Changes are coming for landowners who want to remove problem deer and the hunters who remove them.
At next week’s meeting of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the board is expected to approve new rules for the “red tag” program, which provides special harvest permits on lands enrolled in the Agriculture Deer Control Program. The changes are the result of a meeting of stakeholder groups organized by the commission’s deer and elk section.
“Participants were asked to provide input on three questions: what works, what does not work and how do we fix the items that don't work,” according to the July meeting agenda.
The game commission sought feedback from other organizations to the Red Tag and Deer Management Assistance Program, generally known as DMAP. The recommended changes include:
— Replace the red snap tags with the standard harvest permit.
— Remove the one-deer requirement and allow hunters to keep all deer harvested.
— Eliminate the Pennsylvania residency eligibility requirement.
— Remove public access and signage requirements.
— Eliminate the farmer-landowner reporting requirement. Hunters would report harvests in the same manner as during hunting seasons, and report failed hunts with negative harvests by April 30.
— Permits would be valid Aug. 1-Sept.15 and Feb. 1-April 15. Summer dates would be removed.