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PA Game Commission News Release
2001 Elmerton Avenue · Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9797 www.pgc.state.pa.us



Release #22-13

March 25, 2013



GAME COMMISSION RELEASES 2012-13 DEER HARVEST ESTIMATES



HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that, in the state’s 2012-13 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 343,110 deer, which is an increase of about two percent from the previous seasons’ harvest of 336,200.



Hunters took 133,860 antlered deer in the 2012-13 seasons, an increase of about five percent from the previous license year’s harvest of 127,540. Also, hunters harvested 209,250 antlerless deer in 2012-13, which is a slight increase over the 208,660 antlerless deer taken in 2011-12.



“This year’s antlered deer harvest is slightly above the average harvest since 2005, when agency efforts began to stabilize deer populations in most of the state,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “The age structure of the antlered deer harvest was 49 percent 1.5 year-old-bucks and 51 percent 2.5-year-old and older bucks.



“The antlerless hunter success rate remained at about 25 percent for licenses issued. This is on average with harvest success for recent years. The age structure of this year’s antlerless deer harvest was 61 percent adult females, 22 percent button bucks, and 18 percent doe fawns. The rates are similar to long-term averages.”



Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2013-14 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.



Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2012-13 (with 2011-12 figures in parentheses) are as follows:



WMU 1A: 6,100 (5,200) antlered, 11,900 (9,800) antlerless;



WMU 1B: 7,000 (6,000) antlered, 11,100 (9,500) antlerless;



WMU 2A: 6,700 (7,100) antlered, 12,700 (12,700) antlerless;



WMU 2B: 4,800 (4,500) antlered, 16,000 (17,000) antlerless;



WMU 2C: 7,600 (8,200) antlered, 10,800 (12,800) antlerless;



WMU 2D: 13,700 (11,100) antlered, 20,800 (19,300) antlerless;



WMU 2E: 4,800 (4,100) antlered 5,600 (7,100) antlerless;



WMU 2F: 7,100 (5,400) antlered, 6,100 (6,700) antlerless;



WMU 2G: 6,600 (6,300) antlered, 6,500 (5,500) antlerless;



WMU 3A: 4,300 (3,300) antlered, 6,700 (6,700) antlerless;



WMU 3B: 5,800 (5,900) antlered, 8,700 (7,700) antlerless;



WMU 3C: 7,900 (7,100) antlered, 10,500 (9,900) antlerless;



WMU 3D: 4,000 (4,500) antlered, 6,000 (7,200) antlerless;



WMU 4A: 4,200 (4,800) antlered, 6,500 (6,500) antlerless;



WMU 4B: 5,600 (5,300) antlered, 5,600 (5,500) antlerless;



WMU 4C: 5,300 (5,500) antlered, 7,800 (7,400) antlerless;



WMU 4D: 6,900 (7,100) antlered, 6,300 (6,600) antlerless;



WMU 4E: 5,000 (5,100) antlered, 6,100 (6,100) antlerless;



WMU 5A: 2,800 (3,600) antlered, 3,600 (3,600) antlerless;



WMU 5B: 8,500 (7,200) antlered, 12,500 (12,900) antlerless;



WMU 5C: 7,800 (8,900) antlered, 23,600 (24,200) antlerless;



WMU 5D: 1,300 (1,200) antlered, 3,800 (3,800) antlerless; and



Unknown WMU: 60 (140) antlered, 50 (160) antlerless.



Season-specific 2012-13 deer harvest estimates (with 2011-12 harvest estimates in parentheses) are as follows:



WMU 1A: archery, 2,300 (2,140) antlered, 2,220 (1,790) antlerless; and muzzleloader, 100 (60) antlered, 1,380 (1,210) antlerless.



WMU 1B: archery, 2,250 (1,950) antlered, 1,480 (1,260) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (50) antlered, 920 (740) antlerless.



WMU 2A: archery, 1,970 (1,950) antlered, 2,320 (1,810) antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 (50) antlered, 2,080 (1,690) antlerless.



