Begin Main Content Area

 PA.Media.BreadCrumbs - MediaBreadCrumbs

Media > Game Commission > Details

News Image

GAME COMMISSION RELEASES DEER HARVEST ESTIMATES

03/24/2022

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported results from the 2021-22 deer seasons, which ended in January.

Hunters harvested an estimated 376,810 white-tailed deer. The statewide buck harvest was estimated at 145,320 and the antlerless harvest at 231,490.

That take, overall, is down about 13 percent compared to 2020-21, when hunters recorded the largest deer harvest in 16 years, harvesting an estimated 435,180 deer. It is, however, similar to the estimated statewide deer harvests during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

That’s not cause for concern, said Game Commission Deer and Elk Section Supervisor David Stainbrook. The 2020-21 season was above average, and the 2021-22 season is back on track with previous years.

Twenty-two percent of hunters took an antlered deer, he noted. That’s right in line with the previous four-year average and better than in years past.

In the 1987-88 season, for example, just 16% of hunters harvested an antlered deer. In the 2007-08 season, only 15% percent filled a tag.

“When corrected by the number of hunters, success rates are higher today than in the past, even with antler-point restrictions,” Stainbrook said. “That our hunters are able to replicate that level of harvest speaks to just how sustainable our deer population is here in Pennsylvania.”

The harvest also points to how antlerless allocations – and not length of seasons – drive deer harvests. The 2021 firearms deer season featured two weeks of concurrent buck and doe hunting for the first time statewide in more than a decade, yet with the number of antlerless tags available down compared to the year before, the overall harvest was lower.

Of the deer taken by hunters, many of the bucks harvested were older. Sixty-two percent of antlered deer taken by hunters were 2.5 years old or older; only 38% percent were 1.5 years old.

That’s an almost complete reversal of how things were even two decades ago. Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans credited that to how hunters have embraced antler restrictions, in place since 2002.

“Pennsylvania is routinely producing some really impressive deer, on both public and private ground,” Burhans said. “We see that in the entries coming into our Big Game Records Program, in the photos smiling hunters share, and in the deer we see when our staff visits deer processors to collect harvest data.

“We couldn’t have any of that without a well-managed deer herd and cooperation on the part of our hunters,” he said.

Meanwhile, 25% of antlerless tags issued resulted in a deer harvest this past season. That’s right in line with previous years, too.

Among antlerless deer harvested, 69 percent were adult females, 16% button bucks and 15% doe fawns. All of those figures are consistent with long-term averages.

As in years past, bowhunters accounted for a little over one-third of the total deer harvest, taking 130,650 whitetails (68,580 bucks and 62,070 antlerless deer) with either bows or crossbows. The 2020-21 archery harvest was 160,480 deer (80,130 bucks and 80,350 antlerless deer).

The estimated muzzleloader harvest was 21,060 (1,020 bucks, 20,040 antlerless deer). The 2020-21 muzzleloader harvest was 28,260 (1,140 bucks, 27,120 antlerless deer).

The full report on Pennsylvania’s 2021-22 deer harvest estimates is available on the white-tailed deer page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2021-22 (with 2020-21 figures in parentheses) are as follows:

 

WMU 1A: 6,000 antlered (9,000), 13,200 antlerless (18,000).

WMU 1B: 9,300 antlered (11,700), and 12,600 antlerless (17,800).

WMU 2A: 6,800 antlered (8,100), and 10,600 antlerless (11,800).

WMU 2B: 5,200 antlered (6,200), and 12,100 antlerless (15,000).

WMU 2C: 9,300 antlered (8,400), and 15,400 antlerless (15,700).

WMU 2D: 11,500 antlered (12,000), and 19,900 antlerless (18,700).

WMU 2E: 5,900 antlered (6,500), and 9,500 antlerless (11,300).

WMU 2F: 8,900 antlered (10,700), and 10,200 antlerless (10,000).

WMU 2G: 6,200 antlered (7,500), and 4,800 antlerless (6,800).

WMU 2H: 2,500 antlered (2,900), and 1,900 antlerless (1,600).

WMU 3A: 5,400 antlered (7,000), and 5,400 antlerless (6,700).

WMU 3B: 6,700 antlered (9,100), and 7,600 antlerless (8,500).

WMU 3C: 7,600 antlered (10,800), and 9,400 antlerless (14,500).

WMU 3D: 4,700 antlered (6,200), and 6,300 antlerless (6,400).

WMU 4A: 4,900 antlered (5,200), and 10,300 antlerless (10,800).

