Pennsylvania Deer:  An estimated population of 1.5 million deer in 2017 and about the same in 2020, up from 1.4 million in 2015, and about 1.3 million in 2014.  A decline in the 2018 buck harvest indicates a population decline.  In 2013, about 1.5 million deer and 1.2 million in 2010.  2019-20 Population Report. Herd analysis at right.  Historical Pennsylvania deer hunting data and news archive
Pennsylvania Deer News

Statewide Concurrent Firearms Deer Seasons up for Approval January 21, 2021 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... The board retained the antler restrictions that have been in place for adult and senior license holders since the 2011-12 seasons... A change to a concurrent season is not intended to increase the antlerless harvest, as the antlerless allocation is the primary tool for managing deer populations. If the proposal for concurrent seasons is approved by the board at the April meeting, the antlerless license allocation will be reduced accordingly to reflect the additional five days of hunting opportunities. The antlerless allocation is based on the estimated number of tags required for hunters to harvest the number of deer necessary to meet the population objectives within a WMU...

... a proposal to remove the limitation on the number of antlerless deer licenses for which hunters can apply, provided a hunter holds no more than four antlerless licenses at a time and licenses still are available for sale within the Wildlife Management Unit; proposed regulations to allow eLicenses to be carried afield as an alternative to paper licenses; a change to allow landowners an additional two months to apply for enrollment in the Deer Management Assistance Program; a proposal to expand the Game Commission’s response to address all wildlife diseases through executive order; and amendments to elk license regulations to better delineate the elk management area and elk hunt zones..,

A look back at 2020 January 16, 2021 Pennsylvania, Carlisle Sentinel
... A black bear population that reached 20,000 produced a state-record kill in 2019 of 4,653 ..,

... the juveniles killed or attempted to kill 14 deer over the course of several months ... charges include 143 citations with fines in the case that could reach a minimum of $48,800 to a maximum of $82,000 ...

... the juveniles killed or attempted to kill 14 deer over the course of several months ... charges include 143 citations with fines in the case that could reach a minimum of $48,800 to a maximum of $82,000 ...

... Currently, an individual hunter can hold no more than three antlerless licenses ... The new proposal calls for hunters to be allowed to buy an unlimited number of tags statewide through a season, but each hunter can be in possession of no more than four tags at one time...

... Penn State researchers suggesting predation is not the only thing in the wild killing fawns... “We think the hormone offers a way to evaluate factors in the environment that affect fawns, such as disease, but are difficult to evaluate when just looking at a carcass that has been picked over by predators,” ...

Columnist speaks on antler restrictions December 17, 2020 Pennsylvania, The Wellsboro Gazette
... back in the day when we were taking 70% of the antlered bucks from the population ... within just a few short years after antler restrictions were implemented, we began to see the results ...

Combatting Chronic Wasting Disease in Pennsylvania, December 2020, Pennsylvania Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force
... Pennsylvania has the second largest captive cervid industry in the country with over 750 facilities including breeding operations, hunting preserves, urine collection facilities and hobby farms... as of October 2020, 24 deer farms have reported CWD positive cases. Of these, 15 no longer have live deer, and three have culled high-risk animals..,

Animal of legend December 8, 2020 Pennsylvania, Williamsport Sun-Gazette
 ... in Pennsylvania. It was estimated that 200 deer were killed in 1907, 95,051 in 1931, 186,575 in 1940, and 389,431 in 2019..,

Winter deer management approved in Mt. Lebanon December 1, 2020 Pennsylvania, The Almanac
... Suburban Wildlife Management Solutions Inc. will remove up to 50 deer ... at a cost not to exceed $37,000 ... sharpshooting ...

Philadelphia will close large city parks at night for annual deer kill November 27, 2020 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Inquirer
... U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters who kill hundreds of deer each winter... they have every year since 1999 ... The city’s goal is to limit deer there to about 8 to 10 per square mile. Across Pennsylvania, there are about 30 deer per square mile, which state and federal wildlife managers consider sustainable ... 

Plenty of deer and Sunday hunting await sportsmen in Pa.'s firearms season November 24, 2020 Pennsylvania, lehighvalleylive.com
... Overall, the PGC reports deer herds as stable to increasing in all of its WMUs..,

Another exciting Pennsylvania Deer Season approaches November 20, 2020 Pennsylvania, Lock Haven
... Deer hunters continue to experience antlered-buck-harvest-success levels comparable to historic highs in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In recent years, about 22 percent of all hunters have harvested an antlered deer, and we look for this trend to continue.  The 2019-20 antlerless deer harvest was 226,191 ..,

State agencies push for wildlife corridors to help species survive November 15, 2020 Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline
... State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, who is dismayed by the number of deer she sees struck by cars in her Montgomery County neighborhood, has introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study and issue a report on how to better connect existing corridors in the state...

Banned for generations, Sunday big game hunting begins tomorrow in Pa. November 14, 2020 Pennsylvania, NorthcentralPa.com
... Big game hunting on Sundays has been illegal in Pennsylvania since the 19th century ... Last year's passage of Senate Bill 147 expanded big game hunting ...

