The 10 year deer plan has been finalized and posted on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website.
Press Secretary Jerry Feaser says the plan has several goals:
• To manage deer for a healthy and sustainable deer herd
• To keep deer-human conflicts at levels considered safe and acceptable to Pennsylvania citizens
• To administer deer impacts for healthy and sustainable forest habitat
• To maintain and create deer-related recreational opportunities
• And to improve the public’s knowledge of deer and the deer management program.
Feaser says not much of the plan has changed from the previous one. However, a new goal of managing deer to provide recreational opportunities has been added. He says the changes people are going to see will be reflective of the annual establishment of seasons and bag limits for deer hunting, which will occur each January and April when the board meets to discuss the previous years data.
Throughout the year, hearings were held for the general public to make comments and suggestions for the deer plan. Feaser says more than 200 citizens came, many of whom made suggestions on how to provide more recreational opportunities. He says some adjustments were made according to the feedback.
Feaser says there are some issues of concern with high deer populations, particularly in urban/suburban areas. With this deer plan, the commission is trying to address those issues through individual approaches, working with municipal officials to make deer hunting available when and where possible. “If hunting is not feasible given safety zone issues,” Feaser says, “then we need to look at other approaches that will help provide relief to the community.”
To view the full deer plan, click here.