No satisfaction after Commission's attempt at compromise
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's hard to find a happy medium. Oh, sure. You can find your giddy palm reader, dressed in a thrift store gypsy costume, on occasion. Carnivals have been known to have a few.
A pleasant oracle? A jolly soothsayer? A contented diviner? There are likely some around.
Perhaps you might even some day run into a chipper clairvoyant.
But a happy medium?
Good luck with that.
Just ask the folks at the Pennsylvania Game Commission. They tried to placate unhappy hunters by seeming to change their deer management program without really doing so — in search of a happy medium — and came up short.
Between 2008 and 2011, the commission studied deer and deer hunters in wildlife management units 2D, 2G, 3C and 4B. In each, the firearms deer season was switched from 12 days of concurrent buck and doe hunting to five days of buck-only hunting followed by seven days of concurrent hunting.
The idea was to determine whether the commission could maintain stable deer populations while making hunters happier by allowing them to see more does.
The answers? Nope and, for the most part, nope.
“Were they more satisfied with deer abundance in firearms season or with the deer program? Uniformly, no, across the board, after four years of the seven day concurrent season,” said Chris Rosenberry, chief deer biologist for the agency.
Deer populations increased each year in each unit. Yet only in 2G and 3C did hunters see more, and in both cases that amounted to three extra doe a week.
That increased hunter satisfaction in 2G from 15 to 25 percent but not at all in 3C.
The move to a split season also didn't spark an economic boom via a “second opening day effect,” as some had hoped, envisioning hunters going to camp on the first Monday to open the season, then returning the first Saturday to hunt does. In fact, fewer hunters traveled to camp to hunt the first two days than when seasons were concurrent, Rosenberry said.
None of that is surprising, said commissioner Ron Weaner of Adams County. Hunters who dislike concurrent buck and doe hunting usually aren't looking for half measures; they want to go back to when two weeks of buck season were followed by three days of doe, he said.
Weaner said those days are gone but hopes the hunters who remember them won't disappear, too.
“They're important to us,” he said
But they are not the future.
Surveys show the hunters who want the split seasons are typically 45 and older. Those who want concurrent seasons — the “hunters of the future and their mentors” — are typically younger, Rosenberry said.
The board has been trying to satisfy both groups at once. The split season experiment didn't do it.
It may be time, soon, to simply move toward concurrent seasons statewide, said commissioner Ralph Martone of New Castle.
“It's just going to be a hard transition,” he said.
As if it could be anything else.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fishing report: Aug. 15, 2014
- Game Commission may adopt user permit for game lands
- Pheasant hunting inequities outlined
- Outdoors notebook: Hunting has environmental benefits