To further the Pennsylvania Game Commission's efforts to find effective tools to manage the deer populations on agriculture lands in the southeast corner of the state, the board of game commissioners gave preliminary approval at Tuesday's quarterly meeting in Wilkes-Barre to a regulatory change to create a focused, limited authorization permitting the use of bait for deer hunting in Wildlife 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," PGC executive director Carl Roe said.
"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.
"Farmers applying to enroll in the Red Tag program would need to include in their application justification for the need to use bait."
Farmers enrolled in the "Red Tag" program are provided with a specific number of antlerless deer permits, which are red in color. Farmers then give these permits to hunters to use to harvest deer from February 1 to September 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 Region Offices as those landowners enrolled in the program change from year to year.
Norman Gavlick of Kingston and Glade Squires of Downingtown are the newest commissioners on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission board. Gavlick represents District 7, comprised of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties; Squires represents District 8, comprised of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties.
Both attended last week's quarterly meeting at Williamsport, which produced major news concerning bass fishing on the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers. An executive order issued by executive director John Arway will take affect Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011, will create catch-and-release bass fishing on portions of both rivers.
On the Susquehanna, the regulations cover 98 miles, from the inflatable dam near Sunbury downstream to the Holtwood Dam. On the Juniata, the regulation covers approximately 32 miles from the State Route 75 Bridge at Port Royal downstream to the mouth of the river at Duncannon.
These regulations will apply to tournaments, which will be prohibited during the bass spawning period in the spring. During the remainder of the year, only catch-measure-immediate release tournaments will be permitted.
Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pheasant's Forever biologist Colleen DeLong is today's guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," from 7:30-8 a.m. on Oldies 1410-AM; Sunday, from 9:30-10 a.m., on WMGH, 105.5-FM; and on the Web at www.wmgh.com  by clicking the "Experience The Outdoors" link.
A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Oct. 14, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg.
For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
First Frontier Militia, the muzzleloader arm of Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, will hold muzzleloader shoots on the following dates: Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club is located on Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown.
For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.
A "Backyard Composting Clinic" we be held, Wednesday, Oct 13, from 6-8 p.m., at the Schuylkill County Ag Center, Gordon Naugle Trail.
For required pre-registration, call 570-622-4124.
Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited meets Tuesday, Oct. 26, Nov. 23, Dec. 21, beginning at 7 p.m., at Yorkville Fire Company, South 20th and West Norwegian Sts., Pottsville.
For information, call Randy Emerich at 570-622-1252 or access on the Web at www.schuylkilltu.org .
A "Monster Rockfish Tournament" will be held, Saturday, Oct. 30, from 5 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., out of Solomons, Md.
For information and registration, access on the Web at www.MonsterRockfishTournament.com .
Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets, Thursday, Nov. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at West Penn Archery, South Tamaqua.
For information, call Kevin Titus at 570-668-5903.
Columbia County Open Buddy Bass Tournament will be held, Sunday, Nov. 7, from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Williamsport Linden Access Area on the Susquehanna River.
For information, call tournament director Mike Monico at 570-752-3223.