Calvin (Cal) Butchkoski

October 5, 1955 -

Calvin (Cal) Butchkoski was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 5, 1955. Growing up on a small farm in a family with a strong hunting tradition triggered Cal’s love of the outdoors. Growing up where streams ran orange from acid mine drainage (he called it pumpkin slime) instilled in him the delicate nature of ecosystems and the need for positive management and education.     

Cal graduated from Indiana High School in 1973 and Penn State University (Dubois Campus) with an Associate Degree in Wildlife Technology in 1975. He began his outdoor work as a summer naturalist at White’s Woods Nature Center in Indiana, followed by tree trimming and logging in Lancaster County. His work culminated with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), starting as a wildlife technician in 1982 and retiring in 2014 as Supervisor for the Bureau of Wildlife Management, Wildlife Diversity Division, Mammal Section.

Cal added a new dimension to PGC wildlife survey efforts with bat surveys requiring the development of safe caving techniques, unique bat traps, and a rapport with numerous caving clubs throughout the state. This later evolved into developing and designing successful bat houses and condos for summer roosts for bat habitats. When small radio transmitters became available, he initiated and developed techniques for radio-tracking bats from hibernacula to summer roosts thus providing for their conservation. When desktop computers and associated software became available, Cal became an early adopter of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geodatabases.

Since his retirement from the PGC in 2014 with 32 years of service, Cal remains active with the Pennsylvania Mammal Technical Committee and enjoys hunting, whitewater kayaking, and mountain biking. Cal’s love for, and a lifetime of, working for wildlife is widely recognized throughout the Commonwealth and reflected in the recognition he has received.