Re: 336,200 deer harvest
Someone on another thread (under the deer mgmt /AR /HR areas I think it was) about "accuracy" verses "precision".
Quackmaster said it best in regard to the limited data provided by hunters. The more data they have, the more accurate and precise the kill estimate can be. Right now they have limited data and have to extrapolate a lot. It would be better for all involved, including the deer, if they had a lot of data and had to extrapolate a little.
Best idea I've seen proposed is mandatory reporting of tag status for EVERY tag, whether anything was killed or not.
In today's world, any "excuse" for not being able to do this is just hooey. Virtually every citizen in the Commonwealth has some form of access to a computer or touch tone phone. I think in most cases these arguments are just their form of protest, they have an anti-PGC attitude and want to be parochial about it and say "I don't have a computer" or "I don't have a phone". Okay then, I guess 300,000 of those deer must have been killed by true, old-school Amish.
For the few that truly don't have such access, or are (much) older and not comfortable with technology, they do have access to a regular telephone, provide a 1-800 number where they can phone in their information which is recorded, and for these limited number of cases pay someone to listen to the recording and type in the data.
If people have problems with the estimates and the process, then let's advance the system into the 21st century and report all tags, used or not. The P.O.S. system has a database behind it and with such software systems, they can add a feature such as this. Add an optional $0.25 fee on every license (like the option on your 1040 to donate to the presidential campaign fee) for "improved deer reporting system". I'd donate the cost of a gumball to the cause.
And as hunters we should look in the mirror. Baiting is stigmatized, night shooting is stigmatized, but the attitude toward kill reports is cavalier, at best.
A closed mind keeps the truth out