PFB continues to advocate for enhancements to wildlife damage mitigation programs:
RED TAG PROGRAM CHANGES:
1. BAITING OF WILDLIFE FOR CROP DAMAGE:
The PA Game Commission has changed the wording in regulations to better define and remove confusion about the area where the limited use of bait is permitted to remove deer under the Agricultural Deer Control Permit Program (“Red Tag”). The language in regulations now removes the description as “WMU’s 5C & 5D” and replaces it with a specific reference to the “Special Regulations Area” (SRA) in southeastern PA.
1. Use of baiting under the Red Tag Program is prohibited outside the southeastern PA SRA.
2. Within the southeastern PA SRA:
• Baiting is not allowed during regular hunting seasons.
• Baiting is only allowed outside regular hunting seasons if the Red Tag Owner/Operator gets prior approval from the local PA Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer.
• In order to get approval, the Red Tag Owner/Operator must be able to show significant damage has occurred and demonstrate the need for use of baiting to control deer damage.
2. CLOSED DATES FOR “RED TAG” PROGRAM ARE UNIFORM ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA:
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has eliminated the confusion in times that hunters may hunt and may not hunt under the Red Tag program. The recent change makes a shorter closure period of May 16 through June 30 uniformly applicable to all farms enrolled in the program and provides additional deer control opportunities where needed. Red Tag permits are generally valid from February 1 through September 28 (excluding Sundays) each year. Prior to the change, however, the Commission had established differing time periods in which Red Tag hunting would not be allowed, to allow for fawning. Prior to the change, general crop fields could not be hunted from May 16 to July 31, while fields used for vegetable farming could not be hunted May 16 to June 30.
3. DEER MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (DMAP) IMPROVEMENTS:
Statewide, DMAP participants may see additional utilization of their coupons. The Game Commission streamlined and simplified the DMAP permit process:
• Licensed hunters may now exchange DMAP coupons over the counter for DMAP permits at regional offices of the PGC.
• Automated licensing allows hunters to redeem DMAP coupons for DMAP permits at any licensing agent. Landowners will continue issuing coupons to hunters they trust.
• DMAP harvest reports are no-longer mandatory. Hunters are still encouraged to submit report cards, but will not be denied future DMAP permits due to failure to report.
• Hunters may attain two DMAP permits per DMAP area. This helps farmers who cannot attract enough hunters to resolve deer overpopulation, while still utilizing the wildlife resource.
• DMAP permits are only for doe; no buck may be harvested with DMAP permits.
Annual deadline for DMAP enrolment is May 1. PA Game Commission Site
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
510 S. 31st Street, PO Box 8736
Camp Hill, PA 17001-8736
Phone 717.761-2740 • FAX 731-3515