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Altoona opens 3,200 acres for hunting

ALTOONA, Pa. - The Altoona City Authority and the Pennsylvania Game Commission have signed a deal to open an additional 3,200 acres northwest of the city to hunting, starting with buck season on Monday.

The agreement Wednesday, which opens land along Route 36, increases to 4,700 acres the amount of authority land under the forest game cooperative agreement. Officials said land for hunting has grown scarce.

"Everybody is posting," said authority member Patrick Dumm. "This is bucking that trend."

Authority officials said they decided to enter into the deal, which reverses a prohibition against trespassing on watersheds, because of illegal dumping on the land, which they lacked the resources to stop.

Patrols by wildlife conservation officers and hunters will help deter illegal dumping, vandalism and all-terrain vehicles, which cause erosion, officials said.

In addition to hunting and trapping, the deal also allows people to hike, pick berries and take photographs.

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