CWD control efforts could include deer removal November 14, 2020 Pennslvania, Altoona Mirror
...  Chronic Wasting Disease is spreading throughout Pennsylvania’s deer ... With nearly 100,000 deer tested throughout the commonwealth, the game commission has only identified 453 cases of CWD in the white tail deer population and none in the elk population ... 

Penn State researcher defends deer antler point harvest restrictions October 29, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... For more than 80 years, young Pennsylvania bucks have been protected by an antler point restriction ... In Pennsylvania researchers state that since antler restrictions were imposed, antlers are bigger and bucks are growing older on average... The idea that breeding by young males is suppressed in populations with a large proportion of older bucks is not true...

EHD, Commission reports deer deaths due to disease October 21, 2020 Pennsylvania, Meadville Tribune
... Testing of deer found dead in and around state game lands east of Hartstown has confirmed that the deaths resulted from epizootic hemorrhagic disease ... The first hard frost should end the outbreak ... A previous outbreak of the disease in the same area occurred in 2012...

Controversial Deer Hunt Returns to Philly This Weekend October 20, 2020 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Mag
...Heinz Wildlife Refuge deputy manager Mariana Bergerson explains ...the 1,000 acre refuge contains about 74 deer per square mile, while studies have concluded that somewhere between 20 and 38 deer per square mile would be ideal for maintaining a healthy ecosystem...

  Lower Merion Police Rescue Deer Stuck In Fence October 13, 2020 Pennsylvania, Patch
...  they broke out bolt cutters to snap away one of the metal fence posts.  And with one clip of the cutters the deer was free...

Fall Hunting Seasons Again Filled with Many Changes October 4, 2020 Pennsylvania, State College News
... Pennsylvania’s black bear population has been growing, and last year, stood at well over 20,000 ... the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that the zig-zagging northern boundary of Disease Management Area 2 has been expanded north to include parts of Centre County in three areas..,

Chronic Wasting Disease isn’t new to Pennsylvania. It was first detected in the state in 2012. But management of the disease has evolved over time, and there are several important changes hunters will want to be aware of going into the 2020-21 deer seasons. Join us to learn about new management strategies and how hunters can help control CWD by taking advantage of new hunting opportunities, participating in monitoring efforts and more. - September 29, 2020 Pennsylvania

Pa.'s 1st Sunday archery hunt highlights big changes for upcoming deer season September 29, 2020 Pennsylvania, lehighvalleylive.com
...  the Lehigh Valley ... Northampton County Game Warden Brad Kreider says the deer population in Northampton County has increased in recent years, especially since the antlerless deer allocations in WMU 5C were reduced..,

... it will conduct lethal removal of white-tailed deer ... Because hunting is not permitted inside the two parks, only qualified federal employees will take part ...

Chris Rosenberry, Division Chief of the Game Management Division with the Pennsylvania Game Commission provides and update on the status of the Pennsylvania deer herd going into the 2020/21 hunting season. - September 24, 2020


... white oak and chestnut oak, will be very limited this year in many areas, particularly south of Interstate 80, due to the extremely late freeze event in May ... red, black and scarlet oaks, seem to be below average to average ..,

Montoursville's new resident, an albino deer, has a unique history September 6, 2020 Pennsylvania, NorthCentralPA.com
... Native American tribes believed white deer were sacred and viewed them as spiritual symbols. A Chickasaw legend, “Ghost of the White Deer,” describes the creature as magical. The Seneca, Roanoke, Algonquin, Nanticoke, and Pocomoke tribes all relate sightings of the Great White Deer... In 2012, the killing of an albino stag sparked uproar in Leland, WI...

CWD Cooperating in the Fight Against Chronic Wasting Disease September 3, 2020 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... The Department of Agriculture’s new rules – put into place in late August – create a CWD Core Captive Management Zone in Bedford, Blair and Fulton counties. They intend to control CWD in that portion of the state where it is most prevalent, while also allowing deer farms to stay in business.  A complete look at the regulations can be found in a Department of Agriculture press release ... 

... "A key component of the order is providing incentive for deer farms to implement management techniques, such as herd density and age management, genetic selection and other rapidly evolving scientific advancements that make their operations and their herds less susceptible to CWD.” ...

Elk Cam Goes Live September 2, 2020 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... The livestream, which is provided by HDOnTap and made possible with the help of the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, is the latest in a string of real-time wildlife-watching opportunities offered by the Game Commission...

... Farms will not be permitted to move high risks parts out of the zone... Deer farms in this zone can continue to import deer into the zone... Herd Certified farms will continue to be permitted to sell deer out of state, with a permit ...

... Pennsylvania’s native elk herd occupied densely forested mountains until clear-cut foresting and over-hunting drove them to regional extinction in the 1860s... Chronic wasting disease, which is killing deer and elk across much of the United States, is nearing the elk’s Pennsylvania range..,

 Working to slow the spread of CWD August 20, 2020 Pennsylvania, Bradford Era
... While CWD has been detected in certain areas of PA, those considered hot spot areas will be identified as Enhanced Surveillance Units. Hunters will have increased opportunities to harvest deer in those Enhanced Surveillance Units. That doesn’t equate to eliminating deer herds. The response plan calls for reducing deer numbers in ESUs by only one additional deer per square mile...

Hunters asked to shoot more deer in CWD areas August 13, 20020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... A new disease management plan favors a tactic used in other CWD-ravaged states, in which deer populations are reduced in areas where the disease is expected to spread...