WMU 2B: archery, 2,800 (2,620) antlered, 7,040 (7,000) antlerless; muzzleloader, 100 (80) antlered, 1,060 (1,000) antlerless.



WMU 2C: archery, 2,220 (2,450) antlered, 2,160 (2,090) antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 (50) antlered, 1,640 (1,510) antlerless.



WMU 2D: archery, 4,480 (3,800) antlered, 2,910 (2,330) antlerless; muzzleloader, 120 (100) antlered, 3,290 (2,570) antlerless.



WMU 2E: archery, 1,160 (970) antlered, 740 (790) antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 (30) antlered, 960 (1,010) antlerless.



WMU 2F: archery, 1,550 (1,220) antlered, 790 (780) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (80) antlered, 1,110 (920) antlerless.



WMU 2G: archery, 1,250 (1,030) antlered, 1,090 (780) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (70) antlered, 1,410 (1,220) antlerless.



WMU 3A: archery, 880 (760) antlered, 750 (860) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (40) antlered, 850 (940) antlerless.



WMU 3B: archery, 1,450 (1,440) antlered, 1,530 (1,360) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (60) antlered, 1,670 (1,340) antlerless.



WMU 3C: archery, 1,840 (1,530) antlered, 1,660 (1,410) antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 (70) antlered, 1,940 (1,590) antlerless.



WMU 3D: archery, 1,080 (1,240) antlered, 1,170 (1,460) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (60) antlered, 730 (740) antlerless.



WMU 4A: archery, 660 (630) antlered, 650 (480) antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 (70) antlered, 750 (720) antlerless.



WMU 4B: archery, 1,480 (1,250) antlered, 1,110 (790) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (50) antlered, 890 (810) antlerless.



WMU 4C: archery, 1,850 (1,630) antlered, 1,490 (1,210) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (70) antlered, 810 (890) antlerless.



WMU 4D: archery, 1,450 (1,420) antlered, 1,190 (1,020) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (80) antlered, 1,010 (1,080) antlerless.



WMU 4E: archery, 1,550 (1,440) antlered, 1,200 (1,030) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (60) antlered, 1,000 (770) antlerless.



WMU 5A: archery, 780 (1,070) antlered, 630 (550) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (30) antlered, 370 (450) antlerless.



WMU 5B: archery, 4,020 (3,320) antlered, 3,700 (3,460) antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 (80) antlered, 1,300 (1,340) antlerless.



WMU 5C: archery, 4,170 (4,950) antlered, 9,370 (9,350) antlerless; muzzleloader, 130 (150) antlered, 1,430 (1,650) antlerless.



WMU 5D: archery, 970 (880) antlered, 2,520 (2,530) antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 (20) antlered, 80 (70) antlerless.



Unknown WMU: archery, 60 (110) antlered, 10 (30) antlerless; muzzleloader, 0 (30) antlered, 20 (0) antlerless.



For additional information on Pennsylvania’s 2012-13 deer harvest, please go to the agency’s website – www.pgc.state.pa.us – and click on “White-Tailed Deer” on the homepage, and then select 2012-13 Deer Harvest Estimates under “Deer Management.”
 

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HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that, in the state’s 2012-13 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 343,110 deer, which is an increase of about two percent from the previous seasons’ harvest of 336,200.
An increase during stabilization. That's nice. Some might look at it as continued reduction but I am sure there would be some spin to explain how more is less or something like that.


The age structure of the antlered deer harvest was 49 percent 1.5 year-old-bucks and 51 percent 2.5-year-old and older bucks.
Would be nice to see how that 51% is broken down. Maybe 49% 2.5 and 2% 3.5 and older, Just thinking out loud.


The antlerless hunter success rate remained at about 25 percent for licenses issued. This is on average with harvest success for recent years.
Still takes about 4 tags to remove one antlerless and about 5 tags to remove one Doe. Keep that in mind when allocations come out. Allocations divided by 4.5 should show the direction we are trying to move.


