The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced on Tuesday that they received little support from Blair and Bedford landowners to move forward with their deer population reduction plans. Without the necessary support from local landowners, the Pennsylvania Game Commission must think of a different way to stop chronic wasting disease, or CWD, from spreading.
“What we need to recognize is that we don’t need to send sharpshooters out into the fields of our private landowners to take care of this. Our private landowners, our farmers, our hunters, they would like to be able to address this issue on their own,” Representative Jim Gregory, R – Blair County, said.
The Game Commission claimed they gave landowners the opportunity to prevent the disease from spreading on their own, but landowners did not take it. Now, they say educating the public about CWD is the new game plan for the pilot program.
“We asked for the delay. We got the delay. It’s a pilot program. We’re the center of this in Central Pennsylvania, and we’re just looking for any opportunities that are a less radical way of culling the herd,” Rep. Gregory said.
The Game Commission said it is still working in other area where deer tested positive for CWD. The disease tested postive in deer from Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Clearfield, and Fulton counties.
And several other things could impact the upcoming deer hunting season in Pennsylvania.
Lawmakers in Harrisburg are considering beginning the season on the Saturday following Thanksgiving instead of the Monday.
They’re also looking into allowing hunting on Sundays. That change was approved by a Senate Committee on Tuesday, and it nowheads to the full Sentate for a vote also with a proposal that would allow the use of semi-automatic rifles during big game seasons.
The goal of all of those changes is to make it easier for folks to go hunting.