Biologist details Pa. CWD response plan August 1, 2020 Pennsylvania, Sharonherald
... Korman described “established areas” as those where CWD single cases will be maintained at or below 5% ... “This 5% threshold was chosen because states like Wisconsin, West Virginia and Colorado have data that show once this threshold is crossed, these prevalence increase drastically, making management of the disease even more difficult,” ...

... all commissioners attending the virtual voting session opposed a measure to set the caliber limit at .24 — a caliber that would exclude now-popular, smaller rounds... may not be effective in taking down larger deer and bear resulting in lost and injured animals ...

... Targeted removal of deer by professional sharpshooters will be used in much smaller areas than originally planned. Bans on feeding deer and using urine-based deer attractants will cover on disease management units rather than the entire state as originally planned...

Game Commission Unveils New CWD Response Plan July 25, 2020 Pennsylvania, Game Commission News
... Acting at its quarterly meeting today, the agency’s Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a new Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan. It focuses on prevention, surveillance and management of CWD, an always-fatal neurological disease caused by misfolded proteins – called prions – that affect white-tailed deer, elk and other cervid species..,

Mt. Lebanon commissioners consider renewing deer management archery program July 24, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... Mt. Lebanon has conducted, with the help of contractors and professional hunters, archery hunts and deer sharpshooting to cull the deer, as well as nonlethal methods, including teaching residents about best gardening practices and banning deer feeding...

...Following the discovery last year of the always-fatal CWD in four of 33 captive deer on a farm in Upper Leacock Township, the Game Commission recently expanded CWD Disease Management Area 4 to cover more than half of Lancaster County...

... We evaluated the short-term (<10 years) impact of white-tailed deer browsing on woody structure and composition in northcentral Pennsylvania... Our results from large, operational-scale timber harvests combined with those from previous small-scale studies stress the potential value of deer exclusion fencing to achieve successful forest regeneration...

Deer researchers battle the cause and effect of chronic wasting disease July 2, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... In the plan’s most controversial proposal, sharpshooters would be hired to thin deer populations in areas with unsatisfactory hunter harvest rates. “Targeted removal” would use paid shooters to exterminate random deer in some infected areas...

Pennsylvania CWD Areas Expand June 26, 2020 Pennsylvania, PA.gov
...  tested 15,686 free-ranging deer and 161 free-ranging elk in 2019. The vast majority of those were hunter-harvested animals.  Of the total, 204 white-tailed deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease... With 2019’s new cases, there now have been 453 CWD-positive free-ranging deer found in Pennsylvania since the disease’s emergence in the state in 2012..,

PA Game Commission explains CWD deer-feeding ban proposal; petition opposes it June 7, 2020 Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline
... The plan lays out a host of rules and tactics that will be deployed when CWD is detected. Some are radical, like allowing deer hunting any time of year within three miles of the site of a confirmed case ... added to the plan in April calls for statewide bans on feeding deer ... there are no studies that have proven such bans reduce the prevalence of CWD...

... 57 percent of fawns born in the forests of northcentral Pennsylvania to 72 percent of those born in the agricultural areas of central Pennsylvania will make it through summer... most won’t survive more than 2 or 3 years. That’s the average age of deer in the wild in Pennsylvania...

... A Pennsylvania teen will avoid prison over a viral video that shows him and another juvenile beating and torturing a wounded deer...

... .Schnepp-Giger asked staff to prepare a report on the biological implications of removing antler restrictions in any wildlife management unit that is associated with chronic wasting disease management areas ..Starting in 2011, the four-point area changed to three points to an antler ...

...  a statewide ban on the use or field possession of deer attractants, including natural urine and synthetics; increased hunting opportunities within CWD areas and the removal of deer antler-point restrictions within CWD areas... The industry supplies the natural deer urine that is used by hunters ...

Rabid deer found near Cambria County park, DOH says May 1, 2020 Pennsylvania, WHP Harrisburg
... the deer was found near Crichton McCormick Park in Portage April 25...

... Statewide bans on feeding deer and using attractants to draw in deer are part of the latest draft ... The commission also proposes to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to strengthen their oversight of captive cervid operations ...

... antlerless deer licenses to be sold for the 2020-21 hunting seasons were increased to 932,000 ...  from 903,000 licenses this license year ..,

Pennsylvania Game Commission to curb spread of CWD April 7, 2020 The Tribune-Democrat
... The disease is mainly prevalent in a large swath of south-central Pennsylvania. that stretches from Sunbury, Carlisle and Gettysburg, west to Patton, Armagh and Ligonier... our plan now, is that we would want to jump on that with targeted removal rather than waiting for hunting season to roll around...

Pa. Game Commission's new deer hunting rules promote 'bloodthirsty greed' (opinion) March 28, 2020 Pennsylvania, York Daily Record/Sunday News
... The Board of Commissioners have proposed ... ability to continue shooting at deer before retrieving and tagging the first one ...  Along comes a herd of deer… since you can legally shoot six of them, he starts blasting. Suppose he drops a buck and a doe, and several of them run away leaving blood trails. Which one does he go after? ...

... A piebald deer has patches of white on its body ... about 2 percent of deer are piebald... One woman described the deer as “our baby we have watched in our backyard for two years.” ...

