Deer Over-Population Issues
Upper Dublin Township is densely populated with deer resulting in various types of property and environmental damage, and more importantly injury to the public. The Upper Dublin Township Board of Commissioners (BOC), Administration, and Police Department (UDPD) recognize deer over-population within Upper Dublin Township as a major problem and seek to control it in the most cost effective manner.
Highlight of deer over-population issues that affect the entire Upper Dublin Township Community
- Public Health & Safety
- White-tailed deer serve as a host for the deer tick which is a carrier of the often disabling Lyme Disease.
- Vehicle accidents involving deer have increased over the years and have resulted in vehicles being damaged and more importantly the occupants being injured.
- On most occasions when a deer has been struck by a vehicle it is suffering from severe injuries and the responding officer has to discharge their firearm in order to “put-down” the deer. This type of necessary response by the police presents major safety issues and is avoided when possible.
- Property Damage
- Many of the residents of Upper Dublin Township have experienced deer venturing onto their properties and browsing on their gardens and landscape ornamentals. Damage to residential properties' landscaping is frustrating and expensive.
- The deer over-browsing within the Upper Dublin Township Park system is expansive. New vegetative growth within the park system is unable to take place due to the deer over-browsing. This leads to the loss of native trees and shrubs, which in turn causes soil erosion and invasive plants to take over.
- Police and Other Staff Response Time
- The Upper Dublin Township Police Department has responded to over 1208 calls for service in the past 12 years for deer related issues. The average amount of time an officer dedicates to this type of call is approximately 30 minutes.
- Add occurrences that the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments respond to and the time and costs associated to handle this problem becomes considerable.
Deer Management Program
2009 Pilot Program:
In 2009 the Upper Dublin Township Police Department was commissioned by the Upper Dublin Township Board of Commissioners to create and supervise a “Community Managed Deer Hunt.” Chief of Police Terrence Thompson directed Patrol Commander Darren Nyce, then a member of the police department for 15 years and who holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fishery Science from the Pennsylvania State University, with this assignment. Patrol Commander Nyce, with assistance from the department’s Professional Standards Officer David Madrak, created the Upper Dublin Township Deer Management Program.
Deer Management Program:
After a thorough evaluation it was determined that the Upper Dublin Township Deer Management Program would be the most practical, cost effective, and proven control option available.
Listed below are some of the rules and regulations put in place to govern those who participate in the program.
- All hunters are required to attend and successfully complete the Upper Dublin Township Deer Management Program Orientation course.
- All hunters must pass both a written and practical test. The written test consists of a 10-question multiple choice test, and the practical test requires that a hunter, utilizing the bow they plan to hunt with, shoot from an elevated position, and place three out of five arrows equipped with broadheads in the vital area of a 3-D deer target. Targets will be placed at distances between 0-30 yards. Only one qualifying shot will be required at each target.
- Hunters must posses a current Pennsylvania Game Commission resident hunting license.
- Hunters must have at least one antlerless deer license for wildlife management unit 5D.
- Hunters must have no record of game law violations in the last 10 years.
- All hunting will take place in designated Upper Dublin Township-owned properties.
- Each location has signs posted to alert the public that a controlled deer hunt is in progress.
Hunter Regulations & Procedures:
- Upper Dublin Township will determine the days and hours of hunting permitted at any particular site.
- Hunters must comply with all Pennsylvania Game Commission regulations.
- The safety zone for archery hunters statewide, including those using crossbows, is 50 yards and 150 yards respectively; therefore, it is unlawful to archery hunt within 50 yards of any occupied residence, camp, industrial or commercial building, farm house or farm building without the permission of the occupants and 150 yards of a school or playground. It is unlawful to shoot into a safety zone, even if you are outside of the safety zone.
- Hunters must harvest one antlerless deer before being eligible to harvest a buck.
- Portable tree stands may be used and hunters must wear a full body harness. No screw-in steps are allowed.
- Hunters must report to the Upper Dublin Communications Center prior to their hunt.
- Each hunter will be required to sign-in and provide their hunting location.
- If a hunter changes their specified area of hunting, they must return to the Upper Dublin Communications Center and sign-out / sign-in.
- When signing-out, indicate if a deer has been harvested.
- Hunting hours will be within the regulations of the PGC (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset).
- Access to the hunting locations will be available 30 minutes prior to legal shooting time.
- All participants should be out of the hunting locations 30 minutes after the end of legal shooting time.
- Hunting is permitted to begin within the hunting locations at the authorized PGC “start time” but ends at 9:30 AM.
- Hunting will then be permitted to resume at 2:30 PM and end at the authorized PGC “end time.”
- There will be no hunting in any of the hunting locations between 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM; this is applicable for each day of the Hunting Season and in each hunting location.
- There is no hunting on Sundays.
Questions and More Information:
For questions concerning the Upper Dublin Township Deer Management Program or to be placed on the wait list to become a program participant contact Officer Christopher Haggar, (215) 646-2101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on deer hunting within Pennsylvania:
- Pennsylvania Game Commission
- Pennsylvania Game Commission - Wildlife Management Unit 5D
- 2017 Approved Properties & Times
- 2017-2018 Deer Season Dates
- 2017-2018 Hunting & Trapping Pocket Guide
- 2017-2018 Hunting Hours Table
- 2017-2018 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest