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GAME COMMISSION RELEASES DEER HARVEST ESTIMATES

03/30/2023

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported results from the 2022-23 deer seasons, which ended in January.

Hunters harvested an estimated 422,960 white-tailed deer. The statewide buck harvest was estimated at 164,190 and the antlerless harvest at 258,770.

All told, that’s a 12% increase over 2021-22’s estimated take, which was 376,810. Longer-term, though, it’s very much in line with recent trends, with the buck harvest in particular only 2% higher than the most-recent three-year average.

 Game Commission Deer and Elk Section Supervisor David Stainbrook said that’s noteworthy because the buck harvest is considered a good indicator of the overall deer population trend. If the buck harvest is climbing, the deer population likely is, too. If it’s dropping, the population probably mirrors that. If it’s stable, the population likely is as well, though, if hunter numbers are declining, a stable antlered harvest trend may actually indicate an increasing population trend.

“The long-term buck harvest trend indicates Pennsylvania’s deer population is in a pretty good place right now,” Stainbrook said. “We see generally stable population trends in most of the state, near goal levels, and we are seeing more older bucks available for harvest.

“For five years running, about one of every four Pennsylvania hunters has tagged a buck, with two of every three bucks harvested being 2.5 years old or older.”

When it comes to antlerless deer, 67% of those harvested were adult females, while 17% were button bucks and 16% were doe fawns. Hunters filled roughly one of every four antlerless deer licenses last season.

All of those figures are in line with the long-term averages.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the harvest numbers reflect well not only the agency’s deer management program, but on the opportunities the state’s deer hunters have now and figure to have going into the future.

“We’ve been saying for a while now that this is a great time to be a Pennsylvania deer hunter,” Burhans said. “These harvest figures are the proof of that.”

As in years past, the regular firearms deer season accounted for the largest part of the 2022-23 deer harvest. Firearms hunters took 251,520 deer, with 87,190 of those bucks and the remaining 164,340 being antlerless. Bowhunters accounted for a little over a third of the total deer harvest, taking 145,640 whitetails (75,770 bucks and 69,870 antlerless deer) with either bows or crossbows. The estimated muzzleloader harvest was 25,790 (1,230 bucks, 24,560 antlerless deer).

Total deer harvest estimates by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for 2022-23 (with 2021-22 figures in parentheses) are as follows:

 

WMU 1A: 9,000 antlered (6,000), 13,800 antlerless (13,200).

WMU 1B: 9,100 antlered (9,300), and 15,300 antlerless (12,600).

WMU 2A: 8,700 antlered (6,800), and 11,000 antlerless (10,600).

WMU 2B: 6,600 antlered (5,200), and 15,000 antlerless (12,100).

WMU 2C: 10,000 antlered (9,300), and 16,600 antlerless (15,400).

WMU 2D: 14,000 antlered (11,500), and 23,000 antlerless (19,900).

WMU 2E: 6,700 antlered (5,900), and 10,600 antlerless (9,500).

WMU 2F: 8,800 antlered (8,900), and 11,800 antlerless (10,200).

WMU 2G: 6,400 antlered (6,200), and 5,100 antlerless (4,800).

WMU 2H: 2,200 antlered (2,500), and 1,800 antlerless (1,900).

WMU 3A: 5,700 antlered (5,400), and 5,600 antlerless (5,400).

WMU 3B: 7,300 antlered (6,700), and 8,900 antlerless (7,600).

WMU 3C: 8,000 antlered (7,600), and 12,000 antlerless (9,400).

WMU 3D: 5,500 antlered (4,700), and 7,400 antlerless (6,300).

WMU 4A: 3,800 antlered (4,900), and 11,100 antlerless (10,300).

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

WMU 4C: 6,900 antlered (5,700), and 8,200 antlerless (6,400).

WMU 4D: 7,900 antlered (7,200), and 12,200 antlerless (10,300).

WMU 4E: 8,000 antlered (7,900), and 12,400 antlerless (11,800).

WMU 5A: 3,100 antlered (3,100), and 7,400 antlerless (7,200).

