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DMAP permits benefit hunters, help to fight CWD in PA

Permits that hunters can use to take additional antlerless deer within areas of Pennsylvania affected by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) remain available, though permits for some locations nearly are sold out.

When CWD is detected in Pennsylvania in captive or free-ranging deer, the Pennsylvania Game Commission includes the area surrounding the detection site within a Disease Management Area (DMA). And within those DMAs, the agency uses the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) to reduce CWD infection rates and increase disease surveillance.

DMAP isn’t used within DMAs exclusively. It is a statewide program that uses hunting to help public and private landowners meet deer-management goals on their properties. This is accomplished through DMAP permits hunters can use to harvest antlerless deer. A hunter may purchase up to two DMAP permits for each DMAP unit, and each permit can be used to take one antlerless deer.

Twenty-one DMAP units have been established in the state’s three active DMAs – DMA 2 in southcentral Pennsylvania, DMA 3 in northcentral Pennsylvania and DMA 4 in southeastern Pennsylvania. In a few of those units, 80 percent or more of the permits allocated have been sold. But permits remain available in all units, and some units have many permits available.

For hunters, DMAP permits not only provide additional opportunity to take antlerless deer, they can be used in any established deer season. For example, in the first six days of the firearms deer season, when most Pennsylvania hunters can harvest only antlered deer, hunters with DMAP permits may harvest antlerless deer in the DMAP unit for which their permit was issued.

Hunters are cautioned, however, that within DMAs, DMAP units might contain a mix of public and private land and, as is always the case, hunters must secure landowner permission before hunting on private land.

DMAP permits cost $10.90 each and are available at any license issuing agent or through The Outdoor Shop. Because DMAP permits contain harvest ear tags and must be in possession while hunting, hunters wishing to use their permits soon after purchase are encouraged to buy them from an issuing agent since permits bought online are sent by mail.

DMAP units associated with Pennsylvania’s DMAs are as follows:

DMAP Unit 2874 – Includes State Game Lands 147 in Blair County and State Game Lands 41 in Bedford County, and other parts of Blair and Bedford counties.

DMAP Unit 2875 – Includes State Game Lands 53, 65, 128, 49 and 261, and other parts of Fulton and eastern Bedford counties.

DMAP Unit 3045 – Includes State Game Lands 87 and other areas of western Clearfield County, and State Game Lands 195, 31 and 244, parts of Clear Creek State Forest and other areas of Jefferson County.

DMAP Unit 3457 – Includes State Game Lands 251 and other parts of southeastern Huntingdon County, as well as parts of northeastern Franklin County.

DMAP Unit 3458 – Includes State Game Lands 67 and other parts of southwestern Huntingdon County and State Game Lands 73 and other parts of northern Bedford County.

DMAP Unit 3459 – Includes State Game Lands 97 and 48, Buchanan State Forest and other parts of southern Bedford County.

DMAP Unit 3460 – Includes part of Gallitzin State Forest and State Game Lands 26, 198, 166, 267, 184, 108 and 158 and other parts of western Blair County, eastern Cambria County and parts of Clearfield and Bedford counties.

DMAP Unit 3461 – Includes State Game Lands 174 and 262 and other parts of northeastern Indian County, and parts of southwestern Clearfield County.

DMAP Unit 3466 – Includes parts of Clear Creek State Forest and State Game Lands 54 and surrounding areas in Jefferson County, as well as parts of Indiana and Armstrong counties.

DMAP Unit 3468 – Contains all of DMA 4

DMAP Unit 3906 – Includes State Game Lands 322 and other parts of western Huntingdon County and part of State Game Lands 118 in eastern Blair County, and surrounding areas.

DMAP Unit 3907 – Includes parts on northeastern Perry and southeastern Juniata counties.

DMAP Unit 3908 – Includes parts of southern Perry County and northern Cumberland County, including State Game Lands 230

DMAP Unit 3909 – Includes part of State Game Lands 121 in southwestern Huntingdon County, and surrounding areas

DMAP Unit 3910 – Includes State Game Lands 76 and 235, and other parts of western Franklin County, as well as parts of eastern Fulton County.

DMAP Unit 3911 – Includes State Game Lands 124 and other parts of southwestern Franklin County, as well as parts of southeastern Fulton County.

DMAP Unit 3917 – Within Cambria County

DMAP Unit 3918 – Includes parts of Gallitzin State Forest, and surrounding areas in northeastern Somerset, southeastern Cambria and northeastern Bedford counties.

DMAP Unit 3919 – Within eastern Somerset and western Bedford counties.

DMAP Unit 3934 – Includes Curwensville Lake and parts of Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield County.

DMAP Unit 3942 – Includes State Game Lands 71, 99 and parts of State Game Lands 81 and other areas of Huntingdon County.

For a more-detailed description of the boundaries of these DMAP units, view the interactive map that can be accessed through the CWD page at www.pgc.pa.gov. By clicking on the Layers list in the top right corner of the map screen, and checking the DMAP Area box the units appear and can be viewed in greater detail.

To purchase DMAP permits on The Outdoor Shop, select the option to purchase licenses and check the box for Resident or Nonresident DMAP Permit (No Coupon). Type in the DMAP Unit number and select the quantity of permits you’d like to purchase – up to two per unit for each hunter.

CWD, which always is fatal to the deer and elk it infects, first was detected in Pennsylvania in 2012 and more than 250 wild deer have tested positive for CWD since that time.

While CWD represents a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s deer and elk and the state’s hunting heritage, the special regulations that apply within established DMAs serve to limit CWD’s spread.

Hunters harvesting deer within DMAs can have them tested for CWD, free of charge, by placing heads from their deer in one of several Game Commission head-collection bins provided within DMAs. While CWD is not known to infect humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends never consuming the meat of CWD-positive animals.

More information on CWD can be found on the CWD page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

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