HARRISBURG - Hunters took 504,600 deer during Pennsylvania^s 2000-2001 hunting seasons, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission today. In the 1999-2000 deer hunting seasons, hunters harvested 378,592 deer.
The 2000-2001 antlered (buck) harvest was 203,221, compared to 194,368 during the 1999-2000 deer hunting seasons. The 2000-2001 antlerless (doe) harvest was 301,379, compared to the 1999-2000 harvest of 184,224, which was significantly impacted by poor weather during a three-day antlerless season.
"The 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons provided hunters with greater opportunities, and nature cooperated by providing near picture-perfect weather," said Dr. Gary Alt, Game Commission Deer Management Section supervisor. "This harvest was necessary just to stabilize the herd. But, with this year^s fawn production, we anticipate the statewide deer population this coming fall to be very similar in size to that of last fall."
Each winter, using harvest results, the Game Commission projects what the previous fall^s statewide deer population was before the hunting season began. Using this year^s harvest numbers, the agency projected that the statewide deer herd actually was 1.49 million before the 2000-2001 deer seasons began.
Dr. Alt noted that, based on the harvest results, the agency accomplished its goal of stabilizing the statewide deer herd^s rate of growth.
"Last year, our stated objective behind the changes implemented for the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons was to stabilize the rate of growth of the statewide deer herd," Dr. Alt said. "The goal for the 2001-2002 deer hunting seasons will be to reduce the statewide deer herd by about 5 percent. This reduction in deer numbers in key areas will begin to give the habitat a chance to recover."
Of the total number of deer harvested in 2000-2001, bowhunters took 78,522 (38,453 antlered and 40,069 antlerless) compared to 72,071 deer (37,709 antlered and 34,362 antlerless) in 1999-2000. Flintlock hunters also harvested 30,405 (1,189 antlered to 29,216 antlerless) compared to 13,949 (967 antlered and 12,982 antlerless) in 1999-2000.
(A series of three maps detailing the county-by-county results of the 2000 deer hunting seasons can be viewed on the agency^s website - www.pgc.state.pa.us - by clicking "Hunting Information," choosing "Deer Hunter Information," and then selecting "Harvest Reports." Also, under "Hunting Information," statewide deer harvests figures from 1915 through 1999 can be viewed by selecting "Deer/Bear Harvest Report." Finally, county-by-county harvest figures from 1993-1999 are available by selecting "County Information" and then choosing the county of interest from the map.)