WMU 5B: 10,900 antlered (7,800), and 16,300 antlerless (17,100).

WMU 5C: 7,200 antlered (6,600), and 16,700 antlerless (14,700).

WMU 5D: 2,500 antlered (2,600), and 6,700 antlerless (6,300).

Unknown WMU: 1,090 antlered (20), and 1,470 antlerless (90).

 

Season-specific 2022-23 deer harvest estimates (with 2021-22 harvest estimates in parentheses) are as follows:

WMU 1A: archery, 4,730 antlered (3,360) and 3,810 antlerless (3,590); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (40) and 1,390 antlerless (1,310).

WMU 1B: archery, 3,970 antlered (4,550) and 2,950 antlerless (2,250); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (50) and 1,250 antlerless (950).

WMU 2A: archery, 3,620 antlered (3,250) and 2,060 antlerless (2,330); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (50) and 1,240 antlerless (1,270).

WMU 2B: archery, 4,830 antlered (3,950) and 6,750 antlerless (5,300); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (50) and 850 antlerless (700).

WMU 2C: archery, 4,410 antlered (4,420) and 3,900 antlerless (3,530); and muzzleloader, 90 antlered (80) and 1,700 antlerless (1,270).

WMU 2D: archery, 6,690 antlered (5,800) and 4,450 antlerless (4,010); and muzzleloader, 110 antlered (100) and 2,650 antlerless (1,890).

WMU 2E: archery, 2,540 antlered (2,370) and 1,900 antlerless (1,690); and muzzleloader, 60 antlered (30) and 1,100 antlerless (910).

WMU 2F: archery, 3,250 antlered (3,270) and 1,930 antlerless (1,350); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (30) and 1,470 antlerless (1,050).

WMU 2G: archery, 2,070 antlered (1,950) and 950 antlerless (850); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (50) and 750 antlerless (650).

WMU 2H: archery, 770 antlered (770) and 280 antlerless (280); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 320 antlerless (220).

WMU 3A: archery, 2,070 antlered (1,980) and 1,030 antlerless (1,010); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (20) and 670 antlerless (590).

WMU 3B: archery, 3,050 antlered (2,640) and 1,830 antlerless (1,430); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (60) and 1,070 antlerless (770).

WMU 3C: archery, 2,870 antlered (2,770) and 2,170 antlerless (1,760); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 1,330 antlerless (840).

WMU 3D: archery, 2,260 antlered (1,980) and 2,030 antlerless (1,500); and muzzleloader, 40 antlered (20) and 770 antlerless (500).

WMU 4A: archery, 1,170 antlered (1,340) and 1,970 antlerless (1,570); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (60) and 1,130 antlerless (930).

WMU 4B: archery, 2,070 antlered (1,670) and 2,100 antlerless (2,070); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 800 antlerless (730).

WMU 4C: archery, 3,450 antlered (2,870) and 2,170 antlerless (1,750); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (30) and 830 antlerless (550).

WMU 4D: archery, 3,020 antlered (2,780) and 2,840 antlerless (2,300); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (20) and 1,260 antlerless (1,000).

WMU 4E: archery, 3,610 antlered (3,630) and 2,800 antlerless (2,730); and muzzleloader, 90 antlered (70) and 1,100 antlerless (970).

WMU 5A: archery, 1,390 antlered (1,380) and 2,460 antlerless (2,200); and muzzleloader, 10 antlered (20) and 540 antlerless (600).

WMU 5B: archery, 6,730 antlered (5,040) and 6,600 antlerless (7,280); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (60) and 1,400 antlerless (1,320).

WMU 5C: archery, 5,020 antlered (4,730) and 8,040 antlerless (6,890); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (70) and 760 antlerless (810).

WMU 5D: archery, 2,080 antlered (2,800) and 4,760 antlerless (4,390); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (120) and 140 antlerless (210).

Unknown WMU: archery, 100 antlered (0) and 90 antlerless (10); and muzzleloader, 0 antlered (0) and 0 antlerless (40).

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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