February 8, 2023

Pennsylvania Game Commission Has a Plan for Urban/Suburban Deer Management

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission has put together a plan to deer with the management of deer in heavily populated areas. You can visit the Game Commission’s website and view the entire plan here. Below is a list of some of their objectives.

1) Expand hunting opportunities and create an “Urban Deer Control Program” that allows for the taking of deer outside of the regular hunting seasons in developed areas, similar to the Agricultural Depredation Program (“Red Tag” program);

2) Discourage deer feeding and support local ordinances that prohibit deer feeding in developed areas with unacceptable levels of deer conflicts;

3) Develop a written agency policy on the use of deer fertility control agents, then review and update the policy as needed. While, no effective deer contraceptive program has been developed to effectively manage free-ranging deer populations, such as those in urban/suburban areas of the state, a comprehensive review of current literature and reports about ongoing studies needs to be conducted so the agency and the Bureau of Wildlife Management can be in a position to address the issue when it arises;

4) Increase availability of written, electronic, and web-based informational and educational publications and presentations concerning hunting and non-hunting deer management options in developed areas;

5) Create and develop a landowner/hunter database template to be used by communities and municipalities to identify available hunters; and

6) Provide an advanced hunter education course for hunters in developed areas.

Also available is the full agenda of the June 5 and 6 meeting of the Board of Game Commission. You can view the agenda here.

Tom Remington