Search:
< Go Back

 

Pennsylvania Game Commission Releases 2011-12 Deer Harvest Estimates

 

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that, in the state's 2011-12 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 336,200 deer, which is an increase of six percent from the previous season's harvest of 316,240. 

Hunters took 127,540 antlered deer in the 2011-12 seasons, an increase of four percent from the previous license year's harvest of 122,930.  Also, hunters harvested 208,660 antlerless deer in 2011-12, which is an increase of eight percent from the 193,310 antlerless deer taken in 2010-11.

"This year's antlered deer harvest is slightly above average harvest since 2005, when the Game Commission began efforts to stabilize deer populations in most of the state," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.  "Antlered deer harvests increased in 13 of the state's 22 Wildlife Management Units. Those WMUs in which the antlered deer harvest increased were WMUs 1B, 2A, 2B, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4D, 4E, 5A, 5B and 5D."

Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2012-13 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, the staff will be looking at deer health measures, forest regeneration and deer-human conflicts for each WMU.

Harvest estimates for 2011-12 seasons are based on 114,000 harvest reports submitted by hunters to the Game Commission. Of the reports submitted, 49 percent were done using the long-time report card mail-in system, 47 percent were done through the agency's online reporting system and only three percent were received through the agency's new toll-free telephone system.

Reporting rates are determined by cross-referencing these reports with the data collected from the 26,000 deer examined by Game Commission personnel in the field and at processors. 

DuBrock noted that reporting rates varied widely.  For antlered deer, the average reporting rate was 37 percent (from a low of 31 percent to a high of 45 percent). For antlerless deer, the average reporting rate was 33 percent (from a low of 19 percent to a high of 45 percent).

For a full explanation of harvest estimating procedures, including example calculations, see pages 55 to 59 in the 2009-2018 Deer Management Plan. The plan is available on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on the "White-Tailed Deer" icon in the center of the homepage and scrolling down to the "Deer Management" listing.  All of the data used to estimate this year's deer harvests are included in the two tables at the end of this news release.  Previous years' data sets also are available in deer program annual reports on the Game Commission's website.

"These data and the explanation and examples found in the deer plan provide the public with the opportunity to see exactly how deer harvests are estimated," DuBrock said. 

Also on the "White-Tailed Deer" page, in the "Research and Publications" section, is a document titled "Reporting rate variability and precision of white-tailed deer harvest estimates in Pennsylvania," which appeared in the Journal of Wildlife Management in 2004, a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Comparisons between the current year's harvest and historic antlered deer harvest often do not consider hunter participation levels.  In 1986, there were roughly one million deer hunters in Pennsylvania.  This past year, around 700,000 license buyers participated in deer hunting seasons.  When viewed in this context, harvest success rates are comparable to the past.

Also, yearling bucks comprised 50 percent of the 2011-12 antlered harvest, and 2.5-year-old or older bucks comprised 50 percent.  Prior to the start of current antler restrictions in 2002, yearling bucks comprised about 80 percent of the antlered harvest.

"Current antler restrictions have achieved their objective to protect most yearling bucks from harvest and allow them to reach at least 2.5 years of age," DuBrock said. "In recent years, the composition of the antlered harvest has hovered around a 50:50 split between yearling and 2.5-year-old and older bucks." 

Hunter success rates for antlerless deer remained at 25 percent of the number of antlerless licenses issued, which is on average with recent years.  Button bucks represented 21 percent of the antlerless harvest, which is similar to the long-term averages and falls within the annual range of 21 to 24 percent for the past 15 years.  As for the remainder of the antlerless harvest, 60 percent was adult does and the remaining 19 percent were doe fawns, which falls within the annual range of 18 to 20 percent for the past 15 years.

Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2011-12 (with 2010-11 figures in parentheses) are as follows:

WMU 1A:  5,200 (5,900) antlered, 9,800 (11,900) antlerless;
WMU 1B: 6,000 (5,500) antlered, 9,500 (9,200) antlerless;
WMU 2A: 7,100 (5,800) antlered, 12,700 (13,500) antlerless;
WMU 2B: 4,500 (4,000) antlered, 17,000 (13,000) antlerless;
WMU 2C: 8,200 (8,500) antlered, 12,800 (9,600) antlerless;
WMU 2D: 11,100 (11,500) antlered, 19,300 (18,000) antlerless;
WMU 2E: 4,100 (4,200) antlered 7,100 (6,000) antlerless;
WMU 2F: 5,400 (6,400) antlered, 6,700 (5,700) antlerless;
WMU 2G: 6,300 (6,800) antlered, 5,500 (3,600) antlerless;
WMU 3A: 3,300 (3,800) antlered, 6,700 (6,500) antlerless;
WMU 3B: 5,900 (5,400) antlered, 7,700 (7,600) antlerless;
WMU 3C: 7,100 (6,200) antlered, 9,900 (8,300) antlerless;
WMU 3D: 4,500 (3,900) antlered, 7,200 (5,500) antlerless;
WMU 4A: 4,800 (3,800) antlered, 6,500 (6,400) antlerless;
WMU 4B: 5,300 (4,500) antlered, 5,500 (5,100) antlerless;
WMU 4C: 5,500 (5,700) antlered, 7,400 (8,400) antlerless;
WMU 4D: 7,100 (6,300) antlered, 6,600 (5,500) antlerless;
WMU 4E: 5,100 (4,800) antlered, 6,100 (5,900) antlerless;
WMU 5A: 3,600 (2,400) antlered, 3,600 (3,400) antlerless;
WMU 5B: 7,200 (6,900) antlered, 12,900 (12,500) antlerless;
WMU 5C: 8,900 (9,400) antlered, 24,200 (24,000) antlerless;
WMU 5D: 1,200 (1,100) antlered, 3,800 (3,700) antlerless; and
Unknown WMU: 140 (130) antlered, 160 (10) antlerless.

Season-specific deer harvest estimates – such as archery and muzzleloader and rifle – by WMU for 2011-12 also can 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 recommendations for each WMU."

Season-specific deer harvest estimates are as follows:

WMU 1A: firearms, 3,000 antlered, 6,800 antlerless; archery, 2,140 antlered, 1,790 antlerless; and muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 1,210 antlerless;
WMU 1B: firearms, 4,000 antlered, 7,500 antlerless; archery, 1,950 antlered, 1,260 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 740 antlerless;
WMU 2A: firearms, 5,100 antlered, 9,200 antlerless; archery, 1,950 antlered, 1,810 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,690 antlerless;
WMU 2B: firearms, 1,800 antlered, 9,000 antlerless; archery, 2,620 antlered, 7,000 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 1,000 antlerless;
WMU 2C: firearms, 5,700 antlered, 9,200 antlerless; archery, 2,450 antlered, 2,090 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,510 antlerless;
WMU 2D: firearms, 7,200 antlered, 14,400 antlerless; archery, 3,800 antlered, 2,330 antlerless; muzzleloader, 100 antlered, 2,570 antlerless;
WMU 2E: firearms, 3,100 antlered, 5,300 antlerless; archery, 970 antlered, 790 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 1,010 antlerless;
WMU 2F: firearms, 4,100 antlered, 5,000 antlerless; archery, 1,220 antlered, 780 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 920 antlerless;
WMU 2G: firearms, 5,200 antlered, 3,500 antlerless; archery, 1,030 antlered, 780 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 1,220 antlerless;
WMU 3A: firearms, 2,500 antlered, 4,900 antlerless; archery, 760 antlered, 860 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 940 antlerless;
WMU 3B: firearms, 4,400 antlered, 5,000 antlerless; archery, 1,440 antlered, 1,360 antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 1,340 antlerless;
WMU 3C: firearms, 5,500 antlered, 6,900 antlerless; archery, 1,530 antlered, 1,410 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 1,590 antlerless;
WMU 3D: firearms, 3,200 antlered, 5,000 antlerless; archery, 1,240 antlered, 1,460 antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 740 antlerless;
WMU 4A: firearms, 4,100 antlered, 5,300 antlerless; archery, 630 antlered, 480 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 720 antlerless;
WMU 4B: firearms, 4,000 antlered, 3,900 antlerless; archery, 1,250 antlered, 790 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 810 antlerless;
WMU 4C: firearms, 3,800 antlered, 5,300 antlerless; archery, 1,630 antlered, 1,210 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 890 antlerless;
WMU 4D: firearms, 5,600 antlered, 4,500 antlerless; archery, 1,420 antlered, 1,020 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 1,080 antlerless;
WMU 4E: firearms, 3,600 antlered, 4,300 antlerless; archery, 1,440 antlered, 1,030 antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 770 antlerless;
WMU 5A: firearms, 2,500 antlered, 2,600 antlerless; archery, 1,070 antlered, 550 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 450 antlerless;
WMU 5B: firearms, 3,800 antlered, 8,100 antlerless; archery, 3,320 antlered, 3,460 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 1,340 antlerless;
WMU 5C: firearms, 3,800 antlered, 13,200 antlerless; archery, 4,950 antlered, 9,350 antlerless; muzzleloader, 150 antlered, 1,650 antlerless; and
WMU 5D: firearms, 300 antlered, 1,200 antlerless; archery, 880 antlered, 2,530 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 70 antlerless.
Unknown WMU: firearms, 0 antlered, 130 antlerless; archery, 110 antlered, 30 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 0 antlerless.