... Pennsylvania hunters posted their highest overall deer harvest in 15 years when they took 389,431 deer during the state’s 2019-20 hunting seasons, which closed in January, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported today.  The 2019-20 deer harvest topped the previous year’s harvest of 374,690 by about 4 percent. The last time the total deer harvest exceeded this season’s total was in 2004-05, when 409,320 whitetails were taken.  The statewide buck harvest saw a generous bump of 10 percent, coming in at 163,240..,

PA CWD plan wins support of deer management group March 12, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
...Written to replace current CWD protocols, the draft plan aims to slow the disease’s spread by aggressively reducing deer populations in infected areas, creating buffer zones that are relatively CWD-free...

Can dogs detect chronic wasting disease in deer? March 5, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
...  Secretary Russell Redding suggested that the natural scent-detection capabilities of some dogs could speed the search for CWD infection and help to contain the disease... funded projects include separate studies of dog detection of CWD in deer feces and live animals at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine...

... its proposed plan for controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease would likely include the use of snipers to cull herds of deer in areas where the disease had been discovered... wildlife officials recognize that culling herds is controversial but said it has been an effective method of controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease in other states ...

... Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will explore that potential for working dogs to detect chronic wasting disease in deer feces ... The department oversees Pennsylvania’s deer farming industry ... the department also offers genetic screening to help deer farmers determine how likely their deer are to contract the disease...

Why do some bucks keep their velvet?February 19, 2020 Pennsylvania, Penn Live
... A birth defect known as cryptorchidism leads to lower than normal production of testosterone, the failure of one or both testicles to descend from the abdominal cavity into the scrotum ...

CWD Response PlanThe Game Commission will be accepting public comments through February 29, 2020 on the proposed plan. 

Number of deer with chronic wasting disease harvested in Pennsylvania hits all-time high February 13, 2020 Lancaster Online
... A total of 123 deer tested positive for the disease in the 2018-19 season. Last season’s number currently stands at 180... 5,000 of the 16,000 samples collected remain to be tested ...

Draft plan asks, Is Pennsylvania's elk herd facing a genetic timebomb?  February 7, 2020 Pennsylvania, Bradford Era
... "Poor genetic diversity has been linked to harmful effects in wildlife populations, including declines in survival and population and increased susceptibility to disease,” elk biologist Jeremy Banfield wrote in the draft plan. He also noted that “Pennsylvania’s elk population has some of the lowest genetic diversity in North America.” ...

Mt. Lebanon, Sharpshooting for deer underway in Mt. Lebanon February 6, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... A special permit approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission permits the firearm phase of the deer reduction program ... management firm White Buffalo was contracted to cull up to 55 whitletails... from 2015-19, 195 deer were removed by archers and 271 were taken through sharpshooting ...

CWD, Taking on wildlife disease February 3, 2020 Pennsylvania, Penn: Office of University Communications
... “I would venture to say that, in the next 20 to 30 years, the new model for management will be ensuring the resiliency of wildlife populations through wildlife health issues,” ... The first target  ... That’s chronic wasting disease ...

Hunting is declining, creating a crisis for conservation February 3, 2020 Pennsylvania, Savannah Morning News
... Even as more people are engaging in outdoor activities, hunting license sales have fallen from a peak of about 17 million in the early ’80s to 15 million last year ... in Pennsylvania - where the game commission gets more than 50% of its revenue from licenses, permits and taxes - the agency had to cancel construction projects ...

Neither hunters nor businesses support changes in the deer season  January 29, 2020 Pennsylvania, Penn Live
... The Saturday opener was unfolding like a bad dream for many hunters, and ended up a nightmare for rural businesses. Putting Thanksgiving to bed and just having enough time to get ready for a pre-daylight Saturday hunt, eliminated long standing traditions and hunt preparation, but also took the hunter patronage out of countless Pennsylvania stores that weekend, almost completely!...

Comments Accepted on Draft Elk Management Plan January 29, 2020 Pennsylvania, PGC News
...The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released a draft of its new Elk Management Plan, a document that, when adopted, will guide the agency’s elk management program through 2025.   The plan is in draft form and available to view at www.pgc.pa.gov... Comments about the plan will be accepted from the public through Feb. 21, 2020 ...

... Under the plan, after initial detection of CWD in new areas, hunters will be given the first opportunity to harvest more deer there and collect more CWD samples for testing. The management objective in those new areas will be to eliminate the disease before it becomes established in the deer population or in the environment...

Hunting license sales are up, triggered by change in deer season January 26, 2020 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... license sales from July through December 2019 had increased 0.4% to 849,575 ...  data shows license sales have trended downward for more than 30 years, dropping by an average of 3% annually  ... “It seems reasonable to conclude the Saturday opener had an influence on this turnaround,” ...

Deer-Abuse Charges Filed January 10, 2020 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     The Pennsylvania Game Commission today filed charges against two Brookville, Pa. teenagers who recorded social-media videos of themselves holding down and repeatedly kicking an immobile white-tailed deer...  Each faces two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty ... The Nov. 30 incident for which Smith and his accomplice were charged has been seen by thousands of people worldwide who viewed the videos..,

... Rescuers punched their way through the ice for more than 45 minutes trying to herd the deer to shore... It took off into the nearby woods...

