This year the hunting season brings a little surprise as Pa. game commission gives deer hints. The Pennsylvania Game Agency decided to use brightly colored signs to steer hunters into the sections of land where they can find deer.
Why give them hints?
This decision was taken because the commission is trying to remove the deer from the managed areas where vegetation is rebounding. The agency is trying to create a better habitat for the deer population but it’s having trouble with this population constant increase in numbers.
Moreover, this is not only helping the deer population’s habitat but is also keeping the sport alive. 30 years ago the number of hunters was reaching 1.4 million. Today, however, it has dropped to fewer than a million.
This yearly hunt is for many Americans a family tradition. Fathers are taking their sons along to teach them about hunting, about the forest and about deer. However, children today are less likely to be interested in such a thing. Besides, after years of going hunting and doing the same thing, they might get bored. At least this is what Randy Santucci, one of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania director thinks.
The habitat is difficult to manage
In the past, the commission used to put up fences in order to keep deer away from the area where there’s actively managed habitat. This of course, was an inconvenience to hunters, who couldn’t move around as they liked.
Also, 15 years ago, the agency tried to thin the national deer herd because their habitat needed to recover. They organized a two-week session of hunting. In these two weeks hunters were allowed to kill both bucks and does. Usually, buck season is two weeks long and doe season only 3 days long. However, they were not successful in their endeavor and the habitat did not recover as expected.
Now, the areas being targeted are the ones in which taller trees have been cut to allow vegetation that grows lower to expand. This lower-lying vegetation is eaten by deer. In other areas, they use controlled burning to get rid of fallen leaves that could stop those plants from growing.
The commission believes that if the program is going to be successful, the hunters will also benefit from it in the future as they will be able to hunt on new lands.
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