The age structure of this year’s antlerless deer harvest was 61 percent adult females, 22 percent button bucks, and 18 percent doe fawns. The rates are similar to long-term averages.”
Math 101. 61+ 22 + 18 = 101. I told you it was math 101.



Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2012-13 (with 2011-12 figures in parentheses) are as follows
Check the list. no reason to add it again.

I guess it matters where you were hunting this past season.

Seems some had increased harvest and would tend to give a warm and fuzzy to hunters in those areas.


Some has decreases and may be the source for the sour taste left after the season.


One trend that jumps out with only few exceptions seems to be the WMU's that increased Doe harvest also increased Buck harvest. Those that decreased Doe harvest seemed to also decrease buck harvest.


I am sure we will have disagreements as to why this trend keeps popping up across the state.
Waugh!
 

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3D down 1200 doe , will the GC still issue 39,000 doe tags for 2013-14? Pretty serious drop when you consider the overall state harvest was up.
 

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Given the mild winter and abundance of acorns we had in 2011/12 I thought the 3D numbers would have been up by 10% not down 15%. That was even with snow cover the first week of rifle.
I am sure they will not cut the doe tag allotment back but I hope they either cut out the second week of concurrent doe or have the first 3 days of rifle as a buck only zone.
 

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I would expect the buck harvest to increase as in a lot of western WMU'S browtines were eliminated which not only puts a lot of 5 and 6 pts into the pool, but also a lot of 7 and 8pts that hunters before couldn't shoot because they couldn't tell, but now can because they don't have to look for brow tines. Beyond that HS was not nor ever will be a static number, it's the trend they are looking at. Weather is the biggest factor behind the actual number of deer as to what the kill will be, but this yr we had the aberration of the removal of BT,s in the mix and decent weather.
 

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The biggest factor in my mind for the doe harvests is the length of season.
The weather and food conditions have a big impact on buck and doe harvests as well. There is no way you can determine the population level in any given WMU based on one season's harvest numbers. If you think you can, you must sit in front of the computer too much.
 

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TusseyMtMan said:
The biggest factor in my mind for the doe harvests is the length of season.
The weather and food conditions have a big impact on buck and doe harvests as well. There is no way you can determine the population level in any given WMU based on one season's harvest numbers. If you think you can, you must sit in front of the computer too much.
So if the harvest would of increased by 50% instead of dropping by 15% it wouldn't have meant that there were more deer? 3D had a 2 week doe season, better overall weather than 201- 2012, a very mild winter and a very good mast crop going into the season. So what else could have caused the huge drop in doe numbers
 

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20-25%? So what else could cause such a big decrease? As far as sitting in front of the computer,you have over 4000 posts while I have a little over 100. If you look when the majority of my posts are made it isn't during hunting season or during the day because alot of my free time is spent in the woods.
 

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Given the mild winter and abundance of acorns we had in 2011/12 I thought the 3D numbers would have been up by 10% not down 15%. That was even with snow cover the first week of rifle.
I am sure they will not cut the doe tag allotment back but I hope they either cut out the second week of concurrent doe or have the first 3 days of rifle as a buck only zone.
The areas of 3D that I hunt are very similar to what I have seen on my visits to 2G. We have a habitat problem and we need to understand that before we can expect more deer.

Pockets have been improving but that only helps pockets of deer.

IMHO we need to keep it low or even knock it back a tad for little longer. I think this would be best for the long haul. Stinks now but could be worse.

We were making headway in 3B until this split season started. It seems it stalled. It may be connected like I think or it could be a coincidence.

No doubt the herd is down in 3D but as an example looking at SGL 127's habitat it is a wonder we have any deer. Waugh!
 

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There is no way you can determine the population level in any given WMU based on one season's harvest numbers.
I agree. The harvest only shows what was harvested it don't show what was left or what was there before the harvest.