... A neighbor says they saw the dogs running after the deer, chasing it onto Shickshinny Lake where the deer was killed...

... the rule is different everywhere else across the state... Some in the commission want to change that and allow hunters with the proper tags to kill deer when and where they find them... “My only thought is, if you cripple that first deer, you really ought to focus on that before you try killing the second one,” Fox said...

... According to the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania’s white-tailed deer population has grown from about 10 deer per square mile in the 1700s to an estimated 30 deer per square mile... “There have been studies in New England where they’ve reduced the deer population and not found a change in Lyme transmission or its occurrence in small mammals,” ...

Valley Forge rejects deer birth control, so hunting continues December 5, 2019 Pennsylvania, Valliant News
... The park spends between $97,000 and $173,000 of its $6 million annual budget on culling, the park service reported in 2015. Park officials estimated reproductive control would cost slightly more — $108,000 to $195,000 annually... Stephanie Boyles Griffin, a scientist who opposes the culling, accused officials of setting the bar too high “so that no fertility control agent will ever be acceptable for use” at Valley Forge...

Game Commission cautions ‘proper legal steps’ needed in investigation of deer abuse video December 5, 2019 Pennsylvania, Penn Live
... “This matter is still the subject of an active investigation being conducted by our state game wardens in cooperation with county law enforcement officials...
... A petition to bring criminal charges against the two teens involved in the abuse of a white-tailed deer has garnered more than 430,000 signatures online...
... the viral video of a wounded deer being abused Saturday in Jefferson County shows that “two individuals viciously tortured an innocent animal,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania ...

... the right balance of deer tends to actually increase the carrying capacity (the maximum number the environment can support without detrimental effects) of the landscape. The study found that in West Virginia, where deer levels were found to be lower than the carrying capacity of the landscape, a mix of deer, ground fire and canopy gaps increased diversity compared to enclosures where deer were excluded entirely from reaching the forest..,

... a pair of boys, reportedly from Brookville in Jefferson County, beating and torturing a white-tailed buck after the deer was shot but not immediately killed ...

CWD clouds opening of firearms deer season November 30, 2019 Pennsylvania, Lewistown Sentinel
... CWD and the not-conclusively settled question about whether it poses any dangers to humans, even if only to humans with certain health issues, will infringe on the unbridled enjoyment, enthusiasm and challenge that this first day of hunting ...

Sunday Hunting Bill Signed Into Law November 27, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... The law will take effect Feb. 25, 2020 ... Gov. Tom Wolf today signed into law Senate Bill 147, which permits additional hunting on three Sundays per calendar year – one within the archery deer season, one within the firearms deer season and one selected by the Pennsylvania Game Commission... Sen. Jim Brewster ... sees the new law as an important tool in helping to recruit new hunters and keep them active..,

... Members of the Game Commission's board of directors asked hunters to let them know if they favored moving the traditional gun season opener from Monday to Saturday. Those commissioners acknowledged that most of the hunters they heard from opposed the move... 

... That Penn State study suggests that while deer browsing has impacted tree regeneration in the understory, it has not had much of an impact on forest canopies, and in fact likely has slowed the forest densification process slightly.  “Forests in the region are becoming increasingly dense, and that is a major ecological problem,” said Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology. “...

... In the 2018-19 hunting seasons the overall deer harvest was 374,690 – 226,940 antlerless deer and 147,750 bucks. But despite the decreased buck harvest in 2018-19 seasons, there were more 2½-year-old and older bucks – 64 percent. Over the previous four years, the percentage of 2½-year-old and older bucks in the annual deer harvest was: 2017, 57 percent; 2016, 56; 2015, 59; and 2014, 57.  “Despite the increased harvest in 2½-year-old and older bucks, the buck-age structure in Pennsylvania is not old,” Rosenberry noted. “However, it is older than before antler-point restrictions were started in 2002..,

Hunters Harvest 89 Elk in 2019 General Season November 12, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... Ninety-eight hunters took part in Pennsylvania’s 2019 one-week general elk hunt ... To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then must be selected through a random drawing and purchase a license. The drawing annually attracts more than 40,000 applicants...

Misinformation widespread about chronic wasting disease in deer management November 12, 2019 Pennsylvania, Penn Live on MSN.com
... CWD was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2012, on a captive deer farm in Adams County... Although mandatory sampling is an option under a new Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan proposed by the commission, testing is not currently required.  However, warnings about eating venison from deer with CWD have grown more dire as more instances of the disease have been discovered ...

Spread of CWD remains unclear November 3, 2019 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror
... “Most scavengers eat meat and a glob of meat would not contain many infected prions. But yes, eyeballs, we know crows, preferentially eat those and those are high in infected prions... In general, we are looking at a prevalence rate, or infection rate, of CWD in deer populations in Blair, Bedford and Fulton counties of approximately 4.5%,” Vreeland said.

Rare virus found in a deer in Luzerne County November 3, 2019 Pennsylvania, CitizensVoice
... the deer — a doe — stood with its head down and didn’t respond when humans approached ... infected with Eastern equine encephalitis... EEE has also been found in captive pheasants in Monroe County, horses in Carbon County and two wild turkeys in Erie County... the first instance of EEE in wildlife in the area ...

