Get your inner Katniss Everdeen ready.
The Allegheny County Airport Authority is opening up land for archery-only hunting in the coming months. The pilot program will allow bow hunting in designated zones, but it will be limited to a certain number of hunters.
“There will be an online lottery in mid-to-late September,” said state Sen. Matt Smith. “People can go to the airport authority website right now, put their name in for the lottery and there will be 157 individuals selected.”
This came about after Rep. Mark Mustio reported receiving complaints from constituents about certain airport employees hunting on airport land. That led to a town hall meeting and questions about why some people could hunt there and others couldn’t. Opening the land to bow hunting, said Smith, is a common sense solution that will not affect flight operations or any airport business.
“This is well beyond not only the fence line, which is sort of the dividing point for actual airport operations, this will actually take place outside of the beltway that runs around the airport,” Smith said. “In other words, if you’re driving to the airport, this won’t be on the inside of that beltway towards the airport, this will actually be on the outside of the beltway.”
The Airport Authority controls about 9,000 acres of land; 2,362 acres will be available to bow hunters. Smith said this will allow for hunters to get out but will also help cull a deer heard that continues to grow.
“It’s always a concern in and around an airport,” Smith said. “For various wildlife, we want to make sure they’re protected and we want to make sure wildlife doesn’t interfere with the operations of the airport itself.”
That land will be patrolled by the Game Commission just as any other authorized hunting area in the state would be. The bow-hunting season runs Oct. 5, 2013 through Jan. 11, 2014.