Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Public Granted More Access to Control Hunts

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Public Granted More Access to Control Hunts

Article excerpt

To control expanding white-tailed deer populations, many municipalities organize controlled archery hunts in which only law enforcement personnel can participate. In densely populated areas like Mt. Lebanon and Fox Chapel, that's the only way wary local politicians will approve it.

Last week the state Game Commission, the sole authority on hunting issues in Pennsylvania, clarified its position on granting special deer-control permits by giving preliminary approval to a measure that will strengthen the "public hunting" component of the permits. The new directive will limit the municipalities' options.

"Permit criteria always had stipulated that lawful hunting be allowed on public lands seeking deer-control permits, unless waived by the agency's executive director," stated an email message from the Game Commission explaining the ruling. "Often applicants established organized control hunts, while others have organized or invited hunting clubs to help reduce deer numbers. Still others invited only local government employees to engage in hunting on the permitted properties."

The clarification of special permit regulations further defines the meaning of "public hunting."

In order to be granted a deer-control permit, municipalities must now ensure that hunting in the trouble areas is available to the general public. …

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