Pennsylvania’s Sunday hunting bill clears last big hurdle October 31, 2019 TribLIVE.com
... it looks as if expanded Sunday hunting is coming to Pennsylvania in 2020.  On Wednesday, members of the House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 147 by a vote of 144-54...

  Doe with Arrow in Head Spotted in Gated Community October 28, 2019 Pennsylvania, wnep.com
... Hunting is not allowed in the residential part of A Pocono Country Place, but right next door, there are state gamelands where people do hunt. The police chief tells Newswatch 16, it is possible that's where the deer was shot...

Newsly Detected CWD-Positive Deer Will Expand DMA 4 in 2020 October 23, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... A captive-raised deer that recently tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) will result in a southward expansion of Disease Management Area 4 (DMA 4) in 2020... will place most of Lancaster County within DMA 4...

Hunters Advised to Take Precautions Against EEE Virus October 22, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
...Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been documented in wildlife and livestock in Pennsylvania in recent weeks. It’s been found in two wild turkeys in Erie County, a wild deer in Luzerne County, captive pheasants in Monroe County and horses in Carbon County...

CWD, Pa. Game Commission raises alarm on deadly deer disease October 20, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on MSN.com
... Chronic wasting disease ... entered southcentral Pennsylvania in 2012. This summer, due to a positive test on a roadkill, a disease management area established to contain the disease was expanded into the state’s southwest corner,..  has been confirmed at several fenced facilities in Pennsylvania.... since 2012 with 250 confirmed cases among wild deer..,

Swarthmore, Deer management continues at Crum Woods October 9, 2019 Pennsylvania,The Delaware County Daily Times
... A deer cull will continue at Swarthmore College for the 10th year ... Sharpshooters who are professionally licensed with the Pennsylvania Game Commission will conduct the cull at pre-approved sites in the woods...

... West Virginia tops the list of states where animal collisions are most likely ... according to State Farm’s annual ranking [graph below] ... Pennsylvania is No. 1, however, for the total number of projected crashes involving deer, at 174,025 ...

Game Commission's controlled burns help habitats September 29, 2019 Pennsylvania, Citizens Voice
... The fire, which was intentionally set by the PGC, served as a tool to improve wildlife habitat and, Gildea hopes, change the composition of the forest for decades to come.  “Our goal is to develop the next generation of an oak forest ...  Deer were also a common sight as they browsed the shoots of maple and birch that sprouted from burned trunks...

Deer population report finds healthier whitetails in PA September 26, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... In a 20-year experiment that began to show results a decade ago, the Pennsylvania Game Commission intentionally reduced deer density in the state and brought the sex ratio closer to a natural balance... “Pennsylvania is one of only five states in the U.S. to harvest more than 300,000 whitetails annually,” ...

Farm Bureau opposes Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania September 16, 2019 Farm Progress
... One of the key stumbling blocks preventing Farm Bureau from taking a neutral position on Senate Bill 147 is that the bill fails to include language requiring hunters to obtain written permission to hunt on private land...

Snipers may be used to control spread of CWD in deer September 13, 2019 Pennsylvania, Meadville Tribune
... The Game Commission released its draft plan for dealing with chronic wasting disease on Thursday. The public will have until Feb. 29 to comment on the plan ...

Longer hunting seasons? This is one way the Pa. Game Commission wants to stop deer from dying of CWD September 13, 2019 Pennsylvania, Lancaster Online
... There were 250 free-ranging deer that tested positive with CWD in 2018 in Pennsylvania. Almost all of these cases -- 246 deer -- were in the largest of the four disease management areas. DMA-2 spans about a dozen counties in south-central Pennsylvania and includes Fulton, Bedford and Blair counties. Lancaster County had one case of CWD in a captive-deer facility..,

Input Sought on CWD Response Plan September 12, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     The Pennsylvania Game Commission today released a draft of its new Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan, a document that, when adopted, will guide the agency’s management of CWD, which always is fatal to the deer and elk it infects.  The plan is in draft form and available to view at www.pgc.pa.gov.
     Public comments on the plan will be accepted through Feb. 29, 2020 and will be considered in the adoption of a final plan, to be implemented for the 2020-21 hunting seasons...

Chronic wasting disease has drastic effects September 9, 2019 Pennsylvania, Sharonherald
... Illinois and Wisconsin are used as the benchmarks in CWD deer management. Both had CWD first discovered in the same year (2002). The following year, both implemented programs that increased hunter harvest and supplemented that harvest with “targeted removals.” ... [in Wisconsin]  Funding was cut and the deer management program was all but disbanded ... As the herd ballooned in numbers, the CWD prevalence level increased dramatically.” ...

... In 1913, Pennsylvania's first shipment of 50 Yellowstone elk arrived by train for reintroduction into the state in Clinton and Clearfield counties. An additional 22 elk were bought from a Monroe County farm.  In 1915 the commission bought 95 more from Yellowstone ... Throughout the 1980s, the entire elk herd in Pennsylvania was just 120-150 animals..,

Deer browsing is not stopping densification of Eastern forests September 3, 2019 Pennsylvania, Mirage News
... a new study led by a Penn State researcher suggests that while deer browsing has impacted tree regeneration in the understory, it has not had much of an impact on forest canopies – and in fact likely has slowed the forest densification process slightly.  “Forests in the region are becoming increasingly dense, and that is a major ecological problem,” ...

