Beaver County parks are wonderful places to enjoy outdoor activities, most of which are well known and enjoyed by all. Whether it’s fishing, boating, hiking or many other activities, folks are always having fun.
What is not well known are the hunting opportunities offered at three parks.
The Beaver County Commissioners recently announced the 2019-20 hunting schedule for selected areas of Bradys Run, Brush Creek and Old Economy County parks. The hunts include archery for deer and turkey, flintlock for deer and a controlled goose hunt at Bradys Run.
“We’ve heard from many residents that they look forward to this each year," Commissioners Chairman Dan Camp said in a press release. "Beaver County is proud to make our parks available for hunters to enjoy their sport in a safe and responsible manner.”
Tim Ishman, director of county recreation and tourism, reported that 156 permits to hunt deer and turkey were issued last year. Nine deer were reported harvested at the parks: Brush Creek Park, two antlered deer with a bow, three antlerless deer with a bow and two antlerless deer with a flintlock; and Old Economy Park, two antlerless deer with a bow.
Only 44 percent of the permit holders returned the voluntary survey at the end of the year, so the numbers reported might be on the low side.
“This was one of the lowest returns in recent memory,” said Ishman.
On the positive side, there were no confrontations or complaints about the hunters in the parks.
“In my six years here at Bradys Run, that’s a 100 percent solid statement,” said Ishman. “We’ve never had a problem other than accidental or coincidental meetings, like a hiker or biker passing a hunter. Everyone has always been cordial and respectful.”
Sportsmen wishing to hunt in the parks for deer or turkey must bring a current Pennsylvania hunting license to the Bradys Run recreation facility and complete the required registration and release forms. A $5 fee covers administrative costs. Registration is currently open during regular operating hours.
For safety reasons, no hunting will be permitted along park roads and in main visitor areas, such as picnic and shelter areas, around swimming pools or walking trails. Additionally, no permanent tree stands are allowed in any park.
The hunting schedule will follow the regular Pennsylvania Game Commission dates for archery and late-season flintlock. There is no spring turkey season at the parks.
The controlled goose hunt will take place at Bradys Run. Hunters will be chosen by drawing on Oct. 17, and registrations will need to be completed by Oct. 15 at the recreation facility. The dates of the goose hunt are Oct. 28 and Nov. 1, 4, 8, 12 and 15. Saturday, Oct. 26, will be the youth hunt, monitored by members of the Beaver County Sportsmen’s Conservation League.
For safety reasons, the areas of the park from the lodge to Shelter 15 will be closed to park visitors until 11 a.m. on the days of the hunts. The area will be posted, and the Beaver County Sheriff’s Department will monitor traffic through the park.
One of my sons and I participated in the goose hunt last year. And while we didn’t bag any geese, it was an enjoyable morning, with many ducks and other wildlife to keep us entertained. The hunt was well run. This year, we will return with his younger brother for the youth hunt.
Mike Barcaskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.