Baiting sought to control deer
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Baiting may come back to Pennsylvania's deer hunting scene.
But it likely won't be coming to Pittsburgh.
There's interest among at least a few Pennsylvania Game Commissioners in again legalizing the use of bait to control deer in some urban environments.
Brian Hoover of Delaware County in particular — president of a group of hunters calling themselves the “Deer Management Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania Inc.” who work with urban communities to hunt deer — wants baiting legalized in the special-regulations areas in and around Philadelphia.
Baiting has never been legal in Allegheny County, which also is managed as a special-regulation area by the commission. Commissioners said they have no interest in changing that.
The southeast had baiting once before. It was allowed over a three-year period several years ago on a trial basis. Today, it's legal only on “red tag” farms suffering from severe deer-related crop damage.
Hoover said he wants to expand it because hunting in that urban environment is different from what most sportsmen know.
It's less about recreation and more about controlling managing populations.
“We're talking about (hunting) one-half-acre, one-quarter-acre plots. They may have one tree. They may not have any. You might be shooting from someone's porch,” he said.
“When you're standing on the roof of a tin can, a shed, that's not hunting. It's deer management.”
In a situation like that, where three adjacent homeowners may allow an archer to operate within their safety zones, it only takes a fourth homeowner who feeds deer to keep them perpetually out of reach, he said.
Rich Palmer, director of the commission's law enforcement bureau, said any move to legalize baiting should come with restrictions. He said he'd want hunters to have to register their bait sites so that officers could check them. He'd want rules regarding what kind of bait and what kind of waterproof containers could be used, too, to protect wildlife health.
He also said he'd like conservation officers to have the authority to shut down bait sites if they concentrated deer to the point that safety and traffic issues resulted.
Commissioner Ralph Martone of New Castle said he favored adopting those kinds of regulations — which Hoover worried would be “onerous” — if the board revisits baiting.
“I think we have to be able to regulate this in a way that's reasonable,” he said.
Commissioner Ron Weaner of Adams County agreed, saying commissioners should consider banning the feeding of deer in the same areas in which it might legalize baiting.
That would make it more effective in drawing deer to specific areas, he said.
Commissioners have made no decisions yet.
“My thought is, let's give hunters baiting as a tool for urban deer management,” Hoover said.
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.
- Outlook for statewide deer season better than 2014
- Frye: Not a record, but bear season still good
- Outdoors notices: Nov. 29, 2015
- Outdoors notebook: Trout management plan draft up for discussion
- For venison, hunters comb woods, motorists collect from roads
- Pa. hunters’ shooting incidents decline despite crowds