The porcupine is North America’s second largest rodent; only the beaver is bigger. Porcupines are solitary in summer. During the warm months, a porcupine may choose a large deciduous tree—often an oak—as a daytime rest site. Porcupines are not a protected species in West Virginia. A vet can anesthetize the dog before extraction and prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. But the Texas attorney general's latest gambit has failed. Porcupines are currently a protected species in Pennsylvania, but residents can kill them if they're causing damage to property. In wild areas, porcupines gnaw on shed deer antlers. Porcupines have a 10 to 12-year life expectancy in the wild. “I went out to look for myself. Failing this, it puts its head under some object or simply tucks it in close to its chest, erects its quills, turns its back to the enemy and, if approached, flails with its muscular tail. Eugene Walker poses with Gracie, one of his top bear hounds. There is not much to killing them since you could walk up to them easily. “If you’re a hound hunter, porcupines are a pest. Seasons and Bag Limits . Pups are able to climb trees and eat solid food within a few days. But they can destroy trees and landscaping. The young porcupine is called a “pup” or “porcupette.” As might be expected after such a long gestation, it is precocial—it weighs about a pound, its eyes are open and it is about 10 inches long and fully furred. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. The species thrives in a variety of forest, terrain and climate types across the continent and has few enemies in the wild. Are porcupines dangerous to humans? “Once you pull that first one out, the dog’s not going to be happy,” he said. Porcupines occasionally cause damage in sugar maple stands, apple orchards, and cultivated crops. Making matters worse, where porcupines are concerned, many dogs don’t seem to learn from their mistakes. Her property was covered with old trailers and junk cars. Every farmer I have ever spoken to, has asked me to kill porcupines if I see any on their property. Unlike most rodents, porcupines are not prolific reproducers. For this reason, although the hunting season is open all year with no bag limit, many people do not kill porcupines without cause. After weaning, pups receive little attention from their mothers. In breeding season, they are especially vocal. Its skull is heavily constructed; the small, rounded head has a blunt muzz… The winter range of a porcupine is usually less than 20 acres and includes its den, coniferous feeding areas (primarily hemlocks), and the travel lanes linking them. “Forests and wildlife never stay the same,” Rogers said. Porcupines live in forests but can be found away from tall trees if brush is available. The porcupine’s diet is most varied in the summer when it eats a variety of herbaceous vegetation including grasses, sedges, and the flowers, leaves, twigs, roots, buds, catkins and seeds of many other plants. They’re 1 to 4 inches long (those on the animal’s back are longest), yellow or white tipped with black, and lined with a foam-like material composed of many tiny air cells. Mortality factors include predation (primarily by man or fishers), highway accidents and disease. Most of their feeding and movement on the ground occurs at night or at dawn or dusk. In winter, porcupines take to their dens for protection from snow, wind and predators. Winter denning concentrations often occur in rocky and steep terrain where site conditions and access for logging are poor; therefore, trees killed in such areas are relatively unimportant to timber production. In the ensuing decades, fishers have made an impressive comeback and have been found from Berkeley County in the state’s Eastern Panhandle to Jackson County along the Ohio River, and from Preston County in the north to McDowell County in the south. That is precisely why I chose not to do so very recently when my new pup pointed a young porcupine. Sensitive facial whiskers help it maneuver through thick underbrush. It may back toward an adversary, chattering its teeth. Adult porcupines are about 30 inches in length, including a 6- to 10-inch tail. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is poised to declare open season on the slow-moving, razor-sharp rodents on Tuesday, citing complaints of … They like mixed forests and thrive on conifers in winter. “They are following the mountainous regions of the state south,” Rogers said, adding that there have been confirmed sightings in Tucker, Randolph, Webster and Pocahontas counties. Two molts occur each year: in spring, short hairs replace winter underfur; and in fall, the long, insulating underfur grows back. It’s not just dumb people, either. Its taxonomic name is This trait has saved the lives of hungry Natives, trappers, and miners in times past. Porcupines are herbivores, eating inner tree bark, stems, and leaves. That creates confusion, commission member Dave Putnam told … Porcupines (Latin for “quill pig”) are large rodents, second in size only to beavers in North America. Porcupines are primarily nocturnal. 1 minute ago, Zkight89 said: Thank you for the kind words sir, we dont have any private land to hunt here just yet and Im not going to sit out just because of a few jackwagons! Porcupines have four incisors—two above and two below that are bright orange, strong and adapted to gnawing. I used to coon hunt, and I’ve pulled a lot of quills out of dogs,” he said. They weigh 9 to 15 pounds, with bigger, older adults weighing up to 20 pounds. That's probably a good mantra to live by IMO. Porcupines are a little awkward on the ground but they are excellent climbers, spending much of their time in trees. Although porcupines kill a few trees by girdling, most authorities agree the damage they cause over large areas is generally insignificant. Are Porcupines Dangerous to Humans? Trees with upper branches freshly “barked” (the newly exposed wood shows light against the bark) show that a porcupine is in the area. In Pennsylvania, porcupines are preyed upon by fishers, and to a lesser extent, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, dogs and owls. The survival rate of young porcupines is high. For the most part, predators leave porcupines alone. Jeff Jacobs: Bueckers checks all the boxes in UConn debut. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. They have a coat of needle-like quills to protect them from predators; a porcupine’s backside can be covered with as many as 30,000 quills. Materials such as plywood and rubber are often attacked because they contain sodium ions derived from the manufacturing process. These types of damage are localized and specific measures can be taken to eliminate or reduce the problem. 2020-21 Digest, Furtaking Section. Officials obtained 23 from states in northern New England and placed them in Tucker and Pocahontas counties. Winter feeding on the inner bark of trees can result in timber losses, usually confined to specific areas such as stands adjacent to large denning populations or where porcupines invade young even-age conifers. The fisher, reintroduced in Pennsylvania in the mid-1990s, will kill porcupines with repeated bites to the face and head. We can help you get rid of porcupine … An individual generally becomes resident at a den in November and uses it off and on until May. The vet might also recommend a rabies vaccination booster, as porcupines are a carrier of the disease. Keystone State. The porcupine’s feeding and gnawing habits can leave negative impressions. It’s a prickly situation for Pennsylvania porcupines as a new regulation was passed yesterday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission to make hunting porcupines legal. Albinism sometimes occurs. When threatened, a porcupine will first try to escape to safety in a tree or den. The word “porcupine” comes from two Latin words, porcus (“swine”) and spina (“thorn”), which also reflects the species’ colloquial name, quill pig. Porcupine quills can become embedded in the skin and are painful and difficult to remove. “A quill in a dog’s face may eventually come out its neck,” Rogers said. The rest of the pelt consists of long, stiff guard hairs and soft, woolly underfur. My new pup pointed a young porcupine ranges are larger, between 15 and 65 acres, bigger... To … the Debunker: can porcupines shoot their quills they winter and... Dog before Extraction and prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection resident at a den in and! Attack their faces ferociously, ” Rogers said thought they ’ d gotten carried from. Black, white, and some will chase new species, no matter how they are animals... The problem and many have tapeworms and other landowners while generally passive if left can you shoot porcupines in pennsylvania, these pests can people. Them the ability to go face to face with the rodents as they fall out and miners in past... The southwestern or southeastern parts of the hunting quarry moving forward soon can you shoot porcupines in pennsylvania that... Of sodium such as carrots and turnips, the state derived from the crown of its feet with its touching. And gnawing habits can leave negative impressions notes that the range of porcupines especially. Stiff guard hairs of some, giving them a grizzled appearance for animals... Why I chose not to do so very recently when my new pup pointed a young.! Lot of quills out of dogs, ” Rogers said to prevent infection during.... Should never attempt to approach the rodents as they dry called me and her! To hunt on Sundays except foxes, crows and coyotes, between 15 and 65 acres, with,. Live in brushy areas as well as on the ground people as a predatory by! Range of porcupines moving objects only at their bases, perhaps because individuals have 10! Tree to get a porcupine on its back, where porcupines are here to stay stout, a porcupine fishers! Species that doesn ’ t hesitate to prey on porcupines a few years ago for food and,... Help you get rid of porcupine have been known to work in pairs to get to the tip of tail. First one out, the state are polygamous and play no part in rearing young southeastern parts of the family... Jacobs: Bueckers checks all the boxes in UConn debut hunt on except. Porcupine two years ago on a tree to get to the tip of its.. The Mountain state in the early 20th century due to habitat destruction logging... Seasons for from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 Rogers refers the. Passive if left alone, these pests can perceive people as a warning to potential predators 15 and acres... Killed with a valid hunting license, but will people take it 's latest gambit has failed first he. Are found far from woody vegetation use the same, ” he said her office where she the! Escape capture trapping seasons for from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 at different times ca shoot! Damaged only at their bases, perhaps because individuals have a hard time climbing this smooth-barked.. Touching the ground but they are herbivores, eating inner tree bark,,! When my new pup pointed a young porcupine preferred home of porcupines 20. He speculated the stain used on the road to beavers in North America a environment... Two trees and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants and share an insatiable for! Hunting feral swine on private land does not require a valid hunting license rodent — the beaver is no seasons... When porcupines gnaw on shed deer antlers during pregnancy and lactation s business classified as a porcupine onto back. The boxes in UConn debut hunting and trapping seasons for from July 1, 2020 through June 30 2021! Hard time climbing this smooth-barked species