Experimental forest offers deer check for the environmental check

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:24

    MILFORD - The Milford Experimental Forest, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, and Pike County Branch of Quality Deer Management Association are operating a voluntary deer check station for a seventh year to collect valuable data for a study of deer health and their habitat in Pike County. The check station is located at the intersection of Route 6 and Schocopee Road one mile west of Milford and one mile east of the Interstate Highway 84 and U.S. Route 6 interchange. Check station hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Saturdays of the deer rifle season, Dec. 2 and 9. Hunters are encouraged to bring both bucks and does to the check station during the hours of operation. Information to be collected includes dressed weight, age, antler dimensions, and location where a deer was harvested. Statistics on data collected in 2005 will be available at the check station. Hunters interested in donating a second or third deer to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program to provide meat to food banks in Pike County can get more information at the check station or call the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program, Pike and Monroe County Coordinator John Crerand at 570-686-7611. Experimental Forest Director Peter Pinchot explained that the forest is a project of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation on 1,400 acres that adjoin the Grey Towers National Historic Landmark in Milford. “The purpose of the voluntary check station is to collect as much information as possible about the health, age, and size of deer in Pike County before they reach the meat processors. The data will help the Pennsylvania Game Commission develop the best strategies for managing the local deer population,” he said. Buck antler dimensions will be measured and doe will be checked to see if they lactated this year. An incisor will be pulled and sent to a laboratory for accurate aging and will not harm a deer if a hunter chooses to have it mounted. Last year, 71 deer were checked at the station. The largest buck weighed 148 pounds and was 2.5 years old. The largest doe was a 2.5-year-old that weighed 108 pounds. The check station is part of a Quality Deer Management Association study to determine the relationship between the deer herd and the forest habitat in Pike County. The association’s goal is to develop strategies to restore forest habitat health and improve the health of the deer herd. Any questions concerning the check station can be directed to Pinchot or Josh Flad at the MEF, 570-296-9313.