Game Commission wants ban on feeding deer, but request faces opposition August 19, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... The request was prompted by agency biologists who are battling the spread of a fatal deer malady — chronic wasting disease... A ban is not likely to happen soon... More than 1 million Pennsylvanians are believed to enjoy watching deer ...

... has a permit for deer culling ...  one of the seven rounds fired from the hunting rifle struck the sunroom of a residence nearby while the homeowners were home...

... disappeared by the 1870s due to unregulated hunting, according to the PGC. In the early 1920s, 177 elk were released to 10 different Pennsylvania counties... roughly 1,000 elk in Pennsylvania ..,

Public hunting in suburban deer programs will increase in Allegheny County August 15, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... In July, the commission voted to require municipalities applying for cull permits to provide more information verifying that public hunting has occurred in deer-control areas... To remain in compliance with their cull agreements, Mt. Lebanon and Fox Chapel will staff their controlled hunts with vetted archers from the general public ...

...  Because the Pennsylvania Game Commission considers his property to be for agricultural use, he does not need a permit to carry out culling activities...

The culprit to blame for missing flower buds August 11, 2019 Pennsylvania, Tribune-Review
... The damage, at first, seems like it may be rabbits, deer or groundhogs nibbling off the flower buds before they can open, but after a bit of investigation, it’s often discovered that a small caterpillar known as the geranium or tobacco budworm is to blame...

... “Disease transmission is probably at the forefront of the issues related to wildlife feeding. Habituation is another,” ... In 2016, an estimated 59.1 million Americans engaged in some form of wildlife watching tied to wildlife feeding ... “A lot of people just enjoy the aesthetics of having deer in the yard. They like to feed deer so they can see deer,”  ...

State deer populations stable, antlerless permit allocations change August 2, 2019 Pennsylvania, The Herald-Standard
... according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) antlerless allocation plan, deer populations in local areas are considered stable...

Deer Control Permits Receive Stronger Public Hunting Requirements July 24, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
...  requires applicants to provide proof of public hunting in seeking permits to conduct culls to manage deer in urbanized areas.  Political subdivisions, homeowners associations and nonprofit land-holding organizations are eligible to apply for permits, and these groups are required to use public hunting as a management tool to be considered for a permit...

DR Diefenbach, GL Alt, BD Wallingford… - Journal of Wildlife Management, 2019
... Selective harvest regimes that create female‐biased sex ratios can potentially lead to delayed breeding, reduced breeding synchrony, reduced productivity, and a female‐biased sex ratio of offspring...  We conclude that harvest regulation changes implemented in Pennsylvania, USA, were insufficient to affect timing of breeding or population dynamics ...

Pennsylvania Game Commission weighs ban on feeding deer, turkeys July 23, 2019 Pennsylvania, Lancaster Online
... As drafted, the proposed regulation states:  “It is unlawful to intentionally lay or place food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals anywhere in this Commonwealth for the purpose of feeding big game to include Elk, Deer, Bear and Turkey ...

'Dr. Deer' Addresses Sportsmen on CWD and Herd Culling July 18, 2019 Pennsylvania, Morrisons Cove Herald 
...  "deer eradication programs have been failures and will be elsewhere if attempted. Deer eradication does not work in combatting CWD." [Dr. James Kroll] ...One surprising statement he made is that supplemental feeding, which is now discouraged in Pennsylvania, could possibly be helpful in the battle against CWD since it could spread deer out...

Chronic Wasting Disease cases have more than doubled in a year July 15, 2019 Pennsylvania, Allentown Morning Call
... According to the PGC, the disease was detected in 123 free-ranging deer over the past year, bringing the total number of cases to 250 since CWD was first discovered in 2012... Some of the most recent DMA expansions result from what we term as ‘flyers’ – CWD-positive deer that pop up a considerable distance away from the next known positive ...

Doe licenses go on sale; allocations reflect CWD prevention July 3, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
...  state Game Commission announced it would increase the number of doe tags 8 percent, from 838,000 to 903,000. The 65,000 additional tags will be allocated primarily in Wildlife Management Units where chronic wasting disease has been detected in free-ranging deer...

... While the original bill called for up to 14 days of Sunday hunting, the bill approved by the Senate would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to allow Sunday hunting on only three day ...

... With CWD testing from the 2018 deer seasons now completed, there now have been a total of 250 known CWD cases in free-ranging deer in Pennsylvania since 2012...  tested 9,631 free-ranging deer and 122 elk for CWD taken in the 2018 seasons...

Elk hunt to be expanded in 2019-20  June 13, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... Elk are native to Pennsylvania, but by 1877 they were driven to regional extinction through over-hunting and habitat loss. In 1934, just 14 elk were thought to be living in the state. Elk hunts were banned, but illegal poaching occurred. A 1971 survey counted 65 elk in Pennsylvania..,

Pebbles Celebrates 20th Birthday at Double Diamond Deer Ranch June 11, 2019 Pennsylvania, Blue Ridge Outdoors
... This is only achieved in captivity and it has not happened very often. This makes it possible that Pebbles is the oldest surviving whitetail in Pennsylvania. Pebbles, born in June of 1999, is a piebald whitetail ...

