Pittsburgh Moves Forward with Archery-Controlled Deer Hunt in 2 City Parks
It is recruiting 30 archers for the hunt in Riverview and Frick parks that could start as early as Sept. 16.
Pittsburgh’s deer management pilot program is a go.
The City has begun recruiting 30 archers for an archery-controlled hunt in Riverview and Frick parks to help cull the exploding white-tailed deer population that is spreading ticks and Lyme disease, becoming traffic hazards and devouring the gardens of homeowners who live near the parks.
The 30 bowhunters would be selected by lottery. All must pass a criminal background check and fulfill the following criteria:
- Be a resident of Allegheny County (priority will be given to City of Pittsburgh residents).
- Have a clean criminal background check, including a clean PA Game Commission record.
- Have purchased a 2B Antlerless Tag (or plan to do so).
Upon passing a criminal background check, the selected archers must attend an accuracy test. Those who pass the test will be assigned a Hunter ID number and a specific location within Frick or Riverview parks where they are permitted to hunt.
City Council authorized the pilot program on Tuesday with the specific permission of the public safety director, and gave authority to enter a financial arrangement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning deer management, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The parks would be closed to the public during the hunts, which could take place as early as Sept. 16, which is the opening day of an early archery deer season.
Among the program’s rules:
- There is a zero-tolerance policy. Any hunter who violates the guidelines outlined in this program or commits a game-law felony will result in immediate expulsion from the program.
- Every archer is required to take a doe first. This doe must be donated to a food bank program, such as Hunters Sharing the Harvest.
- Absolutely no gutting is allowed on-site.
This is the first phase of the city’s deer management program.
“The large deer population has exasperated their food source, limiting native vegetation’s ability to root and regenerate,” according to an explanation on the city’s website. “With no natural predators, we are seeing an increase in car-deer collisions, relentless damage to our ecosystem and unnatural aggression toward pets and people.”
In 2021, the city’s Animal Care and Control removed 510 dead deer from the roads. “Additionally, the deer numbers are growing faster than the habitat can support them. In urban settings, this can result in starvation as food sources grow scarcer. Deer populations double every 2-3 years at an exponential rate,” according to the website.