FS: What do you think most hunters might not realize about your job?
BF: Our job doesn't end with hunting season. We go all year round with hunter education classes, school programs, boyscout/girlscout programs, Youth Field Days, investigations, court hearings, and wildlife complaints. Spring time is very busy with wildlife being born all over the place.
We do wildlife surveys of many types of wildlife and habitats for biological information.
We do a fawn study, where if we find a doe that has been killed by a car in the spring, we remove any fetuses, sex them, measure them (this all gives information on the breading timeline of the does, when the doe got pregnant, and when the fawns would have been born). We also remove one of her lower jaws to be aged later to give the ages of the doe having fawns.
When we trap a bear, we tranquilize them and do a full work-up for biological information. We weigh them, measure them, remove a tooth for aging, and put tags in their ears so they can be identified later (which is further information if they get in trouble again, or to determine how far they traveled from the last time they were tagged or recorded). We also tattoo them under their gums with a number from the tags in case their tags are at some point removed from their ears. Then we relocate them to an area that is more conducive to a bear population, make sure they come out of the drug safely and go on their way.
We cooperate and assist other officers from other states on investigations of theirs and ours.
If needed, we can go anywhere in the state of Pa and assist other officers if the extra help is needed.