Antlerless deer allocations may not come up at PGC's March work session
Following up on his commitment to make the workings of the game commissioners more open and transparent, President Game Commissioner Ralph Martone recently announced that the board will hold a public working-group meeting on Monday, March 26.
The meeting, which will begin at 8 a.m., will be held in the auditorium of the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters and will be webcast through the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). This particular working group meeting is being held in advance of its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting on April 23-24.
According to a commission press release, this first open session is likely to include commissioner discussions about seasons and bag limits for the 2012-13 seasons. Commissioners will vote on 2012-13 seasons and bag limits for the second time at the board’s meeting on April 24.
Commissioners may also discuss the preliminarily approved use of bait on "Red Tag" farms in wildlife management units 5C and 5D and the preliminarily approved removal of shotgun-only regulations for fall turkey hunting in units 1A, 1B and 2A.
The board will get a briefing on the agency’s furtaking enforcement efforts from 2011, an update on the agency’s social media outreach efforts and a report on streamlining fluorescent orange regulations.
But they might not talk about deer, an agency spokesman noted. "The antlerless deer license allocation proposals won’t be ready until the April board meeting," said press secretary Jerry Feaser. "The working group is a free-flowing exchange; there is no set agenda. As for deer, the working group will certainly be able to discuss the deer-harvest results.
"However, no antlerless license allocation proposal has been developed at this time, and it usually isn’t ready until shortly before the board meets in April."
Martone pointed out that the working groups are strictly an opportunity for commissioners and Game Commission staff to exchange ideas and information, and to ask questions about various proposals that may come before the Board at upcoming quarterly meetings.
"Since no votes are taken during these working group meetings, we have not scheduled time for public comments," he said. "However, we will allow for anyone in attendance to submit questions in writing to the board.
“I would encourage the public to use the time between the working group meeting on March 26 and the official board meeting in April to express their opinion on these and other issues before the board," Martone added. "Public comments are scheduled at each of the board’s quarterly meetings, which is the time when the board does take votes on proposed regulations and other action items.
"The board also receives public comments through e-mail and letters."