From the Pa. Game Commission
-- For the fourth consecutive year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is hitting the road to bring six deer management open houses to communities throughout the Commonwealth beginning on Feb. 20 and ending on April 10.
Open houses are used by the agency as an interactive public outreach tool that employs multimedia presentations, exhibits and wildlife managers to bring both the nuts-and-bolts and finer details of deer management to hunters, farmers and others whose lives are influenced by deer. The effort emphasizes bringing this powerful communications and educational tool to residents as a means to further the general public’s understanding of deer and deer management. The approach is bolstered by having agency employees on hand to engage participants who attend the open houses.
Open houses provide a means to cover wide-ranging topics through specialized stations set up in a large hall. Stations are spaced out so participants who have questions and/or comments for station attendants can communicate in a one-on-one exchange without interruptions and with the expectation of getting answers immediately.
"Here’s your chance to interact with a deer biologist, or State Game Land manager, or forester," explained Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "And hopefully, one of the open houses will be close to your home. The goal here is to reach out to Pennsylvanians, both figuratively and literally. We hope that every person who attends an open house can better identify with our deer management program upon leaving."
Six open houses are currently scheduled to be held in Pennsylvania. They will all have the same presentation: displays manned by agency staff. The displays are:
* Goals that Direct the Deer Program – Outlining the five goals of the deer management program;
* Management Goals are a Product of Public Input – Focuses on the participating stakeholders who were involved in developing the current deer plan goals;
* Where do you hunt? – Helps hunters take a critical look at the characteristics of habitat through visual representation;
* Deer Necessities – Identifies the preferences that guide deer in selecting habitat;
* Habitat Variability – Focuses on how habitat health is rated differently from one Wildlife Management Unit to another;
* Telemetry Study – Sheds light on the dispersal of young male deer;
* Deer Aging – Allows participants to learn how deer are aged through tooth wear; and
* Deer Management DVD – Nonstop presentation of the agency’s recently-produced deer management DVD, free copies of which will be available to open house visitors.
Open houses will be held in six different locations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a Saturday to maximize the opportunity for those interested in attending, and are being held in different locations than the three previous rounds to afford residents in other areas of the state the opportunity to attend.
The schedule for the open houses is as follows:
February 20 – Northcentral Region
Coudersport Volunteer Fire Company Training Center
171 Rt. 6 West
Coudersport, Pa 16915
Traveling West on Rt. 6, from red light in Coudersport at Sheetz, .07 miles on left across from Eulalia Cemetery, next to the Movie Galley.
Traveling East on RT. 6, from Port Alleghany, .02 miles past West Gate Inn on right, next to the Movie Galley.
February 27 – Northeast Region
PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center
126 PPL Drive
Hawley, PA 18428
From Hawley/Honesdale take US 6 east to the intersection with PPL Drive (0.3 miles past the intersection of US 6 and SR 590), turn right and follow signs to the ELC.
From Milford take US 6 west to the intersection with PPL Drive(1.0 miles past the intersection of US 6 and SR 507), turn left. Follow signs to the ELC.
From Scranton take I-84 east to Exit 17 (Hamlin, Newfoundland, SR 191), turn left (north)onto SR 191. At SR 590, (9.0 miles) turn right. At US 6 (1.7 miles) turn right. At PPL Drive (0.3 miles), turn right. Follow the signs to the ELC.
March 13 – Northwest Region
Brokenstraw Fish and Game
1001 Mead Run Rd.
Pittsfield, PA 16340
March 20 – Southwest Region
Richland Fire Department – Solomon Run Banquet Facility
176 Mt. Airy Drive
Johnstown, PA 15904
March 27 – Southcentral Region
Shippensburg State University Conference Center
500 Newburg Road
Shippensburg, PA 17257
April 10 – Southeast Region
Frackville American Legion
40 S. Mahanoy St.
Frackville, PA 17931
These deer management open houses and the outreach information available at them were developed by a Deer Communications Working Group, which was created in 2007 to improve the agency’s efforts to explain deer management – and the need for it – to Pennsylvanians.
"This group has made tremendous progress in bringing the public up to speed on how and why we manage deer," Roe explained. "They meet regularly and have developed displays, brochures, a new video and whitetail website, employee training and many other tools to help in the never-ending effort of explaining deer management to both the public and fellow employees. But despite all that has been accomplished in recent years, there is still much, much more to do."
For more information about the agency’s deer management program, including a complete selection of the brochures being distributed at the open houses, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on "White-Tailed Deer" in the center of the homepage. This website features links to all of the brochures used in the open houses, all issues of the agency’s "Deer Chronicle," many top-notch references to agency research and general information, deer photos and even an "Ask The Deer Biologist" section.