Commission’s response to a hunters comment on our website:
“The D-map program is designed to
allow landowners to control deer on the properties to meet
their individual needs. While we all understand when farmers
use D-map to control deer to protect crops, it is more difficult
to understand when foresters do the same thing. For foresters
the difference is their crop takes decades to grow rather
than a single year.
The Board recently made changes to restrict the damp program.
Now each landowner, including public landowners like state
forests, must provide a deer management plan that is approved
by the PGC. In a place like you are hunting, the state forests
may need a reduction in deer for a decade or more to allow
new oaks and cherries to get a solid start. If these trees
don't regenerate, the forest will not only produce less
desirable trees like maples and birch but these trees provide
little or food for wildlife.
It is difficult to tell a landowner they cannot do what
they want with their own land. My suggestion is to contact
the DCNR about their use of damp in a particular area.”
Fed up hunter response:
It is high time that you consider the reason that you were
appointed to your post. It is also high time that you stop
treating hunters as if we were children who need to be lectured
whenever they complain. Here are a few points that you should
First, the deer herd has, in fact, been decimated in many
parts of the state. This action was deliberate, and there
is no intention by the PGC to return the herd to huntable
numbers in much of the state. What we have lost in hunters
and tradition is so severe that it can never be replaced.
Second, it is your job to oversee the PGC and guarantee
that the agency is adhering to its mission. That mission
is to serve the interest of sportsmen for recreational hunting,
as it is spelled out in no uncertain terms in Title 34 state
law. You are not only shirking your duty, but are in violation
of the law. Strike 1 for you, Commissioner!
Third, you are instead supporting the interests of foresters.
I fully understand that without suitable habitat that deer
and other wildlife would suffer, and so habitat is a priority
before increasing the number of deer. However, the habitat
was not impaired before herd reduction, has not changed
dramatically after over a decade of deer decimation, and
is still in fine condition. Still, you and the PGC remain
convicted to the assault on doe and fawns. Your decision
is irresponsible. Strike 2 for you, Commissioner.
Fourth, again in your support of foresters, I understand
that without suitable forest tree seedling regeneration
that public and private forests will not flourish in the
future--that's about 100-125 years in the future. I read
with interest your comment that while it only takes a year
to grow an agricultural crop, it takes a decade to grow
a forest. While your comment sounds noble, there is little
substance to your statement. According to your previous
PGC Chief Forester, there has been no change to the forest
after a decade of herd reduction. According to your retired
chief forester who spent his career in the woods, the forest
was never impacted by deer. According to Penn State studies,
adverse impacts to the forest are today being caused by
acid rain and not deer. According to the president of a
statewide hardwood association, Pennsylvania forests are
among the healthiest in the world. According to the U.S.Forest
Service, Pennsylvania's public and private forests are mostly
fully stocked with red oak, black cherry, and red maple.
You, therefore, are guilty of either intentionally deceiving
hunters along with some of deer staff, or are easily duped
into believing this forest regeneration myth along with
many others on PGC's staff. Nevertheless, that's Strike
3 for you, Commissioner.
If there was a reason for what you did, A GOOD REASON, then
maybe, just maybe, you could have a smidgeon of an argument
for the devastation that you caused. However, there is no
reason, not any scientific reason, for what you did. It's
time to end the nonsense, Commissioner, and to revisit the
reason for the Commission and your commissionership.
Another fed up Hunter;
The only thing I would add is to comment
on this bogus statement by the Commissioner:
place like you are hunting, the state forests may need a
reduction in deer for a decade or more to allow new oaks
and cherries to get a solid start".
While oaks are notorious slow starters
- with or without deer, cherry is not only the most valuable
tree in Pennsylvania, it is also the most prolific tree
in North Central PA. With the highly acidic soil in that
part of the state it grows everywhere, and it is not a tree
favored by deer.
As has been well documented, "regeneration"
is a myth perpetuated by the anti-deer faction.....