2007-2008 Deer Harvest Estimates Released

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported that hunters harvested an estimated 323,070 deer in the state’s 2007-08 seasons. That’s down 11 percent from the previous seasons’ harvest.

Hunters took 109,200 antlered deer in the 2007-08 seasons, down 19 percent from the previous license year’s harvest of 135,290. Also, hunters harvested 213,870 antlerless deer in 2007-08, a five percent drop from the 226,270 antlerless deer taken in 2006-07.

“What stands out most when looking over the harvest data is the difference in the opening day deer kill of the two-week firearms season,” said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer Section Supervisor. “Report cards sent in by hunters show the antlered deer harvest on the opening day, Nov. 26, dropped more than 50 percent from 2006. Daily harvests for the rest of the two-week season, Nov. 27-Dec. 8, were similar to 2006.

“The firearms season’s opening day antlerless deer harvest also dropped nearly 50 percent from 2006. However, the antlerless harvest throughout the remainder of the two-week season increased and, in due course, erased some of the opening day’s harvest shortfall.”

Based on past year’s results, Rosenberry noted that it wasn’t surprising that the drop in opening day harvests had a larger effect on the antlered harvest than the antlerless harvest.

“Historically, a majority of the antlered deer harvest occurs on opening day, whereas the antlerless harvest is typically more evenly distributed across the entire two weeks,” Rosenberry said.

Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the April Board meeting. Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, said that in addition to harvest data, the staff will be looking at population trend data, deer reproduction data, forest regeneration data, input from five new Citizen Advisory Committees, and hunter survey results.

Harvest estimates for 2007-08 seasons are based on 124,569 usable harvest report cards (40,482 antlered; 84,087 antlerless) returned by hunters to the Commission and 25,400 deer (7,338 antlered; 18,062 antlerless) examined by Game Commission personnel in the field and at processors.

For an explanation of the agency’s deer harvest estimating procedure, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “Deer Program” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand corner of the homepage, then scroll down and select “Deer Harvest Estimates” brochure. To view a peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of Wildlife Management (2004) about the agency’s deer harvest estimating procedure, go the “Deer Program” section, scroll down and choose “Communication, Education and Outreach to Citizens,” and then select “Reporting rate variability and precision of white-tailed deer harvest estimates in Pennsylvania” in the “Science Publications” listing.

Yearling bucks comprised 56 percent of the 2007-08 antlered harvest, which is the same percentage posted in 2006-07. Button bucks and doe fawns were 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of the antlerless harvest, and almost identical to 2006-07 season rates.

Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2007-08 (with 2006-07 figures in parentheses) are as follows:

WMU 1A: 4,900 (5,800) antlered, 12,500 (13,200) antlerless;

WMU 1B: 6,000 (6,800) antlered, 11,400 (12,000) antlerless;

WMU 2A: 6,600 (8,100) antlered, 14,300 (17,000) antlerless;

WMU 2B: 4,400 (5,800) antlered, 15,300 (16,500) antlerless;

WMU 2C: 8,400 (9,000) antlered, 11,600 (12,100) antlerless;

WMU 2D: 9,100 (10,900) antlered, 18,100 (20,400) antlerless;

WMU 2E: 3,600 (5,400) antlered, 6,400 (7,400) antlerless;

WMU 2F: 4,800 (7,200) antlered, 7,100 (8,000) antlerless;

WMU 2G: 5,100 (7,200) antlered, 6,600 (4,600) antlerless;

WMU 3A: 3,400 (4,500) antlered, 7,800 (8,800) antlerless;

WMU 3B: 5,900 (6,500) antlered, 10,200 (10,600) antlerless;

WMU 3C: 5,300 (6,700) antlered, 9,600 (9,200) antlerless;

WMU 3D: 3,600 (5,000) antlered, 7,000 (7,400) antlerless;

WMU 4A: 4,500 (5,900) antlered, 6,700 (7,800) antlerless;

WMU 4B: 3,500 (5,000) antlered, 4,500 (6,600) antlerless;

WMU 4C: 4,800 (6,100) antlered, 9,400 (8,900) antlerless;

WMU 4D: 5,800 (6,800) antlered, 8,100 (9,900) antlerless;

WMU 4E: 3,300 (4,100) antlered, 8,100 (9,000) antlerless;

WMU 5A: 2,400 (2,200) antlered, 3,900 (5,200) antlerless;

WMU 5B: 6,000 (7,000) antlered, 11,100 (11,400) antlerless;

WMU 5C: 6,500 (7,700) antlered, 18,900 (16,100) antlerless;

WMU 5D: 1,000 (1,300) antlered, 5,200 (4,100) antlerless; and

Unknown WMU: 300 (290) antlered, 70 (70) antlerless

Season-specific deer harvest estimates – such as archery and muzzleloader and rifle – by WMU for 2007-08 can also be calculated using harvest data from processors and report cards.

