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Management Measures


Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)

Deer Managment at Raystown Lake, PennsylvaniaDMAP permits for Raystown Lake DMAP area 89 are available. The DMAP licenses allow for harvesting only antlerless deer during any deer season at selected areas of the Raystown Lake project in accordance with the map link below. The areas for 2012-13 are the eastern side of the lake known as Terrace Mountain.

Map of DMAP Areas for 2012

For the 2012-13 deer seasons, hunters will now obtain DMAP antlerless harvest permits directly from the PA Game Commission web site or issuing agents. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Raystown Lake will no longer be distributing "DMAP coupons" from the Raystown Lake office.

To obtain DMAP antlerless harvest permits, for the Raystown Lake DMAP Area 89, the following two options are available.

          •   Option 1 - A hunter may obtain a DMAP for Area 89 directly from a license issuing agent such as Wal-mart or sporting goods agent. Simply tell the agent that you are interested in DMAP Area 89. You will be required to pay the appropriate fee, and you will receive the actual harvest permit at that time. The fee for the coupon is $10 for residents and $35 for nonresidents. A list of issuing agents is available from the PA Game Commission.

          •   Option 2 - Visit the PA Game Commission web site. A hunter may obtain a DMAP Area 89 antlerless harvest permit by visiting the Outdoor Shop on the PA Game commission web site.

FLIR Deer Survey and Forest Regeneration Results Summary

The Raystown Lake deer population may be one of the most studied in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  For the past ten years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Raystown Lake has completed ten thermal infrared deer surveys at Raystown Lake and surveyed well over 1,000 vegetation sample plots to evaluate deer impact. The deer numbers prior to 2000 were well over 50 deer per square mile and forest conditions were severely degraded with browse lines throughout the project.  With the use of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Raystown was able to cap the deer study program with a series of deer infrared surveys and vegetation sampling that continue to show the improvements of keeping deer in balance with their habitat.

Recent results from fall infrared surveys of 2009 indicate that the prior to hunting season, the deer population density is approximately 26 deer per square mile.  The post hunting season deer density in January of 2010 is approximately 17 deer per square mile which is up from 12 in January of 2009.  All project areas have shown increases in winter deer densities from the previous 2009.  The western side of the lake continues to hold more deer even though the hunting pressure is greater.  The amount of food and cover is adequate to support more deer and also results in a good return of fawns and also provides better protection for fawns.  The eastern portion of the project known as Terrace Mountain continues to hold less deer due to poor habitat conditions.

Another important result found in the deer surveys was the movement of deer during the rifle deer season. Although the densities across the entire project remained the same, deer completely left some areas where hunting pressure was high and moved to areas where hunting pressure was less.  This may sound like common sense, but also explains why hunters may indicate they see no deer during hunting seasons; however, they cause damage to vegetation the rest of the year.

Forest Regeneration surveys between 2004 and 2007 indicated a significant improvement in total seedlings per acre with goals being met on the western side of the lake but continued damage on the eastern side of the lake.  This was a direct result of reducing deer numbers.  Three additional vegetation surveys were completed in 2009 and 2010 using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. In total, over 400 vegetation plots were measured during this recent study.  One of the studies compared vegetation inside and outside of deer fences.  This is completed by comparing growth inside and outside of deer fence exclosures to determine the amount of seedlings and browse consumed by deer.  Forty-eight plots were examined across four deer fence sites that represent both sides of the lake and different types of timber management.  On average, 186 lbs of additional browse is removed from each acre on non-fenced sites compared to fenced sites.  This translates into thousands of seedlings eaten and removed on every acre across the project.   Again, samples revealed the west side of the lake was not browsed as hard as the eastern Terrace Mountain. 

In summary, it is important to note that the amount of deer or deer density in an area, does not determine the amount of deer impact.  High deer numbers may be supported in good habitat without any impact and less than five deer per square mile may be devastating to habitat in poor condition.  The Corps will continue to monitor progress of the program and be proactive in making adjustments.

Vegetation Improvements

The western side of the lake, where habitat has began to recover has shown increases in deer numbers from the previous winter and increases of about 800 seedlings per acre from 6,000 to 6,800. The eastern Terrace Mountain habitat has shown an increase of approximately 1,000 seedlings per acre from 700 to 1700. The 8,000 acres of Terrace Mountain remains well below the desired vegetation levels. Overall seedling numbers on plots increased 17 percent across the project. This number indicates approximately 12 million more seedlings, greater than one foot as compared to 2003. Oak seedlings increased 51 percent across the project for an increase of approximately 4 million additional oak seedlings greater than 12 inches. Competitive oaks increased in presence from 24 percent of plots in 2003 as compared to 42 percent in 2007.

Where deer numbers have stabilized and regeneration has improved, the Corps has moved to remove the DMAP program and allow deer to increase. The entire western side of the lake is not included in the 2012 DMAP program. However, these areas will continue to be open to normal hunting activities and hunters may continue to harvest does using a 4A tag and bucks using their antlered tag. Although deer numbers are low on the east side of the Lake, Raystown Staff encourages hunters to harvest deer on the Terrace Mountain area of Raystown Lake. Increased deer harvest along with increases in active timber management will improve habitat and allow the eastern mountain habitat to hold more deer in the future.


Maps with detailed information on land contours, food plots, timber sales, gates, and access roads are provided at the following link:

Map Showing Deer Group Locations for Fall 2009/Winter 2010

Fall 2009 Deer Group Locations – North

Fall 2009 Deer Group Locations - South

January 2010 Deer Group Locations - North

January 2010 Deer Group Locations - South

Map Showing Deer Group Locations during Spring of 2009

Map Showing Deer Group Locations during Spring of 2008

Maps Showing Deer Group Location during Fall 2005

North Lake Map
Central Lake Map
Southern Map

Maps Showing Deer Group Location during November 2004 and April 2005

North Lake Map
Central Lake Map
Southern Map

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
POC: Jude Harrington
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