WMU 4B: 3,500 antlered (5,000), and 8,400 antlerless (10,800).

WMU 4C: 5,700 antlered (7,000), and 6,400 antlerless (8,100).

WMU 4D: 7,200 antlered (9,100), and 10,300 antlerless (12,300).

WMU 4E: 7,900 antlered (8,600), and 11,800 antlerless (11,200).

WMU 5A: 3,100 antlered (3,500), and 7,200 antlerless (6,100).

WMU 5B: 7,800 antlered (9,600), and 17,100 antlerless (16,400).

WMU 5C: 6,600 antlered (8,400), and 14,700 antlerless (15,200).

WMU 5D: 2,600 antlered (2,200), and 6,300 antlerless (6,500).

Unknown WMU: 20 antlered (80), and 90 antlerless (200).

 

Season-specific 2021-22 deer harvest estimates (with 2020-21 harvest estimates in parentheses) are as follows:

WMU 1A: archery, 3,360 antlered (4,720) and 3,590 antlerless (6,180); and muzzleloader, 40 antlered (80) and 1,310 antlerless (2,020).

WMU 1B: archery, 4,550 antlered (5,160) and 2,250 antlerless (4,180); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (40) and 950 antlerless (1,520).

WMU 2A: archery, 3,250 antlered (3,540) and 2,330 antlerless (3,000); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (60) and 1,270 antlerless (1,200).

WMU 2B: archery, 3,950 antlered (4,630) and 5,300 antlerless (8,470); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (70) and 700 antlerless (830).

WMU 2C: archery, 4,420 antlered (3,860) and 3,530 antlerless (3,630); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (40) and 1,270 antlerless (1,570).

WMU 2D: archery, 5,800 antlered (6,080) and 4,010 antlerless (3,560); and muzzleloader, 100 antlered (120) and 1,890 antlerless (1,740).

WMU 2E: archery, 2,370 antlered (2,660) and 1,690 antlerless (2,070); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (40) and 910 antlerless (1,130).

WMU 2F: archery, 3,270 antlered (4,100) and 1,350 antlerless (2,090); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (100) and 1,050 antlerless (1,810).

WMU 2G: archery, 1,950 antlered (2,470) and 850 antlerless (1,780); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (30) and 650 antlerless (1,420).

WMU 2H: archery, 770 antlered (970) and 280 antlerless (380); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 220 antlerless (220).

WMU 3A: archery, 1,980 antlered (2,470) and 1,010 antlerless (1,630); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (30) and 590 antlerless (980).

WMU 3B: archery, 2,640 antlered (3,470) and 1,430 antlerless (2,110); and muzzleloader, 60 antlered (30) and 770 antlerless (1,190).

WMU 3C: archery, 2,770 antlered (3,570) and 1,760 antlerless (3,480); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 840 antlerless (1,820).

WMU 3D: archery, 1,980 antlered (2,670) and 1,500 antlerless (2,240); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (30) and 500 antlerless (760).

WMU 4A: archery, 1,340 antlered (1,650) and 1,570 antlerless (1,880); and muzzleloader, 60 antlered (50) and 930 antlerless (1,120).

WMU 4B: archery, 1,670 antlered (2,260) and 2,070 antlerless (2,870); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (40) and 730 antlerless (1,030).

WMU 4C: archery, 2,870 antlered (3,260) and 1,750 antlerless (2,890); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (40) and 550 antlerless (1,010).

WMU 4D: archery, 2,780 antlered (3,550) and 2,300 antlerless (3,020); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (50) and 1,000 antlerless (1,280).

WMU 4E: archery, 3,630 antlered (3,850) and 2,730 antlerless (3,420); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (50) and 970 antlerless (1,280).

WMU 5A: archery, 1,380 antlered (1,680) and 2,200 antlerless (1,920); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (20) and 600 antlerless (480).

WMU 5B: archery, 5,040 antlered (5,840) and 7,280 antlerless (7,730); and muzzleloader, 60 antlered (60) and 1,320 antlerless (1,470).

WMU 5C: archery, 4,730 antlered (5,810) and 6,890 antlerless (7,410); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (90) and 810 antlerless (990).

WMU 5D: archery, 2,080 antlered (1,790) and 4,390 antlerless (4,310); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (10) and 210 antlerless (190).

Unknown WMU: archery, 0 antlered (70) and 10 antlerless (100); and muzzleloader, 0 antlered (0) and 0 antlerless (60).

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

# # #


 Content Editor

 PA.AgencyPortal.Media - MediaPageTitle