Hunting season to be restored in northeast Pa. following capture of Eric Frein

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PIKE COUNTY-With fugitive murder suspect Eric Frein no longer on the loose, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough, effective midnight, will lift the temporary prohibition on hunting and trapping activity in all areas that had been affected by the manhunt.

That means hunters in the previously closed area will be able to participate in Saturday opener of the fall turkey season, as well as all other hunting and trapping seasons.

Hough on Oct. 1 issued an executive order that temporarily closed all hunting and trapping seasons within seven townships in northeastern Pennsylvania – Price, Barrett and Paradise townships in Monroe County; and Blooming Grove, Porter, Lehman and Greene townships in Pike County. More recently, the order was amended to keep the temporary closure in place only in Monroe County.

With Frein now captured and charged in the ambush-shooting death of a Pennsylvania state trooper, and with Pennsylvania State Police giving the green light to reopen those Monroe County townships to hunting and trapping, Hough is rescinding the order. The decision to lift the order at midnight was made to give state police time to finish processing the search area.

“It is with great relief that the search for Eric Frein has reached its end without further incident, and that the fugitive has been apprehended and charged,” Hough said. “I’m certain justice will be served.

“With the search no longer active, the Pennsylvania State Police has advised there no longer is a need to keep in place any temporary prohibition on hunting and trapping activity in northeastern Pennsylvania,” Hough said. “I personally would like to congratulate state police for bringing this manhunt to a successful conclusion, and I’d also like to thank our hunters and trappers, who cooperated and complied with this executive order, and otherwise did their part to allow police to continue the search that led to the suspect’s apprehension.”

Aside from all previously closed hunting and trapping seasons being restored, all portions of State Game Lands 221 have been reopened to hunters and trappers. While the manhunt was ongoing access to portions of the game lands was closed.

Pennsylvanians are reminded that the primary purposes of state game lands are to provide wildlife habitat, and hunting and trapping opportunities for license buyers, and secondary recreational uses are tightly restricted during hunting and trapping seasons.

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti noted all DCNR lands in Monroe County also are being reopened to hunters and other recreational users.

Frein is charged in the Sept. 12 ambush-shooting death of Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson II outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County. Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded in the attack.

The temporary closure of the hunting and trapping seasons was made in consultation with state police after explosive devices believed to be left by Frein, one of them set to detonate through a trip wire, were recovered during the search.

The devices posed an obvious safety threat, and Hough exercised authority granted to him by the Pennsylvania Game and Wildlife to temporarily close the seasons because of safety concerns.

Now that the seasons have been reopened, Hough urged hunters and trappers to remain alert and cautious, and report any possible evidence related to Frein to the Pennsylvania State Police TIP Line at 1-866-326-7256.