Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Game Commission Releases 2011-12 Deer Harvest Estimates

 HARRISBURG – 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 seasons’ 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 ( 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 theJournal 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderated. Anyone may comment.