Pennsylvania DCNR Forests, Parks Participate in Deer Management Assistance Program
Deer hunters again will find greater hunting opportunities in state forests and parklands participating in the Game Commission's Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP. The DMAP areas allow hunters an additional week of antlerless hunting opportunities in the participating areas.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' website will also provide hunters with a wealth of information designed to boost their success.
The program enables DCNR and private landowners to more effectively manage white-tailed deer populations and curtail damage to forests and crops by allowing landowners to apply for permits to encourage antlerless harvests on their property.
"Our biologists and foresters relied on detailed surveys and management plans to select areas where increased hunter participation would benefit forested habitat," said Bureau of Forestry Director Daniel Devlin. "Sixteen of our 20 state forest districts and 21 of 117 state parks will offer additional deer hunting opportunities this year through DMAP participation."
DCNR enrolled 912,205 acres in DMAP for 2011 and sought 13,897 permits. On these state forest and park tracts, including 91,889 acres of parkland, hunters may harvest additional antlerless whitetails with a valid tag. DCNR received 13,898 permits for 930,464 acres in 2010.
DCNR's DMAP strategy this year again takes into account shortened antlerless deer seasons in a number of Game Commission Wildlife Management Units.
"Our DMAP areas provide hunters an additional week of antlerless hunting opportunities in these WMUs," Devlin noted. "This is an advantage for hunters who can only make it to camp or hunt certain areas the first week of the season. Using DMAP allows them to maximize their hunting opportunities."
DCNR continues to adjust DMAP applications based on habitat conditions. For instance, several state forest districts will not participate in the program this year because of improved forest regeneration.
"By focusing DMAP antlerless harvests in our other 16 forest districts and some of our state parks, hunters can help balance deer populations with available habitat, and promote healthy forests and healthy deer while enjoying quality hunting experiences," Devlin added, noting that Tuscarora, Weiser, Cornplanter and William Penn state forest districts will not be enrolled in DMAP.
"In some areas where we have seen decades of overabundance, the DMAP program can serve as a tool to help those areas recover," Devlin said.
State park DMAP hunting areas can be found this year at: Bald Eagle, Centre County; Beltzville, Carbon County; Blue Knob, Bedford County; Canoe Creek, Blair County; Codorus, York County; Cook Forest, Clarion County; Gifford Pinchot, York County; Hickory Run, Carbon County; Keystone, Westmoreland County; Kings Gap, Cumberland County; Moraine, Butler County; Nescopeck, Luzerne County; Ohiopyle, Fayette County; Oil Creek, Venango County; Presque Isle, Erie County; Prince Gallitzin, Cambria County; Raccoon Creek, Beaver County; Ricketts Glen, Luzerne County; Ryerson Station, Greene County; Shawnee, Bedford County; and Tobyhanna, Monroe County.
Permits can only be obtained directly from license issuing agents or the Game Commission website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Hunters may no longer apply at forest district or park offices, or on the DCNR website.
Applicants for DMAP permits can find DCNR tract locations and maps, availability numbers, past hunter success rates and other information at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/deer/dmap/index.htm.
For more details, contact Ecological Services Section, Bureau of Forestry, 717-787-3444; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.