Cooperative Farm-Game Program:
More than 21,000 landowners and tenants currently are taking advantage of the mutual benefits provided by the agency's Cooperative Farm-Game Program. The farms, located in most the state's 67 counties, cover more than 2.5 million acres.
Some of the common terms used in and benefits associated with Cooperative Farm-Game Program, are summarized as follows:
Project Area: A contiguous group of farms and their accompanying woodlots, suitable for the protection and propagation of wildlife, make up a project area. Each such area must contain at least 1,000 acres (depending on the area the acreage has decreased), with each individual farm having suitable hunting opportunities.
Safety Zones: Hunting for or disturbing game, or discharging firearms, within 150 yards of occupied dwellings or other used farm buildings is illegal except by specific permission of the occupant. The Commission may post notices to this effect around such buildings within the prescribed distance, or furnishes signs for this purpose to Cooperators. (Anywhere in my area if you see these signs this means they are in the program- your area may be different)
Food and Cover Seedlings: If suitable planting sites compatible with a good farm conservation plan are available, the Commission may furnish food and cover seedlings beneficial to wildlife.
Game Stocking: With approval of landowners, Farm-Game Projects with suitable habitat (10-15 acres of good cover) are given preference in the Game Commission's pheasant stocking program.
Benefits to Farmers: Cooperators have found that there are many advantages for property owners enrolled in the Farm-Game Program. In addition to receiving help from sportsmen who harvest surplus game, listed below are just a few of the many benefits that are available through the Pennsylvania Game Commission:
Protection through patrolling and enforcement of law by Wildlife Conservation Officers, especially when project areas are being hunted.
Signs are posted to mark the perimeter of Safety Zones. Other signs are provided warning hunters not to commit any unlawful acts.
Cooperators are provided advice on soil conservation and other profitable farm practices. Since this involves proper use and care of the land, it is important to keep in mind that the following conservation farming measures aid in controlling erosion, conserving moisture, and increasing crop and wildlife yields: Diversion terraces; crop rotation; cover crops; sod waterways; pasture improvement and development; green manuring; perennial hay production; field and gully planting; wildlife hedge planting; wildlife woodland border planting; contour strip cropping; windbreak planting; woodland harvesting; woodland improvement cuttings; and management of odd areas for wildlife.
The Commission aids in the utilization of irregular shaped areas by furnishing various species of young vines, shrubs, and trees that provide food and cover for wildlife, including insect-devouring birds that are beneficial to farmers. A wildlife seed mix consisting of various grain species also is available.
The Commission may cut woodland borders and hedgerows to remove shade from the farmer's cropland, prevent tree roots from competing with field crops for the available moisture and plant nutrients, and provide immediate cover for wildlife.
The Pennsylvania Landowner Liability Act encourages landowners to make their property available to the public for recreational purposes such as hunting by limiting their liability toward persons entering thereon for such purposes. (if they are not abiding by this tell your local PGC employees they will stop the funding) This program is to make more land available to our hunters, sure some do attempt to find ways around this, but this program is available.
Present Commission planning provides for establishment of new projects in suitable areas and that agreements will be accepted from landowners or tenants in or adjacent to existing projects. Further information on the program may be obtained from your local Wildlife Conservation Officer or by writing: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Land Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
MAPS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE OF THESE AREAS OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL PGC AGENT IF YOU CAN"T LOCATE THEM..
WHEN IT COMES TO PUTTING MEAT IN THE FREEZER GO TO THE DCNR HOMEPAGE AND LOOK UP DMAP. ONCE AGAIN YOU WILL FIND MAPS OF THESE AREAS AND YOU CAN SET UP A HUNT. (THESE AREAS ARE ALL OVER AS WELL)