Following are two tables that provide the data used to estimate antlered and antlerless deer harvests for each WMU.

4.1 Antlered

 

Deer checked by PGC deer aging personnel

Deer checked by PGC and reported by hunters

Deer reported by hunters

Harvest Estimates (1)

WMU

1A

291

107

1912

5,200

1B

596

195

1976

6,000

2A

410

128

2241

7,100

2B

181

70

1744

4,500

2C

577

200

2868

8,200

2D

615

213

3866

11,100

2E

296

115

1607

4,100

2F

501

179

1933

5,400

2G

517

217

2636

6,300

3A

354

124

1177

3,300

3B

651

229

2093

5,900

3C

757

276

2595

7,100

3D

383

140

1655

4,500

4A

357

123

1679

4,800

4B

502

207

2208

5,300

4C

499

208

2309

5,500

4D

556

203

2616

7,100

4E

532

224

2142

5,100

5A

116

36

1130

3,600

5B

552

239

3113

7,200

5C

466

175

3364

8,900

5D

38

17

533

1,200

UNK(2)

 

 

52

140

TOTALS

9,747

3,625

47,449

127,540

(1) - Published harvest estimates are estimated using a Mark-Recapture estimator and are rounded to the nearest 100 or 1,000 depending on precision of the estimate.

(2) - UNK calculated as total unknown reported divided by statewide reporting rate, rounded to 10s

 

4.2 Antlerless

WMU

Deer checked by PGC deer aging personnel

Deer checked by PGC and reported by hunters

Deer reported by hunters

Harvest Estimates (1)

1A

783

273

3438

9,800

1B

1689

516

2908

9,500

2A

859

200

2962

12,700

2B

417

78

3127

17,000

2C

990

312

4040

12,800

2D

1311

397

5841

19,300

2E

392

114

2069

7,100

2F

774

261

2277

6,700

2G

290

110

2109

5,500

3A

561

166

1982

6,700

3B

676

212

2424

7,700

3C

768

231

2999

9,900

3D

534

168

2262

7,200

4A

537

178

2171

6,500

4B

469

172

2023

5,500

4C

968

396

3028

7,400

4D

458

171

2458

6,600

4E

617

236

2321

6,100

5A

269

122

1627

3,600

5B

1303

486

4833

12,900

5C

1396

445

7736

24,200

5D

188

78

1599

3,800

UNK(2)

 

 

51

160

TOTALS

16,249

5,322

66,285

208,660

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) - Published harvest estimates are estimated using a Mark-Recapture estimator and are rounded to the nearest 100 or 1,000 depending on precision of the estimate.

 

(2) - UNK calculated as total unknown reported divided by statewide reporting rate, rounded to 10s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Connect with Wildlife, visit the Game Commission at the following:

Website: www.pgc.state.pa.us

Twitter: www.twitter.com/PAGameComm

YouTube: www.youtube.com/pagamecommission

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaGameCommission

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive Game Commission news releases via e-mail, please send a note with your name, address, telephone number and the name of the organization you represent to: PGCNews@pa.gov

SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission

Back to top

RELATED LINKS
http://www.pgc.state.pa.us