are very involved with conservation.
60 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
Episode 12: Bear Conservation in the Keystone State
Pennsylvania is home to more than 20,000 black bears and they can be found in all 67 counties. Whether you hunt bears or just enjoy learning about them, this episode is full of information about black bears in the Keystone State, including biology, behavior and much more. Mark Ternent is the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northcentral Region Wildlife Management Supervisor and has worked with bears for 30 years, including 20 of them as the agency’s bear biologist. Mark went from studying prairie chickens in the Midwest, to turkeys in the Ozarks, to grizzly bears in Wyoming and then to Pennsylvania as the agency’s black bear biologist in 2000. In Pennsylvania, we have 12 million people and a robust bear population, so regardless of where you live or recreate in the state, it’s possible for humans and bears to end up in the same places. The Game Commission receives about 5,000 reports of nuisance bears a year. Whether you want to see a bear in the woods or you’re trying to avoid a run-in, Mark shares some tips on how we can best live together in Penn’s Woods.
42 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Episode 11: Bear Hunting in the Keystone State
If you’re a Pennsylvania bear hunter, you’re in luck, because the hunting opportunities have never been better! It’s an exciting time, between expanded seasons, including one of Pennsylvania’s first-ever Sunday big game hunting opportunities on Nov. 22 for the statewide regular firearms bear season, and a robust bear population totaling about 20,000. In this episode, Pennsylvania native and lifelong hunter Frank Sutliff, shares his insights on bear hunting in our state, and what to look for when you’re planning your hunt. Frank is from Renovo, Clinton County, which is well-known for its black bear hunting, due to the rugged terrain in that northern area of the state. Frank grew up hunting and fishing in the great outdoors and went on to create Top Calls, a well-known Pennsylvania call company specializing in turkey, deer, waterfowl and predator calls. He shares some of his favorite bear hunting tips and stories from his time in the woods.
65 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
Episode 10: State of the Pennsylvania Deer Herd: Fall 2020
Not only is the white-tailed deer Pennsylvania’s state mammal and most popular game species, but here in the Keystone State, we have some of the most deer hunters in the country! To celebrate fall and a new deer season, this episode is completely focused on deer and what’s been done to manage the herd for current and future generations. Chris Rosenberry, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Game Management Division Chief, provides an inside look into our state’s deer management strategies. If you can hunt it or trap it, the management strategies related to that species falls within Chris’s division. Prior to his current role, Chris served as the agency’s Deer and Elk Section Chief, and he’s also a Pennsylvania native and lifelong deer hunter. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a deer biologist, Chris shares some of his own experiences collecting data and using science to develop recommendations to achieve agency goals for the betterment of the resource. If you harvest a deer this season, be sure to report it! Chris explains how important accurate deer harvest data is in managing the deer in our state. He also gives deer hunters a few of his personal tips to keep in mind while pursuing Pennsylvania whitetails this fall!
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