Deer Harvest Results

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Hunters took 486,014 deer during Pennsylvania's 2001-2002 hunting seasons, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission today. In the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons, hunters harvested 504,600 deer.

The 2001-2002 antlered (buck) deer harvest was 203,247, compared to 203,221 during the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons. The 2001-2002 antlerless (doe) deer harvest was 282,767, compared to the 2000-2001 deer harvest of 301,379.

The agency's Deer Management Team is reviewing the harvest results and other related data in order to develop a 2002-2003 antlerless deer license allocation proposal for the Board of Game Commissioners to consider at its meeting on April 8-9.

Each winter, using harvest results, the Game Commission recalculates what the previous fall's statewide deer population was before the hunting seasons began. Using this year's harvest numbers, the agency estimated the statewide deer herd inhabiting huntable areas actually was 1.37 million before the 2001-2002 deer seasons began, which is 8 percent lower than the 1.5 million projected one year ago. This population calculation does not include Special Regulations Areas counties (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia).

Dr. Alt noted that the 2001-2002 antlerless deer harvest, even though lower than expected, still resulted in an 8 percent reduction in the post-hunting season deer population compared to one year ago. This result is consistent with the 5 percent herd reduction that the 2001-2002 seasons were designed to achieve.

"By slowly bringing the size of the deer herd down, we hope to get the number of deer in balance with the available habitat," Alt said. "In some areas, we must push for further reductions in the deer herd to allow the habitat to recover from decades of overbrowsing. However, in other areas, we can aim to stabilize the herd's growth."

Of the total number of deer harvested in 2001-2002, bowhunters took 74,051 (40,753 antlered and 33,298 antlerless), compared to 78,522 (38,453 antlered and 40,069 antlerless) in 2000-2001. Flintlock hunters also harvested 25,817 (2,127 antlered and 23,690 antlerless) compared to 30,405 (1,189 antlered and 29,216 antlerless) in 2000-2001. Rifle hunters took 386,146 (160,367 antlered and 225,779 antlerless).

(Click here to view a series of three maps detailing the county-by-county results of the 2001-2002 deer hunting seasons, as well as previous year's harvest information.")