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Pennsylvania Farm-Game Cooperative Program
Posted By Bryan Lance at 9/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

  The Farm-Game Coop Program offers hunters 
  1,000 plus acre tracts of land available for
  public hunting
The state of Pennsylvania offers public land with a unique twist.  Aside from offering their State Game Lands, the state also has public hunting on properties enrolled in the Pennsylvania Farm-Game Cooperative Program.  The land is leased to the State Game Commission to help farmers deal with effects of the wildlife on their property, but it benefits hunters and wildlife as well. 

The program was started in 1936 and has become increasingly popular.  According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission more than 21,000 landowners across the state lease their land to the state for five years or more.  During the contracted time, the Game Commission provides the landowners with patrol to prevent any type of unlawful acts or hunting, free seed, and advice on soil management and habitat enhancement.  Along with these benefits, because the land is open to public hunting, the wildlife populations can be more easily controlled, which consequently reduces the amount of damaged crops.

What really makes this program great for public land hunters is that each qualified property or group of properties must be at least 1,000 acres.  One of the reasons hunters shy away from hunting public land is because you cannot control where others hunt.  With larger tracts of land, you don’t have to worry as much about what “the other guy” is doing.  A thousand acres of land can support a number of hunters, especially if the terrain has change in feature, and many of the properties enrolled in the Farm-Game Cooperative Program are larger than this.

It is important to know that the landowners involved can terminate their lease at any time if they are not content with the program.  This means that any unlawful acts or disrespect to the property and/or wildlife will not be tolerated and may not only result in penalties, but removal of the land from the program.  Make sure to notify the landowner and the Game Commission if you witness or suspect any kind of illegal activity.  The Farm-Game Cooperative Program was created to benefit everyone and one person’s actions could ruin everyone’s chances at hunting that land in the future.  Keeping in contact with the owner may also better your chances of having hunting rights to the same land after the lease agreement expires.

If you are interested in hunting properties that are enrolled in the Pennsylvania Farm-Game Cooperative Program, contact your local Game Commission office to locate farms in your area.