WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mt. Lebanon Commission has authorized an archery hunt as part of an ongoing deer management effort. The program will begin September 17, 2016 and end January 28, 2017. (No archery hunting will take place November 27- December 25.) Landowners interested in donating their properties for the program should contact the nonprofit wildlife management and research group that is managing the program directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DOES THE ARCHERY
Experienced archers will conduct a deer hunt on private and specified public properties. The program involves legal archery hunting following all Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and requires no special permit. All hunters are required to harvest three antlerless deer before removing a deer with antlers. The nonprofit wildlife management and research group White Buffalo, Inc., of Connecticut, will supervise the program, as it did last season. Project Manager is White Buffalo President and Founder, Dr. Anthony DeNicola. Municipal officials will receive a summary, including a count of deer taken, at the conclusion of the program.
WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF THE PROGRAM?
Hunting may take place from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes following sunset. Hunters may work in designated public parks Monday through Friday and on approved private property Monday through Saturday. There will be no hunting on Sundays.
ARE THERE PROGRAMS LIKE THIS ELSEWHERE?
Many areas in the state have used legal archery programs, including Allegheny County, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, Peters Township, South Park and Fox Chapel.
HOW EXPERIENCED IS WHITE
White Buffalo, Inc., which includes biologists, veterinarians, project managers and field technicians, has nearly 20 years’ experience helping to manage overabundant species. Their experts know Mt. Lebanon well, having consulted with Mt. Lebanon Commissioners for the past few years and overseen last year’s successful program. Overall, White Buffalo has removed more than 10,000 deer and provided 200,000 pounds of venison to food banks. In addition to White Buffalo, other experts, including biologists and wildlife conservation officers from the Pennsylvania Game Commission have provided input to the municipal commission regarding the deer management program.
WHAT SAFETY MEASURES ARE
Responsible hunting by responsible hunters is the best way to ensure safety. White Buffalo’s archer selection program is rigorous. Hunters who applied were interviewed personally. All hunters are certified in bow hunter education, including safety and ethics. They have passed a proficiency test with a bow or crossbow, attended an orientation and passed a criminal history check paid for at their own expense. The hunters have signed a pledge to hold the public interest above their own. Some are police officers. The local White Buffalo team leader has been a bow hunter education and safety instructor for 20 years and has taught many area hunters. The team will work the same way as last year. Hunting in public areas is restricted to off-duty police officers only. All hunters in Mt. Lebanon’s program will carry identification. Shots will be limited to 15 yards or closer to the deer and will either come from above the deer and into the ground, such as from a tree stand, or be shot into an earthen backstop, such as a hill behind the deer.
HOW WERE PRIVATE PROPERTIES SELECTED?
Interested private property owners contacted White Buffalo offering to donate their properties for the program. White Buffalo officials contacted each applicant and the applicant’s neighbors to secure any additional permissions needed. Properties were rated based on White Buffalo’s discretion, with more weight given to heavily vegetated areas or woods.
WHAT PUBLIC AREAS ARE BEING USED FOR THE HUNT?
The conservation area at Connor Road and Terrace Drive, wooded portions of the public golf course, McNeilly Park, the public works facility, Twin Hills Park and Robb Hollow Park.
WILL THE PARKS BE CLOSED?
Public areas and parks will remain open.
WILL SAFE WALKING ROUTES TO SCHOOL BE AFFECTED?
None of the areas is within a recommended safe walking route.
HOW WILL THE PUBLIC KNOW ABOUT THE PROGRAM?
Public hunting areas will be posted for the duration of the hunt. LeboALERTs will be sent as needed. Updates will appear in Mt. Lebanon Magazine, at www.lebomag.com and at www.mtlebanon.org. School officials have been notified.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE HARVESTED DEER?
Hunters must donate every third deer to Hunters Sharing the Harvest. Hunters likely will donate more than one in three deer there; however, many hunters have already established relationships with other donation outlets.
HOW MUCH WILL THE ARCHERY PROGRAM COST?
WILL MT. LEBANON IDENTIFY PARTICIPATING PRIVATE PROPERTIES?
Property owners contacted White Buffalo directly and made donations based on a condition of confidentiality. Mt. Lebanon does not have a list of the properties. the Pennsylvania Game Commission regulates all hunting in the state and permits hunting on private property, provided both homeowner and hunters follow Game Commission rules related to permits, safety zones, hours, etc. Game Commission laws supersede local ordinances. Owners are not required to notify the municipality that hunting is taking place on their properties.
HOW CAN I ASK A QUESTION OR EXPRESS A CONCERN?
If you have a question/comment about the program, contact Municipal Manager Keith McGill, 412-343-3684, email@example.com. To report an immediate safety issue, call 911.
DEER-PROOF YOUR YARD On Tuesday, September 27, from 7 to 8 p.m., freelance horticulturist Jessica Walliser will present a program called “Deer Proofing and Pest Proofing your Yard Naturally—Simple Strategies that Work” at Mt. Lebanon Library. Using techniques based on integrated pest management and natural care gardening, the plan provides safe, effective and organic solutions. This lecture is part of the library’s “Growing Together” series. To learn more about this event, visit www.mtlebanonlibrary.org.
- Updated October 6 to include Twin Hills Park