Friday, March 21, 2008

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: 2007 Harvest Down 11%

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania
Game Commission today 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

For an explanation of the agency's deer harvest estimating procedure,
visit the Game Commission's website (, 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.