Weather during the critical few days can change everything. Waugh!
 

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20-25%? So what else could cause such a big decrease?
If hunters are not harvesting them there should be more if all was well. How do you explain the herd decreasing when the harvest is also decreasing? Waugh!
 

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"20-25%? So what else could cause such a big decrease?"

Does anyone know the number of harvest reports that hunters sent in last year in 3D before the estimate? I tried to find them, but i'm somewhat computer challanged. I'm just trying to rule out a possible cause.

This year it was Buck 1606 and Doe 2168.
 

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I googled the 2011-12 report and...

3D had hunters reporting 1655 bucks and 2262 does.

Not really all that much of a decrease from last year.
 

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The biggest difference between last season and this season in 3D is the report rate used to caculate the estimate.

If last years report rate was used to caculate the harvest this year the harvest would be:

Buck 4,400 and Doe 6,900
 

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The biggest difference between last season and this season in 3D is the report rate used to caculate the estimate.
Was the number of deer checked the same?

If last years report rate was used to caculate the harvest this year the harvest would be:

Buck 4,400 and Doe 6,900
Unless the same number of hunters hunted in that WMU and the same number of deer were checked along with the same number of checked deer also being reported You can 't use last years report rate or any other year's report rate.

3D seems to be about as stable as they get when you look at the trends.

9/10 6300

10/11 5500 -800

11/12 7200 +1700 gained the lost 800 back and added 900

12/13 6000 -1200 but only 300 below the 9/10 season.

Up and down but still close enough each year to be within the margin of error of the formula used.

All this with changing allocations. Not bad.

Now look at the buck harvest which is not directly related to allocations.

9/10 3.1K

10/11 3.9K + 800

11/12 4.5K + 600

12/13 4K - 500 still showing a + 900 from 9/10

I don't understand why you would think the harvest would be so high after a high harvest the previous year unless you think the herd is expanding. Last years mast will help this years harvest. Hopefully the Doe harvest will also increase or we could find ourself in this holding pattern for a long time. Waugh!
 

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Jim: In 3D

2011-2012

383 antlered deer were checked of those 140 were weported.

534 doe were checked of those 168 were reported.

Last season hunters reported a slightly higher deer harvested, but the report rate was lower.

this season hunters reported less deer harvested than last year, but the report rate was higher.

2012-2013

454 antlered deer were checked of those 180 were reported.

642 doe were checked of those 231 were reported.

What this means to me is it's possible that last years harvest could have been over estimated and their is little change, but on the other hand if last years harvest was under estimated and this years was over estimated there could be a even bigger drop in the harvest. Who knows?

What I did find interesting was that although more hunters reported their harvest in 3D last season it seemes more hunters didn't when they should have, and this season in 3D less hunters reported their harvest, but more hunters that should have did.

If that makes sence to anyone PLEASE explain it to me.
 

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What this means to me is it's possible that last years harvest could have been over estimated and their is little change, but on the other hand if last years harvest was under estimated and this years was over estimated there could be a even bigger drop in the harvest. Who knows?
The statisticians know.
As I see it, Both year the harvest was both over and under estimated. The number we get is the middle of that over and under. The middle moved so the number we get moved. It is possible the harvest was the same both years but no one will ever know for sure. As you know it is an estimate not an exact number like we look at on the report.

What I did find interesting was that although more hunters reported their harvest in 3D last season it seemes more hunters didn't when they should have, and this season in 3D less hunters reported their harvest, but more hunters that should have did.
First, all successful hunters should have.


Second, more hunters did NOT report deer that were checked in 12/13 (685 DNR) than in 11/12 when 609 DNR.

More deer were checked in 12/13 (1096) than in 11/12 (917)

Third, the reporting rate improved from 11/12 (33.5%) to a rate of 37.5% for 12/13. Still a poor reporting rate but an improvement. Waugh!
 

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Funny, I thought that the more of us who report our harvest the less the estimate should be, seemes to be working in reverse.
 
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