“Although we do not use season-specific harvest data for management purposes, we recognize the public is interested in these harvest estimates,” DuBrock said. “For that reason only, we provide estimated deer harvest breakdowns for firearms, archery and muzzleloader seasons, but we only use total deer harvest estimates when making management recommendations.”

Season-specific deer harvest estimates are as follows:

WMU 1A: firearms, 3,300 antlered, 9,700 antlerless; archery, 1,540 antlered, 1,400 antlerless; and muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 1,400 antlerless;

WMU 1B: firearms, 4,400 antlered, 9,500 antlerless; archery, 1,560 antlered, 1,070 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 830 antlerless;

WMU 2A: firearms, 5,200 antlered, 11,600 antlerless; archery, 1,310 antlered, 1,170 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 1,530 antlerless;

WMU 2B: firearms, 2,000 antlered, 8,900 antlerless; archery, 2,330 antlered, 5,410 antlerless; 70 antlered, 990 antlerless;

WMU 2C: firearms, 6,400 antlered, 9,300 antlerless; archery, 1,900 antlered, 1,050 antlerless; muzzleloader, 100 antlered, 1,250 antlerless;

WMU 2D: firearms, 6,500 antlered, 14,700 antlerless; archery, 2,510 antlered, 1,450 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 1,950 antlerless;

WMU 2E: firearms, 2,900 antlered, 5,400 antlerless; archery, 660 antlered, 420 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 580 antlerless;

WMU 2F: firearms, 3,800 antlered, 5,900 antlerless; archery, 930 antlered, 390 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 810 antlerless;

WMU 2G: firearms, 4,500 antlered, 5,200 antlerless; archery, 560 antlered, 420 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 980 antlerless;

WMU 3A: firearms, 2,900 antlered, 6,300 antlerless; archery, 480 antlered, 600 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 900 antlerless;

WMU 3B: firearms, 4,900 antlered, 7,900 antlerless; archery, 940 antlered, 920 antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 1,380 antlerless;

WMU 3C: firearms, 4,500 antlered, 7,800 antlerless; archery, 750 antlered, 700 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,100 antlerless;

WMU 3D: firearms, 2,900 antlered, 5,200 antlerless; archery, 660 antlered, 910 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 890 antlerless;

WMU 4A: firearms, 4,000 antlered, 5,500 antlerless; archery, 450 antlered, 430 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 770 antlerless;

WMU 4B: firearms, 2,800 antlered, 3,600 antlerless; archery, 650 antlered, 390 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 510 antlerless;

WMU 4C: firearms, 3,400 antlered, 6,900 antlerless; archery, 1,350 antlered, 1,230 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,270 antlerless;

WMU 4D: firearms, 4,900 antlered, 6,500 antlerless; archery, 830 antlered, 710 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 890 antlerless;

WMU 4E: firearms, 2,500 antlered, 6,200 antlerless; archery, 750 antlered, 850 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,050 antlerless;

WMU 5A: firearms, 1,900 antlered, 2,700 antlerless; archery, 470 antlered, 560 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 640 antlerless;

WMU 5B: firearms, 3,400 antlered, 7,100 antlerless; archery, 2,510 antlered, 2,600 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 1,400 antlerless;

WMU 5C: firearms, 3,000 antlered, 10,100 antlerless; archery, 3,410 antlered, 7,390 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 1,410 antlerless;

WMU 5D: firearms, 300 antlered, 1,700 antlerless; archery, 680 antlered, 3,400 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 100 antlerless; and

Unknown WMU: firearms, 100 antlered, 60 antlerless; archery, 190 antlered, 0 antlerless; muzzleloader, 10 antlered, 10 antlerless.

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