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VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (AP) — Professional hunters have resumed efforts to cull the deer population inside Valley Forge National Historical Park as officials try to reduce it to sustainable levels.

The hunts that sparked opposition and a federal lawsuit three years ago resumed in November. Park officials say they're necessary because the deer population has grown rapidly as natural predators are pushed out by development.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/TVSctZ ) reports the deer population density was as high as 291 per square mile before the hunts began, well above the 35 per square mile park officials consider sustainable.

Two years of hunting have brought the population to about 71 per square mile.

The park says the huge deer population was stripping forests of ground cover and forcing out other species. Hunting will continue through March.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com

I guess city folk call this hunting. Waugh!
 

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Why?

Besides, the GC has to approve the permit. They as much said that they will never do that unless there were just no other options. Valley Forge has a working plan. No need for an iffy, high dollar, massively time intensive, and only partially successful contraceptive.


Two - the anit's have and continue to talk about contraceptives at every chance. Talk is talk - but in the end the GC has the final say.

Just to be clear, the Depart of Ag has regulatory control of the stuff in PA. In other words they authorized use within PA borders. But the GC has final and complete say in its use on wildlife. The BOC was very clear it was nearly an impossible option and the resolution contained in the BOC Work Book states it as such.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
but in the end the GC has the final say.
I hope you are right but I have to ask. Is that true on Federal land. Waugh!
 

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I drive thru the park often and you can tell they have culled the herd. You dont see as many herds of deer out at night feeding. I take my kids thru the park during the day to look for deer and we dont see as many as before.
 

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Keep shootin' fellas. More deer keep moving into the park from surrounding areas. It's gonna take years to get that place under control. Glad to see they are finally fixing the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Check behind the trees because at 71 deer per Square mile there has to be one behind most trees if there are any trees.
Waugh!
 

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With so many more deer there than are in other places where Pgc claims the forest was being ruined, you would think those deer would be eating all the trees. Even the mature ones.
 

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jimbridger said:
Check behind the trees because at 71 deer per Square mile there has to be one behind most trees if there are any trees.
Waugh!
If you have ever been there which I gather you haven't you might understand why they do this. It is a deer investation although it is better than in recent years I can understand the reasoning of the "kill". I can't call this a "hunt" I'm sure you understand that. I just wish they wouldn't waste the funds on the "pros". Gettysburg also comes to mind as a similar scenario. So what does this have to do with AR/HR this a very unique situation such as this and what is the purpose of posting the article just for a rouse? Thanks for posting it if nothing else you have helped inform some of us that enjoy the park from time to time.
 

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Why hasn't it been open to hunters. It would seem that would save them money and also fix the problem.

I read in that article where they said their goals would be around 35 dpsm to be a good sustainable number and alleviate the problems with deer over browsing the habitat.


That seems like very reasonable number and rationale.

35 dpsm and they don't even have a hunting public to appease.
 

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To both of the above questions - it is Federal park land.


They do not trap and transfer deer anymore due to mortality issues during and after the transfers - and - the high risk of transferring sickness or disease.


The fed's care little for the economics of having hunters do the deer removal. It is a park with an all users philosophy. Second, hunters of any stripe might upset the natural balance and many visitors.

If yo recall the news in the outdoors over the last couple of years - one issue continues to pop up. That is the Bureau of Land Management opening land to hunters as a result of need 9population control) or by mandate of congress. On the flip side you read about the anti's trying to stop not only hunting on the BLM land - but in some cases fishing as well.

The same deer culling battle was raged in Gettysburg. The need was there - people opposed killing the poor deer.

Camp David MD same thing.

Many military bases have the same problem. Mostly here, the issue is allowing civilians on base. Where hunts do occur there are usually mandatory training (or meeting) strict no movement rules once on stand, and limitation on weapons.

Heck, in Maryland, some of the state parks are tightly controlled for hunting. A permit being required, and the same safety / training meeting for some locations. Though the further west you get the less controlled it gets on state owned land.
 

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It would take an act of congress to allow hunting in a federal park.It has nothing to do with the PGC.
 

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clearfield12 said:
Why not a trap and transfer to areas of the state that don't many deer?
The areas of the with fewer deer,like the northcentral don't need any more at this time.
 

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dce said:
clearfield12 said:
Why not a trap and transfer to areas of the state that don't many deer?
The areas of the with fewer deer,like the northcentral don't need any more at this time.

Hahahahahahaha it was rhetorical question! lol I know they don't need any more deer. We need better habitat
 

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One of the hardest thing for some hunters to accept is that there is an overpopulation of deer, anywhere in their state.
Unlike the half square mile where they hunt that sees too many hunters and fewer deer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well have you seen any trophy class bucks in the park. They must have a good age class mix since there is not many predators. I have been there a few times. Not in the past 10 years but even back then there were tons of deer. Same with Pennypack park on the other side of the big city. Just seems to be a lack of big racked bucks with such an old age class.

Can you draw the line to HR/AR yet? If not it still fits the deer management part.

I agree this is a cull not a hunt. But look at how hard it is for professional deer removal people to reduce a population and they can hunt at night.

Gettysburg also comes to mind as a similar scenario.
Well almost; at least in Gettysburg the deer have farms to raid. I have seen a few nice racks on that battlefield.

...what is the purpose of posting the article just for a rouse? Thanks for posting it if nothing else you have helped inform some of us that enjoy the park from time to time.
No rouse intended. Just passing along information for those that might have missed it.

You are welcome. Waugh!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Why hasn't it been open to hunters. It would seem that would save them money and also fix the problem.
No hunting in national parks. It takes an act of congress and the reasons given were safety and social.

I read in that article where they said their goals would be around 35 dpsm to be a good sustainable number and alleviate the problems with deer over browsing the habitat.
If it is based on good habitat it will work. My guess is the habitat has been degraded and will need to go below that goal for a time until it is allowed to climb to that max point. That is only a guess on my part but it did not state how or when they would reach that goal. It did seem to suggest they were going to cull to that point but it was only an article not a management plan in detail. Waugh!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
They do not trap and transfer deer anymore due to mortality issues during and after the transfers - and - the high risk of transferring sickness or disease.
BT I know you are correct but I just love that excuse. We trapped and transfered deer 100 years ago but somehow now we can't figure out how to do it. WOW.

Mortality rate is 100% on the ones shot. Unless the same guys are used that shot the deer in the pens that held the herd with CWD.


If the deer had health issues there would be no need for the cull. Waugh!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Why not a trap and transfer to areas of the state that don't many deer?
Safety. Could you see the line of traffic following the stocking trucks. If they use the turnpike we could have free hunting for years just on the toll profits.


Think trout truck convoys are bad? How about parking lots on gamelands when the ditch chickens are released. That is all we need. In season deer stocking. Waugh!
 
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