PGC Deer Data ť 2G - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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PGC Deer Data – 2G

This post is in response to jimbridger’s comments below from the Bear Density Goals thread.

Originally Posted by jimbridger
From what I am reading and seeing I don't think the recruitment of fawns into the winter herd has been impacted according to data published by the PGC and expressed in the harvest stats. If anything recruitment is increasing as a percentage of the remaining herd.
WHICH set of “published data” are you referring to???

Anyone who’s been following the saga of the 2G herd knows that PGC can’t make up its mind as to how many deer there really are, and therefore has no confirmation of fawn recruitment status – hence the need for a new predator/fawn study!

The PGC Deer Population Trend Annual Report for year 2010 (21001-10z.pdf) claimed the herd was in DECLINE for the past 4 years. Then the 2011 report (21001-11z) turned around and claimed just the opposite, it said the 2G herd had been GROWING over the past 5 years. Then the 2012 report (21001-12z) told yet a 3rd story – it skipped over those earlier years and placed the current 2G/2H herd somewhere in the middle of the previous two reports, but instead of citing the Oct population, it spelled things out via Over-Winter population.

Confusing? Yes.

This hodge-podge of data types, plus the fact that each set tells a different story, makes it nearly impossible, as far as I can tell, to ascertain any legitimate fawn recruitment status in 2G/2H over the past 10 years.

If you don’t believe me, look here at the reports from the PGC “experts”, and the graph I made from them:

2010 Report:

2011 Report:

2012 Report:

When you plot those numbers it looks like this:

When you change the currency to Jan population for all reports, this is what you get:

The supposed peer-reviewed methodology that PGC uses to measure population trends produced 3 different trends for 2G! It’s stated right there in the PGC reports from 2010, 2011, 2012.

How does any thinking hunter not question this?

Clearly there are problems with the PGC population modeling tools. PGC claims that when the new deer program started in year 1999, the 2G deer density was 15 dpfsm in January (overwinter), then remarkably GREW all the way up to 27 dpfsm in the 2000’s (or 2010’s depending on which report you believe). Does anyone really believe 2G’s herd nearly doubled since the start of Herd Reduction???

Because of all the discrepancies in the published data, I won’t attempt to extract fawn recruitment for 2G/2H. But let’s look at 3A, which I believe is where Kip is.

The PGC reports for 3A are similar, but in this WMU we have 2 stories instead of 3 to choose from.

When speaking of deer populations:
January + Harvest = Oct, right?

Or if you want to get technical:
January + Harvest + mortality = Oct, right?

However, if you take the PGC published Oct deer population (from the 2010 & 2011 report) and subtract the next year’s Jan population (from the 2012 report), the difference is consistently LOWER than PGC published harvest. The numbers from our professionals simply do NOT add up. John Eveland should be on this like a fly to poop.

But seriously, this means either:
1) The harvests are inflated
2) The Jan. populations are inflated
3) Or, the Oct. estimates are low, right?

Since the harvest numbers are supposedly the best numbers available, let’s give PGC the benefit of the doubt and assume harvest is correct. And since the Jan numbers come from the most recent PGC report, let’s assume these are correct as well. That means the Oct numbers in the 2010 & 2011 reports are way low, so I’ll need to adjust them up to calculate fawn recruitment. Ready?

As you can see above, according to PGC published data, it appears the fawn recruitment took a dive in year 2007 and again starting in 2011. Well surprise, this nearly matches Kip’s data below. And Rosenberry “can’t justify a fawn survival study”???

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 11:52 PM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

According to some on here , hunters are not the limiting factor for 2 G deer numbers....they say it's all in the habitat.

So judging by the last 2 graphs posted for 2g it appears the habitat is regenerating quite nicely .
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 12:29 AM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

i think the buck harvest is commonly used as a yardstick to estimate deer populations?


from what the buck harvest figures show, i'd interpret this to mean deer numbers are pretty stable?

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 01:00 AM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

How can you even think to use buck harvest to show stability when the buck:doe ratio has changed due to AR?
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 01:05 AM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

Wasn't that change over for a few years now??? I mean for 2-3 years it was being reduced, but it's been pretty stable for the last 7-8 years now. I don't think buck harvest from year to year is a reliable indicator due to a number of variables. But a series of years like what is presented here definitely shows the trend, which indeed, is stable.
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 01:06 AM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

The PGC has mixed up their deer estimate numbers for years..I do not think they understand how high the poaching numbers are including deer being shot and not tagged..I think West Virginia has a much better idea of their population estimates and they are not afraid to cancel doe seasons in certain areas..This is called an effective wildlife management tool in West Virginia but here in PA it is rarely practiced..I will say if the whitetail is increasing in certain areas of the state it is due to the hardiness of the species.In the past few years the predator base has increased placing a heavier burden on the whitetail deer..Now we have a new disease coming into the state which will put further strain on the species..Wisconsin has found out that eradicating the deer in certain areas does not work...
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 01:12 AM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

Originally Posted by pahick
How can you even think to use buck harvest to show stability when the buck:doe ratio has changed due to AR?
As long as you are comparing the years since antler restrictions to other years with the same antler restrictions you most certainly can use the buck harvest as an indication of the deer population trends unless there would be some type of drastic changes in the number of buck hunters from year to year.

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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 12:26 PM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

Dick, I would agree if everything else was static. The fact is, any number of variables, including the number of hunters as you pointed out, can skew data. HR, which continued for a number of years(and still does with 2H/2G split) can skew data further.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 02:12 PM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

I saw HR and other factors bottom out the herd in 2G around 2005.I've seen a steady and slow increase in the herd ever since.This past year wasn't much different than the early 2000's.
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 02:25 PM
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Re: PGC Deer Data – 2G

How can that be? Doug, we've had a stable harvest dontchaknow?
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