[58 PA. CODE CHS. 139 AND 147]
Deer Damage Areas; Deer Control
[31 Pa.B. 2806]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its April 10, 2001, meeting, proposed the following amendments:
Rescind § 139.16 (relating to deer damage areas). Since the antlered and antlerless deer seasons will run concurrently, this program is no longer needed.
Amend §§ 147.552--147.554 (relating to application; permit; and subpermit), by removing reference to the Deer Damage Area Program.
These amendments will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of the Commonwealth.
The authority for these proposals is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
These proposals were made public at the April 10, 2001, meeting of the Commission, and comments on these proposals can be sent to the Director of Information and Education of the Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, until June 8, 2001.
§§ 139.16 and 147.552--147.554
To deal with damage being done by deer on farmland in this Commonwealth, the Commission promulgated regulations providing for the designation of ''deer damage areas'' and allowing antlerless deer to be taken with the appropriate antlerless license on those areas during the antlered deer season. The primary provisions providing for these areas are contained in § 139.16 (relating to deer damage areas). At its meeting on April 10, 2001 (See 31 Pa.B. 2793 (June 2, 2001).), the Commission finally adopted seasons and bag limits which provide for concurrent antlered and antlerless deer seasons. As a result, the deer damage area designation becomes meaningless. The Commission therefore proposed eliminating and reserving all provisions relating to deer damage areas. These changes are proposed under section 2102 of the code (relating to regulations).
2. Purpose and Authority
As was indicated in the Introduction, the Commission has established concurrent antlered and antlerless deer seasons throughout this Commonwealth for 2001. As a result, the provision contained in § 139.16 for the killing of antlerless deer during the antlered deer season has become meaningless. This Commission has therefore proposed changing all sections referring to deer damage areas to eliminate those references.
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 proposed changes.
3. Regulatory Requirements
The proposed changes would eliminate a program that has become obsolete so there would be no additional requirements.
4. Persons Affected
Since deer hunters will be able to take antlerless deer during the antlered seasons throughout this Commonwealth, the proposed changes should have no impact.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The proposed changes would not result in any additional cost, either to the Commission or to hunters.
6. Effective Date
These changes would be effective on final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and would remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. Contact Person
For further information on the proposed changes the contact person is David E. Overcash, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
VERNON R. ROSS,
Fiscal Note: 48-132. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
(Editor's Note: For a corrective amendment concerning § 147.553, see 31 Pa.B. 2798 (June 2, 2001).)
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 139. SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
§ 139.16. [Deer damage areas] (Reserved).
[(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. All contiguous land owned or leased must be enrolled in the program and 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 and along all public roadways traversing 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.]
CHAPTER 147. SPECIAL PERMITS
Subchapter R. DEER CONTROL
§ 147.552. Application.
* * * * *
(b) Applications will only be accepted from persons who have been enrolled in [the Deer Damage Area Program (Program) for at least 2 hunting seasons immediately preceding their applications; or from persons who have been enrolled in] one of the Commission public access programs (Farm Game Project or Safety Zone--P.1-2-3) for a minimum of 2 years and are currently enrolled in the Program.
* * * * *
§ 147.553. Permit.
The deer control permit authorizes the permittee to enlist the aid of a limited number of subpermits. The maximum number of subpermits issued will be no more than one for every 5 acres of land that is under cultivation [and enrolled in the Deer Damage Area Program] unless the wildlife conservation officer recommends an increase in the number due to warranted circumstances.
(1) Validity. The permit is valid from February 1 to September  28 each calendar year, excluding Sundays, during the hours of dawn to dusk only.
* * * * *
§ 147.554. Subpermit.
The permittee may acquire from the Commission subpermits, not to exceed the number provided for in § 147.553 (relating to permit), to be issued to qualified individuals of the permittee's choosing for the purpose of removing deer from the permittee's property by shooting. There is no fee charged for the subpermit. Qualifications are as follows:
* * * * *
(3) A permittee may not issue more than one subpermit to a person to take deer on the permittee's land enrolled in the [Deer Damage Area Program] Agricultural Deer Control Program.
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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-942. Filed for public inspection June 1, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]
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