PA Game Commission cadets

PGC bear process
Becky Polaski
Staff Writer

Last week the 30 cadets making up the 31st class of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation were visiting various sites across the state to gain hands-on experience in areas where they could potentially end up assigned when they officially become game wardens with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).The cadets began their 51-week training program in March and are expected to graduate in March 2019. On Thursday, they were all at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette. While elk were the focus later in the day, early in the afternoon it was all about bears. 
A total of 14 bears were trapped throughout the Northcentral Region and brought to the visitor center so that the cadets could gain hands-on experience processing the animals and also learn from the experienced Game Wardens who were there to instruct them.
According to PGC Northcentral Region Law Enforcement Supervisor Richard Macklem, learning how to process bears is an important skill for the cadets because most will have to do so, either for nuisance or research purposes, when they are eventually assigned to districts after graduation.
“That’s part of their training because most of the districts that they’re gong to go to, they’re going to have bears and they’re going to have to deal with either nuisance or research issues,” Macklem said.