Permits can be used for antlerless deer only, and follow a different application process.
HARRISBURG – Monday also marks the first day for hunters to submit applications for antlerless deer permits that can be used in what is known as Disease Management Area 2.
Disease Management Area 2 (DMA 2) represents the lone area of Pennsylvania where chronic wasting disease has been detected in free-ranging deer. A total of six free-ranging deer within DMA 2 have tested positive for the disease over the last two years.
The latest of these positives was detected just recently, but will not change the size of the DMA.
The DMA 2 permits were created earlier this year as a way to direct more hunting pressure to DMA 2. The permits seek to increase the antlerless deer harvest within DMA 2 by one deer per square mile.
A total of 13,000 permits will be made available. The permits can be used only within DMA 2, which includes parts of Bedford, Blair, Huntingdon, Cambria and Fulton counties.
Hunters may apply for DMA 2 permits in addition to regular antlerless deer licenses. Obtaining one or more DMA 2 permits does not reduce the number of antlerless deer licenses for which a hunter may apply.
There are some differences between the application process for a DMA 2 permit and that for an antlerless license.
Only residents and non-residents ages 12 and older with valid general hunting licenses may apply for permits. Participants in Mentored Youth and Mentored Adult hunting programs are ineligible to make application, and the permits cannot be transferred to participants in those programs.
Each permit costs $6.70, and payments must be made by credit card, or check or money order made payable to the “Pennsylvania Game Commission.”
Applications for DMA 2 permits will be accepted in two ways – electronically through the Game Commission’s Outdoor Shop, http://www.theoutdoorshop.state.pa.us, or by mail. Those wishing to send applications by mail can obtain an application form at the Game Commission’s Web site, the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters or any region office.
The application schedule is similar to that for antlerless deer licenses, however, residents and non-residents can apply on the same dates in all rounds.
Applications will be accepted beginning Monday. Each eligible applicant may submit one application during this first round, which lasts three weeks.
Beginning Aug. 4, a second round of application begins. Again in the second round, each eligible applicant may submit one application. However, an applicant who did not submit an application during the first round may submit two during the second round.
A third round of applications will begin Aug. 18. Eligible applicants may submit an unlimited number of applications during this round, and the round will continue until all permits have been issued.
DMA 2 permits can be used to harvest an antlerless deer during any deer season, including the antlered deer season.
Those who are issued DMA 2 permits are required to submit reports, regardless of whether they harvest a deer. Hunters who take a deer with a DMA 2 permit must report within 10 days; those who don’t must report by Feb. 5. Those who fail to report as required are subject to criminal prosecution and may be ineligible to apply for permits if the program is continued the following year.
Through their reports, hunters provide valuable data that plays a crucial role in the Game Commission’s management of CWD.
DMA 2 was established in 2013 after three hunter-harvested deer in Blair and Bedford counties tested positive for CWD. The DMA was expanded earlier this year in response to two additional deer killed on highways in Bedford County, and a hunter-harvested deer nearby in Maryland, testing positive.
Since that time, yet another road-killed deer – a 2.5-year-old doe struck on Route 22 in Blair County – tested positive for CWD. The deer died within DMA 2, and the positive test will not further change the boundaries of the DMA.
DMA 2 extends south to the Maryland border. South of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the western boundary of DMA 2 is state Route 96. The new boundary extends east to state routes 829 and 915, and Interstate 70. The DMA extends as far north as the intersection of state Route 453 and Interstate 99.
A map of DMA 2 is available on the CWD Information page at the Game Commission’s Web site, www.pgc.state.pa.us. A detailed description of the exact boundary, which includes roads other than those listed, is provided on Page 51 of the 2014-15 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest issued to hunters at the time they purchase their 2014-15 licenses.
Hunters harvesting deer within any DMA are not permitted to remove from the DMA any deer parts with a high risk of transmitting the disease. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including taking a deer to an approved deer processor or taxidermist outside the DMA, or traveling to an approved laboratory for disease testing.
The use of urine-based deer attractants also is prohibited within any DMA, as is the direct or indirect feeding of deer. A complete list of rules applying to DMAs can be found in a Game Commission executive order, which also is available at the agency’s Web site.