The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that, in the state’s 2013-14 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 352,920 deer, an increase of about 3 percent compared to the previous seasons’ harvest of 343,110.
Hunters took 134,280 antlered deer in the 2013-14 seasons, a harvest similar to the previous license year when an estimated 133,860 bucks were taken. Also, hunters harvested 218,640 antlerless deer in 2013-14, which represents an about 4 percent increase compared to the 209,250 antlerless deer taken in 2012-13.
Harvest estimates are based on more than 25,000 deer checked by Game Commission personnel and more than 110,000 harvest reports submitted by successful hunters. Because only about one-third of hunters report their deer harvests, the Game Commission uses data from deer checked in the field and hunter reports to estimate the total harvest.
The age structure of the 2013-14 antlered deer harvest was 47 percent 1½-year-old bucks, with the remaining 53 percent of harvested bucks being 2½ years old or older.
The antlerless harvest included nearly 62 percent adult females, about 21 percent button bucks and almost 18 percent doe fawns. The rates are similar to long-term averages.
The antlerless success rate remained about 25 percent for the licenses issued.
Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2014-15 antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the April meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners. Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, said that in addition to harvest data, staff will be looking at deer health measures, forest regeneration and deer-human conflicts for each WMU.