Pennsylvania Deer Management Open Houses
Following up on last fall's effort to explain the state's deer management program and meet interested residents closer to home, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is, once again, hitting the road in coming weeks to hold six open houses across the state.
"Open houses provide a means for the agency to reach out and interact with hunters and other Pennsylvanians whose lives are influenced by deer," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "They have been used by the agency in the past and have been warmly received by residents who attend them.
"We have designed these open houses to provide the general public with information about our deer management program and an opportunity to discuss any questions that they may have."
In the 2003-07 Deer Management Plan, three goals, all identified and supported by Pennsylvanians, were established to guide the program. They were to: improve deer health, improve forest health and reduce deer-human conflicts. The open houses that were held in 2007 gave the public the opportunity to provide input regarding the addition of two goals to the Deer Management Plan.
After receiving public input at those open houses, the agency has added two additional goals to the plan. Those goals are to manage deer to provide recreational opportunities; and to improve the public's knowledge and understanding of deer and the deer management program.
"Based on the first round of public input, we made adjustments to the deer management plan," Roe said.
Roe noted that the open houses will be held in six different locations from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on a Saturday to maximize the opportunity for those interested in attending, and to afford those who were unable to attend last fall to do so this spring. Also, this round of open houses will be held in different locations than those held in the fall.
The schedule for the open houses is as follows:
- Southcentral Region: Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the McConnellsburg American Legion Post #561, Fulton County. Directions: From North - Route 522 South to McConnellsburg, left onto North 5th Street, left onto Omar Drive. From South - Route 522 North into McConnellsburg, right on North 5th Street, left on Omar Drive. From East or West - Route 30 to McConnellsburg to Route 522 North, right onto North 5th Street, left on Omar Drive.
- Northeast Region: Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Saint Rose Academy, 1300 Old Plank Road, Mayfield, Lackawanna County. Directions: From I-81 North or South (in the Scranton area), take Route 6 East (new Casey Highway) toward Carbondale. Travel 11 miles to Exit 6 (Meredith Street exit). Turn left at the stop sign, travel one mile to traffic light and turn left again onto Bus Route 6 (Scranton/Carbondale Highway). Travel two-tenths of a mile and bear left at the "Y." Saint Rose Academy is on the left.
- Southeast Region: March 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitors Center, 100 Museum Road, Newmanstown, Lancaster County. Directions: From Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 286 - Take Route 272 North for three miles, at the traffic light turn left onto Route 897. Follow Route 897 North for about 14 miles into the village of Kleinfeltersville. In Kleinfeltersville make the first left after the stop sign (Hopeland Road), and the Visitors Center will be on the right about two miles down Hopeland Road. From Pennslvania Turnpike Exit 266 - Take Route 72 North about 4.5 miles to Route 419 North. Follow Route 419 North for about seven miles to Route 897, in Shaefferstown follow Route 897 South for about two miles to Kleinfeltersville, and turn right onto Hopeland Road in Kleinfeltersville. The Visitors Center will be on the right about two miles down Hopeland Road.
- Southwest Region: March 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Game Commission Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711 North, Bolivar, Westmoreland County. Directions: Route 711 midway between Ligonier and New Florence (approximately seven miles from both Ligonier and New Florence) in Westmoreland County, just north of the Champion Lakes Golf Course on the right side traveling north.
- Northcentral Region: March 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Red Fern Inn, St. Marys, Elk County. Directions: Red Fern Inn at the corner of Kersey Road and Route 255 in St. Marys.
- Northwest Region: April 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at McLane Church, 12511 Edinboro Rd., Edinboro, Erie County. Directions: Located in Edinboro on Route 99; 1.2 miles north of Route 6 North.
The open houses and outreach information were developed by a Deer Communications Working Group, which was proposed by the Deer Management Section and created by Roe in late April of 2007.
"This group has worked hard to identify Pennsylvania's and the Game Commission's deer management educational and outreach needs, and develop the displays, brochures, workshops and website information, that will help deliver that important message to the public and fellow employees," Roe said. "We encourage Pennsylvanians to take time to visit one of these open houses."
The Game Commission recognizes that the public's comprehension of deer management and changes to the agency's deer program is essential to manage deer progressively and effectively. While this outreach/educational effort targets all Pennsylvanians, there is considerable focus on hunting, primarily because hunters have helped the agency manage Pennsylvania's deer population for more than 100 years.
"Hunters have partnered with the Game Commission to manage wildlife since the agency's inception," Roe said. "Their financial contributions help support Pennsylvania's wildlife management programs and their efforts afield have helped to keep our deer populations in check. Hunters matter a great deal to the Game Commission and Pennsylvania."
For more information about the agency's deer management program, including a complete selection of the brochures being distributed at the open houses, visit the Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us and click on "Deer Program" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.
Additionally, a new 14-page deer management booklet is available in the "What's New" section of the agency's homepage www.pgc.state.pa.us.