Pennsylvania Game Commission

Pennsylvania Game 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.”

Commissioners Name withheld


Fed up hunter response:

Dear Commissioner,
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 consider.

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.

Signed Fred Up


Another fed up Hunter;

The only thing I would add is to comment on this bogus statement by the Commissioner:

"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".

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.....

Signed Fred Up 2





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