Pennsylvania Game Commission Gets Donation From SCI
The Pennsylvania Game Commission's deer research program will benefit from the recent donation of $6,380 from the Lehigh Valley Chapter of Safari Club International. The money will purchase two telemetry receivers that enable researchers to remotely download location data from new GPS collars. The new GPS collars are being purchased by the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit with $50,000 in funding secured by the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
"Currently, we must physically retrieve GPS collars from deer at the end of the hunting season in January," said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer Management Section supervisor. "As a result, we have to wait until hunting seasons are over to get location data from our GPS collars. With these new GPS collars and the receivers, we will be able to monitor individual deer over multiple years and get regular updates on location data.
"This work is part of our ongoing research of deer survival and movements in relation to hunting activities. The addition of the new GPS collars and receivers will increase the detail and timeliness of our data collection."
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe noted that, in light of the agency's current financial needs, donations such as these enable the agency to continue forward with necessary research.
"Game Commission deer research projects are designed to support management needs," Roe said. "The donation of these receivers and GPS collars by the Lehigh Valley SCI, QDMA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a welcome addition to our ability to more effectively monitor deer behavior and populations. Data collected through this research will directly support future management recommendations."
Since 2000, the deer research program of the Game Commission and Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit has benefited from the assistance of numerous organizations and landowners who have provided funding and access to properties across Pennsylvania.
"Thanks to this assistance, our research program has achieved many accomplishments and the results have been recognized by the scientific community in various scientific publications," Dr. Rosenberry said.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.