Pa Game Commission To Launch Third Round Of Deer Management Open Houses
HARRISBURG – -(AmmoLand.com)- For the third consecutive year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is hitting the road to bring deer management open houses to communities throughout the Commonwealth.
Open houses are used by the agency as an interactive public outreach tool that employs multimedia presentations, exhibits and wildlife managers to bring both the nuts-and-bolts and finer details of deer management to hunters, farmers and others whose lives are influenced by deer. The effort emphasizes bringing this powerful communications and educational tool to residents as a means to further the general public’s understanding of deer and deer management. The approach is bolstered by having agency employees on hand to engage participants who attend the open houses.
Open houses provide a means to cover wide-ranging topics through specialized stations set-up in a large hall. Stations are spaced out so participants who have questions and/or comments for station attendants can communicate in a one-on-one exchange without interruptions and with the expectation of getting answers immediately.
“Here’s your chance to interact with a deer biologist, or State Game Land manager, or forester,” explained Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. “And hopefully, one of the open houses will be close to your home. The goal here is to reach out to Pennsylvanians, both figuratively and literally. We hope that every person who attends an open house can better identify with our deer management program upon leaving.”
Six open houses are currently scheduled to be held in Pennsylvania. They will all have the same presentation: displays manned by agency staff. The displays are:
- – Goals that Direct the Deer Program – Outlining the five goals of the deer management program;
- – Management Goals are a Product of Public Input – Focuses on the participating stakeholders who were involved in developing the current deer plan goals;
- – Where do you hunt? – Helps hunters take a critical look at the characteristics of habitat through visual representation;
- – Deer Necessities – Identifies the preferences that guide deer in selecting habitat;
- – Habitat Variability – Focuses on how habitat health is rated differently from one Wildlife Management Unit to another;
- – Telemetry Study – Sheds light on the dispersal of young male deer;
- – Deer Aging – Allows participants to learn how deer are aged through tooth wear;
- – Deer Management DVD – Nonstop presentation of the agency’s recently-produced deer management DVD, free copies of which will be available to open house visitors
Open houses will be held in six different locations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a Saturday to maximize the opportunity for those interested in attending, and are being held in different locations than the two previous rounds to afford residents in other areas of the state to attend.
The schedule for the open houses is as follows:
Northwest Region: Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Butler City Hunting and Fishing Club, East Butler, Butler County. Directions: Take Exit 99 off I-79 onto Route 422 East. Travel East 18.5 miles on Route 422. At the traffic light turn left onto Bonniebrook Road. Travel about 200 yards and go across over the railroad tracks. Turn left onto Grant Avenue and travel about one-half mile. Turn right onto Second Street and look for a large stone monument with the club name on it. Travel on Second Street until it ends at the club building.
Northeast Region: March 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Towanda Rod and Gun Club, near Wysox, Bradford County. Directions: Traveling from either East or West on Route 6, in the borough of Wysox turn onto Route 187 South. Proceed for about three miles and watch for the sign for Towanda Rod and Gun Club on the left, leading into the club driveway.
Southwest Region: March 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at South Strabane Township Fire Station #2, located at 172 Oak Springs Road, Washington, Washington County. Directions: From I-70, take the Murtland Avenue Exit and go south on Route 19 to the first light. Turn right onto Oak Springs Road, and look for the fire station on the left.
Southcentral Region: March 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Quality Inn, 13015 Ferguson Valley Road, Burnham, Mifflin County. Directions: Route 322 to Burnham Exit (about two miles east of Lewistown). Large Quality Inn sign is immediately off the exit.
Northcentral Region: March 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ives Run Area Visitor Center (Hammond Dam Facility), Tioga, Tioga County. Directions: From Route 15 – From Route 15 Exit go south 6.3 miles on Route 287 (through the borough of Tioga). Turn left onto Ives Run Lane just past the Hammond Lake into the Ives Run Army Corps of Engineers Facility. Cross bridge and take right onto Stephenhouse Lane and travel back to the Ives Run Visitor’s Center. From Route 6: Take Route 6 to Wellsboro Junction and turn North onto Route 287. Go about 10 miles and turn left onto Ives Run Lane into the Ives Run Army Corps of Engineers Facility. Go across the bridge and take right onto Stephenhouse Lane, and travel back to the Ives Run Visitors Center.
Southeast Region: April 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Delaware Valley College, James Work Gymnasium, 700 E. Butler Ave., Doylestown, Bucks County. Delaware Valley College is located near Doylestown, Bucks County near the intersection of Rt. 611 and Rt. 202. From Rt. 611, take the exit for Rt. 202. Turn north, the college entrance is three-tenths of a mile on the left at the traffic signal. After turning at the traffic signal, the parking lot is on the right.
These deer management open houses and the outreach information available at them were developed by a Deer Communications Working Group, which was created in 2007 to improve the agency’s efforts to explain deer management – and the need for it – to Pennsylvanians.
“This group has made tremendous progress in bringing the public up to speed on how and why we manage deer,” Roe explained. “They meet regularly and have developed displays, brochures, a new video and whitetail website, employee training and many other tools to help in the never-ending effort of explaining deer management to both the public and fellow employees. But despite all that has been accomplished in recent years, there is still much, much more to do.”
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 “White-Tailed Deer” in the center of the homepage. This website features links to all of the brochures used in the open houses, all issues of the agency’s “Deer Chronicle,” many top-notch references to agency research and general information, deer photos and even an “Ask The Deer Biologist” section.