Most of Allegheny County has a dense deer population. It also has a dense human population, which makes controlling the deer problematic.
A change in 2013-14 hunting regulations, designed to control problem deer, could be problematic and confusing for hunters in the Pittsburgh region.
In April, the Game Commission board approved significant changes to the post-Christmas antlerless-only firearms deer season in Wildlife Management Unit 2B, which includes most of Allegheny County. The season runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 25, and some 4,000 2B doe tags remain available. But this year, the season is restricted to Allegheny County only, not all of 2B as in past years.
"Those portions of WMU 2B that lie outside of Allegheny County are closed to hunting antlerless deer with regular firearms during the late season," read a recent notice from the Game Commission.
Similar county-based boundaries for the same hunting season applies in highly populated Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Further complicating the rule for local hunters, portions of 2B that are outside of Allegheny County -- including parts of Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland and Butler counties -- are closed to hunting antlerless deer with regular firearms during the late season. Parts of Allegheny that lie within WMU 2A -- near Clinton and Imperial -- are open for hunting in the late season. Hunters taking advantage of the late-season hunt must have in their possession a regular hunting license and valid antlerless deer tag for 2B.
And don't forget that Allegheny County is a "special regulations area" where the firing of centerfire rifles is illegal.
Hunting for deer during the late season in bits of 2B that are outside of Allegheny County is legal, however, if you have the right sporting arm. The regulation change does not impact the late statewide antlered and antlerless archery hunt (Dec. 26 --Jan. 11) and its 2B extension (Jan. 13-25), or the statewide antlered and antlerless flintlock season (Dec. 26 --Jan. 11) and its 2B extension to Jan. 25.
Ron Milavec, who last month served as one of the Trout Unlimited coaches during the Post-Gazette's Fish On steelhead trip, will present a program on the adventure at the Monday meeting of the Upper St. Clair Fly Fishing Club, which he manages. The meeting will also include plans for his 2014 trip to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Library Multi-Purpose Room No. 1 at the Upper St. Clair Municipal Building. Call 412-835-6107 for details.
See photos from the Fish On trip at the Post-Gazette's Rod & Gun Club blog at http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/rod-gun-club.