Bait may be allowed on ‘Red Tag’ farms in the southeast
Harrisburg- To further the Game Commission’s efforts to find
effective tools to manage the deer populations on agriculture lands
in the southeast corner of the state, commissioners took action at
their recent quarterly meeting.
They gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change to create
a focused, limited authorization permitting the use of bait for
deer hunting in wildlfe management units 5C and 5D on approved
properties enrolled in the agency’s Agriculture Deer Depredation
Program, commonly referred to as the “Red Tag” program.
“Earlier this year, the Game Commission’s three-year evaluation
of the effectiveness of permitting the use of bait for deer hunting
across the southeast Special Regulations Areas counties expired,”
said Carl Roe, agency executive director.
“The agency concluded that broad scale and widely accessible
baiting did not establish viable increases in harvest rates to
justify an extension of the experimental program.
“Under this proposal, the agency is seeking to focus the use of
bait on those farms most in need of deer-control assistance during
the ‘Red Tag’ deer harvesting timeframe,” Roe added.
“Farmers applying to enroll in the Red Tag program would need to
include in their application justification for the need to use
Farmers enrolled in the “Red Tag” program are provided with a
specific number of antlerless deer permits, which are red in
Farmers then give these permits to hunters to use to harvest
deer from Feb. 1 to Sept. 28 each calendar year, excluding Sundays,
during the hours of dawn to dusk only.
The permits are not valid from May 16 to June 30, and can only
be used to take antlerless deer.
The listings of farms enrolled in the “Red Tag” program are
maintained by the respective Game Commission region offices, and
those landowners enrolled in the program change from year to
Change to DMAP
Commissioners also took taction that could lead to changes to
the DMAP program.
As requested at their April meeting, the commissioners gave
preliminary approval to a regulatory change to enhance
accountability for the public landowners seeking to enroll in the
Deer Management Assistance Program.
Under the new regulations, all public landowners will be
required to provide an approved deer-management plan along with
their DMAP application.
The regulation also proposes to advance the application date one
month earlier to allow staff adequate time to review and process
DMAP applications in a timely manner, as well as notify applicants
about permit availability prior to the issuance of regular
The board also directed agency staff to publicize the new
application process and earlier dates for landowners to apply in
In other DMAP-related action, commissioners announced that they
took a notational vote, on Aug. 17, giving final approval to issue
2,761 DMAP antlerless deer coupons to private landowners who are
not enrolled in any of the agency’s public access programs for the