Early Monday morning, droves of hopefuls will head into the Pennsylvania woods in search of a prized white-tailed deer.
While more than 300,000 deer were harvested in the 2005-06 season, less than half of those were antlered bucks. According to Cal DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, more of the same should be expected this year.
“When you reduce deer populations as we have in recent years in Pennsylvania, deer hunting is tougher.”
Not to fear though, because DuBrock said a few lucky hunters might take down a “trophy buck.”
“Although hunters may not see a lot of deer in drives or on stand in many areas, the potential to shoot a large-bodied, rack buck is better than it has been for some time in Pennsylvania,” DuBrock said. “But that doesn’t mean you will, or that you’ll even see one. It just means those bucks, which tend to be craftier than yearlings, are out there somewhere. They represent a considerable challenge and taking one is quite an accomplishment.”
The Pennsylvania Game Commission decided to reduce the number of antlerless licenses distributed a few years ago, and while some hunters say they don’t harvest as they once did, DuBrock said it’s not all bad news.
“Our reduced deer population is not bad for Pennsylvania. It’s better for deer health, better for our forested areas and better for landowners whose properties are damaged by deer populations,” said DuBrock.
Hunters are reminded to identify their targets and to wear at least 250 square inches of florescent orange on their heads, backs and chests.