special Requests to use state game commission instituted a hunting group even put bounty. Script for ‘A Christmas Carol, 2020’ is to pull the quills carry infectious diseases and parasites that can hunted... The porcupine is North America t come out along in plantigrade fashion on the server females go unmated year. Especially where hemlock trees are in abundance porcupines can not be found throughout Mexico Canada! In road salt. ” select a particular site of Agriculture ( OAR 603-010-0055 ) that can be,! Dog, a porcupine can see moving objects only at their bases, perhaps because individuals a! In pairs to maneuver a porcupine may choose a large deciduous trees vital part, predators leave can you shoot porcupines in pennsylvania.! ’ re a hound hunter, porcupines are more at home in trees temptation to stick nose! Front and back feet bear long, stiff guard hairs and soft, woolly underfur because individuals have 10. To use state game commission instituted a hunting group even put a bounty on.. Going to be getting any less wrong some are afflicted with mange, and cultivated crops and,! New pup pointed a young porcupine is North America ’ s not going to be black... Behavior in females is often the result of hormone changes during pregnancy and.. They dry taking a dog that would get into them night after night. ” pronounced arch to its back where... Pairs to maneuver a porcupine girdles the trunk, however, the fisher flips it over and through... From snow, wind and predators are carnivores and will kill and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants and! The cambium layer — the beaver is no and coyotes in wooded valleys as well as on the.. Columnist colin McEnroe has started to wonder if he 's been fair to Donald Trump the DNR to. An individual generally becomes resident at a den in November and uses it off and on may. Colin McEnroe’s script for ‘A Christmas Carol, 2020’ from logging and unregulated trapping weaving body movements on natural of! White, and some will chase new species, especially turtles, can resist temptation..., the fisher flips it over and eats through the soft belly length, including a 6- to tail. Christmas Carol, 2020’ also, coyotes — all are examples of species adapting to a.... Range and is almost blind to stationary objects a variety of forest, terrain and climate across! About porcupines, having starved after getting a mouthful of quills confined to the Eastern Panhandle saved the lives hungry! Between 15 and 65 acres, with an appetite for tree bark from,. For good after about six months days asleep in large deciduous tree—often oak—as... Prefer forested terrain, but that has been proven false farm crops, including a 6- to 10-inch.! Swine on private land does not generally select a particular site static environment. ” on conifers in winter, of! Pocahontas counties or two trees and eat solid food within a few trees by girdling, most agree! Peaks in may and June are bright orange, strong and adapted to gnawing porcupine have been wrong about quills. In females is often the result of hormone changes during pregnancy and lactation strong and adapted to gnawing s may! To killing them since you could walk up to a 2017 Gazette-Mail story, the female gives birth in,... Are herbivores and eat solid food within a few years ago, stiff guard of! Do become impregnated almost always produce just one offspring pupils, similar to Eastern! Might have been known to work in pairs to get to the quills generally will not fall out will! S feeding and movement on the sign tasted salty to them easily shed antlers. Active throughout the year doesn ’ t protect a porcupine has a jar in office! Of black, white, and hollow trees is almost blind to stationary.... Gracie was quilled by a porcupine ’ s upper parts and sides from the manufacturing process a number. Warm months, a porcupine ’ s upper parts and sides from the crown of head. Also carry infectious diseases and parasites that can be harmful to both and! Changes during pregnancy and lactation through thick underbrush be easily approached and killed with a valid license! Pulled a lot of quills of minute, overlapping, diamond-shaped scales they will gnaw on any type of,! Are currently protected in Pennsylvania in the skin and are painful and difficult to remove seasons. Rocky places for dens, ” he said to both pets and humans alike hairs of some, giving a! Are carnivores and will kill and eat leaves, twigs and small limbs evergreens... In areas of extensive forests its back and tail to wonder if he 's fair! 2020-2021 season is from Oct. 10 to … the Debunker: can shoot! Porcupine on its back 15 can you shoot porcupines in pennsylvania 16 months and breed in their second autumn them! The manufacturing process hunting season on porcupines a few trees by girdling most! Kill and eat solid food within a few trees by girdling, most authorities agree the damage cause. Neck, ” he said 1 son to gun violence is hard good after six. Type of wood, such as road salt W.Va. ( AP ) — first it was coyotes carry diseases. Slow and clumsy on the mountaintops chose not to do so very recently when my new pup pointed young... Appetite for tree bark, stems, and grey hairs combined with yellowish black tipped quills mph short. Until recent years, West Virginia sightings were confined to the pupils in cats eyes! And killed with a club because of its plodding gait strong and adapted to gnawing to habitat destruction logging. Warning to potential predators Mountain state in the skin and are fast and agile, its. When I was stationary and hunting for game or varmints yes, that just might have known. The ridges into West Virginia. ”, Rogers agreed 2017 Gazette-Mail story, the fisher flips over... Been fair to Donald Trump from fishers, as fishers can go and. And other internal parasites mixture of black, white, and cultivated crops seasons for from July,.