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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-407



[58 PA. CODE CH. 139]

Deer Damage Areas

[29 Pa.B. 1397]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its January 12, 1999, meeting, proposed the following:

   Add § 139.16 (relating to deer damage areas) which provides regulatory language for the enrollment and participation of certain landowners in the Deer Damage Areas Program as designated by the Executive Director.

   This amendment will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

   The authority for the proposal of this regulation is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

   This proposal was made public at the January 12, 1999, meeting of the Commission, and comments on this proposal may be sent to the Executive Director of the Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, until March 26, 1999.

Proposed Additional of § 139.16

1.  Introduction

   To more effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Commission at its January 12, 1999, meeting proposed adding § 139.16. The proposed section will establish conditions and procedures for designating deer damage areas where antlerless deer may be taken during the antlered deer season. Currently, the authorization to take an antlerless deer during the antlerless deer season on designated deer damage areas is established as part of the seasons and bag limits, § 139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year), with no formal procedures for designating these areas. The proposal, which is being made under authority contained in section 2102 of the code (relating to regulations), would remedy this defect.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   Some years ago, the Commission authorized as part of the seasons and bag limits the taking of an antlerless deer during antlered deer season with the appropriate license on areas suffering severe agricultural damage. Requirements and procedures to be followed to establish deer damage areas were never promulgated as a regulation. Since the program has been accepted by the agricultural and hunting communities, the current proposal will remedy this situation.

   Section 2102 of the code authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations relating to seasons and bag limits and game and wildlife. This section provides the authority for the current proposal.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The proposed regulation formally establishes qualifications and procedures which have been informally followed for some time. The main requirement for land to be designated as a deer damage area is that it be enrolled in the Commission's cooperative farm game program or safety zone program.

4.  Persons Affected

   Landowners or lessees of farmland and hunters who wish to hunt on the land would be affected by this proposal.

5.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   Application to be designated as a deer damage area can be made either in writing or by telephone. Signs furnished by the Commission must be posted on lands so designated. Because of low volume, the Commission anticipates that the cost of application and signs will be fairly small.

6.  Effective Dates

   The proposed regulation will be effective upon publication of final adoption in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until modified or rescinded by the Commission.

7.  Contact Person

   For further information or to comment on the proposed regulation contact James R. Fagan, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  48-107. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




§ 139.16.  Deer damage areas.

   (a) This section provides for the hunting and taking of antlerless deer during the antlered deer season on certain lands designated by the Executive Director as ''deer damage areas.''

   (1)  To qualify as a designated deer damage area, the landowner or lessee of the eligible farmland shall be enrolled as a participant in the Commission's cooperative farm game program or safety zone program. The land enrolled in the program shall remain open to public hunting throughout the hunting license year.

   (2)  Interested landowners shall contact their respective Commission regional office in writing or by phone between July 1 and August 31 of each year. If contacting the office by mail, correspondence shall be postmarked by August 31.

   (3)  Commission officers will contact interested landowners by October 10 and provide them with the program details and assist them with the sign-up procedures.

   (4)  Deer damage area signs provided by the Commission shall be conspicuously posted on the boundary of the property by the landowner/cooperator on all contiguous acres of the farm under agreement. Posting should be completed prior to the opening of the fall archery deer season, but no later than October 31.

   (5)  Failure to meet any conditions in paragraph (1), (2), (3) or (4) will cause the farm to be removed from the deer damage area program.

   (b)  Hunters shall have the appropriate antlerless license for the county in which the deer damage area is found before hunting or taking an antlerless deer.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-407. Filed for public inspection March 12, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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