2018-04-14 / Front Page

Deer harvest numbers suggest herd is growing

Recent Game Commission figures show that the deer kill has increased by 10 percent in each of the past two hunting seasons. Despite the increase in harvest, PC officials say the herd is increasing in size. By protecting young whitetails with antler restrictions, nearly 60 percent of the buck taken in the state were 2.5 years old or older.Recent Game Commission figures show that the deer kill has increased by 10 percent in each of the past two hunting seasons. Despite the increase in harvest, PC officials say the herd is increasing in size. By protecting young whitetails with antler restrictions, nearly 60 percent of the buck taken in the state were 2.5 years old or older.
Another sign of the deer herd’s rebound in northcentral Pennsylvania emerged last week when the Pa. Game Commission (PGC) released results from the 2017-18 hunting seasons.

Hunters, tourist-based business owners and even the PGC game while whitetail numbers are nowhere near the levels seen at the turn of the century or even as recently as the 80s and early 90s, they’re higher ago.

PGC’s “harvest numbers,” calculated by - ers’ reports, show that the statewide buck kill increased by 10 percent, and the overall deer kill was up 10 percent, in the 2017-18 seasons.

the statewide totals.

For Potter, Cameron and other counties in wildlife management units 2G, 2H and 3A, there were an estimated 15,300 bucks taken. That compared to 13,500 in the 2016-17 seasons. Antlerless deer totals were 12,400, up from 9,700.

Behind the numbers are some interesting that the percentage of muzzleloader hunters continues to rise. Bowhunters accounted for one-third of the overall deer kill, while 23,500 were taken during muzzleloader seasons. were up by 10 percent over the previous year’s seasons.

the agency’s antler-size restrictions, the ratio of older bucks (2.5 years or older) killed by hunters remained high – about 57 percent.

“When comparing deer harvests over time, it’s important to remember that deer and hunter numbers have changed from decade to decade,” the Game Commission said in a news release. “In the 1987-88 deer seasons, 16 percent of deer hunters took a legal buck. Ten years later, that rate increased to 19 percent. In the 2007-08 years into antler restrictions, 15 percent of deer hunters took an antlered deer. In the 2017-18 20 percent.”

All eyes now turn to Harrisburg, where PGC directors will convene on April 24 to hear staff recommendations on how many antlerless deer licenses to sell in each wildlife management unit. Doe license sales are the PGC’s primary deer population control tool.

Game biologists are assessing deer-kill data, measures of herd health, forest regeneration rates, other factors to produce their report for directors’ decisions.

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