PA Hunters and Wildlife Enthusiasts Find Many Benefits in Riparian Forests | national news


Less daylight hours and the cooler air mean it’s deer season in Pennsylvania.

Landowners and hunters who initially planted trees to provide shelter and food for the local white-tailed deer herd have since appreciated the myriad of other values ​​trees provide.

On hunting grounds, these same trees improve water quality by reducing polluted runoff, sequestering carbon dioxide, and providing food and habitat for wildlife.

“One of the main reasons the trees were the deer population,” says Lancaster County farmer Rodney Garber. “We were trying to increase our hunting capacity and our wildlife and we thought it would be cool if we had 20 acres of land that we could hunt. So we started researching the program and saw all the other benefits. , as the [stream] amortize. “

Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources and Conservation Service, CREP helps farmers create plans and provides rent for the transition of some of their land to land-restoring uses. local water and streams.

CREP is one of the most cost-effective and efficient programs in the Commonwealth to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“We have a lot more green space that is not cultivated,” Garber adds. “We love that there are a lot more wildlife. We have a lot more deer. We appreciate having a place where we can have more wood on our property than we did not have before. “

His neighbors were shooting across the stream and killing deer on Brown’s land. Then, of course, they had entered without permission to retrieve the deer.

“People feel like ‘if I’m on my land and I see a deer on your land, I can kill it and then come and get it,” Brown said. “I’m almost where you won’t be able to see my land from the neighboring neighbor’s land.” “

The streamside buffer zone was planted in 2012 and today six-inch-diameter sycamore trees and 12- to 15-foot-tall oak trees help protect the Brown side of Elk Creek.

“I wish I had planted pole-producing trees,” says Brown, referring to the acorns and other foods that certain trees provide for wildlife. “But the reality is, deer won’t let it go. They graze trees so hard. You have to go for sycamore, tulip poplar, and locust. The deer leave them alone.”

“The early years it was a bit difficult,” says Frank Rohrer who worked with Brown to install the pad when Rohrer was a CBF restoration specialist. “We had a lot of deer and weed pressure here. But Chip was very determined to make it a success.”

Brown and the sports club surrounding his property practice quality deer management (QDM) when harvesting white-tailed deer. Brown defines QDM as scoring anything 8 points or better with a 15-inch lead.

“It doesn’t harvest all legal males, but mature males and provides many sources of food,” he says. “We also keep deer out of neighboring fields by planting food plots of forage soybeans, corn and clover. “

In the 2020-21 seasons, hunters in Pennsylvania harvested an estimated 435,180 deer with and without antlers. As for the current list of hunting possibilities, deer will be legal in parts of the Commonwealth until January 29.

Rohrer, who also hunts, adds that Brown’s efforts have created ideal conditions for deer hunting.

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