With the two-week statewide deer season now closed, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is reminding hunters to report their harvests.
Hunters who harvest big game in Pennsylvania are required to report their harvests to the Game Commission using one of three methods.
Each method takes only minutes.
Hunters can go to the Game Commission’s website and report harvests online, can make reports by phoning toll-free, or they can fill out and return the postage-paid report cards included in the 2013-14 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest they received when they purchased their licenses.
Additionally, hunters who obtain antlerless deer permits through the Deer Management Assistance Program are required to submit a report, regardless of their harvest success.
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe said remembering to report harvests can be difficult at this busy time of year, especially in years like this one, where the close of the general deer season is so close to Christmas.
But harvest reports are an important part of measuring the deer harvest, Roe said. The more hunters report as required, the stronger the agency’s deer harvest projections will be, he said.
“Every hunter who files a harvest report makes a valuable contribution to our deer- management efforts, and we hope we can count on hunters’ help,” Roe said.
Hunters who have multiple antlerless deer licenses are reminded to make sure they file the correct report for the antlerless license used to tag the deer in the field.
To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us, and click on the blue box titled “Report a Harvest.” The box appears near the top of the home page, along the right side. Hunters are walked through a step-by-step process, and at the end of that process, they must click “Submit” for the report to be sent.
The toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone harvest reporting system can be accessed by dialing 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681). Hunters should have their Customer Identification Number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call, and should speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially when providing the Wildlife Management Unit number and letter.
Hunters may report one or more harvests in a single session, and responses to all harvest questions are required.
Hunters who use the toll-free number to submit a harvest report will receive a confirmation number, which they can write down and keep as proof of reporting. Likewise, those who report online can print or save a copy of their harvest report submission.
Roe noted that hunters still have the option to file harvest report postcards, which are included as tear-out sheets in the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.
Each year, the Game Commission sends deer-aging teams throughout the state to check tens of thousands of harvested deer. Through this work, the commission has learned that only about 40 percent of successful hunters report their harvests. Better reporting rates lead to more accurate estimates.
“During this busy season, please take the time report your deer harvests,” Roe said. “It’s simple and easy, and in a matter of just a few minutes you can make a significant contribution to Pennsylvania’s deer management.”