Podcast: Lauren Fenstermacher and Dave Mitchell of PA Game Commission
In 2016, the Pennsylvania Game Commission offered a unique whitetail bowhunting opportunity on one of its most heavily-managed properties – the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.Situated on over 6,000 acres in Lancaster and Lebanon counties in southeast Pennsylvania, Middle Creek is primarily managed for waterfowl, but the management practices make it an ideal place for plenty of other species to flourish, including deer.To help control deer numbers on a large section of the property that is not normally open to hunting, the Game Commission created a special bowhunting program in 2016 that gave access to 48 hunters selected by lottery drawing. They had the rare opportunity in Pennsylvania to hunt mature, unpressured deer for a full week.In this podcast, we talk to Lauren Fenstermacher, the Middle Creek manager, and Dave Mitchell, land management supervisor in the region for the Game Commission, about this unique program and about how hunting – especially bowhunting – can be used across the country to help communities, government agencies, etc. control deer populations. Even in heavily populated areas.The Middle Creek bowhunting opportunity is a perfect example of hunters donating their time and services to help control deer numbers. An alternative some entities turn to is hiring sharp-shooters to simply cull the deer. That costs money. And if the landowner is a public entity, then we’re talking about using taxpayer dollars to solve a problem hunters would gladly help with for free.In this podcast, you will learn:
How the PA Game Commission pushes landowners to utilize hunters to solve their deer problems.
How controlling deer numbers helps a variety of wildlife.
That hunting can be used effectively and safely to control deer numbers on a property used by a variety of people.
“When you look at available public land that’s out there, there’s not enough for everybody,” Mitchell said. “So we all have to share, and I think we’ve proven time and time again that hunters can share with nonconsumptive users without any issues.”