... the former pits are filled with toxins and are not safe for visitors to use for recreational purposes... a tributary that reroutes acid mine drainage through a limestone filter...

Chronic Wasting Disease management areas expanded by over 2000 square miles in Pa. June 7, 2019 Pennsylvania, York Daily Record/Sunday News
... Out of the 250 total recorded positive cases of CWD in Pennsylvania throughout the years, the majority have come from DMA 2... CWD hotspots in Bedford, Blair and Fulton Counties ... No elk have tested positive ...

... "Deer in the Mid-Atlantic region have a higher proportion of the genotypes most susceptible to CWD than deer populations to the west that have been tested in other states," ... published today in BMC Genetics ...

Game Commission audit 'disgusts' hunters June 2, 2019 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror-10 hours ago
... the Game Commission failed to make sure that energy companies paid what they owed in royalties ... sat on a huge and growing pile of cash — $73 million in 2018 ... auditors found $6.5 million more in various escrow accounts, which the commission’s financial officer didn’t have knowledge of ...

... “The commissioners will be looking to see if there’s evidence the Saturday opener increased hunting license sales and hunter success ... Some who travel considerable distances to their hunting spots, and now must do so earlier in the holiday weekend, strongly opposed it.” ...

... Commissioners allocated 903,000 doe tags for the 2019-20 hunting seasons. That’s up 65,000 from 2018-19’s 838,000... deer populations are increasing in three of the state’s 23 wildlife management units ... stable in the other 20..,

... The Chronic Wasting Disease Research Act, H.R. 2081, would authorize funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which would make grants to states, institutions of higher education ...

Final 2019-20 Hunting/Trapping Seasons Approved April 9, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... The board voted to allocate 903,000 antlerless deer licenses statewide, which is up from the 838,000 licenses allocated for 2018-19... The board also voted to issue 142 elk licenses (32 antlered, 110 antlerless) for 2019-20, but two additional elk seasons and lottery drawings for licenses have been added..,

... established a firearms deer season to begin Saturday, Nov. 30... a measure that simplifies requirements to wear fluorescent orange material while hunting... The Game Commission is 100-percent committed to putting into place measures to manage CWD..,

... a 5-3 vote on Tuesday.  Rifle season for hunting deer in Pennsylvania has kicked off the Monday after Thanksgiving since 1963 ...

Chronic wasting disease increase not a mystery April 5, 2019 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror ·
... Researchers believe the best way to curb this disease is to stop transporting the causative agents, including live deer and elk because there is no practical test to confirm the disease... USDA continues to allow the sale and transportation of hoofed ruminant animals (deer, elk and sheep) from documented CWD infected farms ...

Commission rethinks CWD approach April 1, 2019 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror
... hunters in south central Pennsylvania believe the death toll for healthy deer shot during Illinois targeted removals is too high, and the disease still persists. In addition, hunters dispute the commission’s estimates for deer numbers ...

... Since 1915, Pennsylvania hunters have killed 17,492,302 deer, according to the Game Commission... [the report] ... in 1986, there were 1,000,000 deer hunters in Pennsylvania, while today there are around 740,000 deer hunters ... modern success rates are said to be comparable to the past...

Game Commission releases 2018-19 deer harvest report March 19, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... 374,690 deer were harvested in the 2018-19 hunting seasons, which marks the highest numbers in 14 years...  topped the previous year’s harvest of 367,159 by about 10 percent... The buck harvest came in at 147,750 ..,

Hunters gather in Jefferson County, protest deer removal plans March 8, 2019 Pennsylvania, WJAC Johnstown
... Local hunters are fighting back against the Pennsylvania Game Commission's plan to reduce the deer population in Clearfield and Jefferson counties because of chronic wasting disease...

Seminar to Provide Solutions for Human – Deer Conflicts March 6, 2019 Pennsylvania, Botstiber Institute
... In an effort to educate the public about how to resolve these conflicts with deer in their communities the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control (BIWFC) will host a Pennsylvania Urban Deer Conflict Management Seminar on Monday, March 25 at Dixon University Center. This free seminar will provide municipalities with effective and sustainable ways to co-exist and mitigate conflicts with deer and other wildlife...

Major changes planned for popular Middle Creek deer hunt March 3, 2019 Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline
... For many years, the hunt was held during the regular, late flintlock season. That led to a tradition of hunters who didn’t picked to go inside Middle Creek lining up on the public hunting lands just outside the Middle Creek boundary with their own flintlocks, hoping to get a shot at deer fleeing the project...

Game Commission Delivers Annual Report to Legislature February 27, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... Chronic Wasting Disease threatens our hunting heritage, and the state’s $1.6 billion industry tied to hunting...  Because high-fence hunting operations don’t abide by our Disease Management Area requirements, or any regulations set by the Game Commission, we do not know where these CWD-positive carcasses ended up.  We continue to coordinate with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to gather this information..,

CWD DIsease Management Area to Expand into Elk Range February 26, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... A captive deer that has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) will require Disease Management Area 3 (DMA 3) to expand into Pennsylvania’s elk range... The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture last week announced a buck on a hunting preserve near Curwensville in Clearfield County tested positive for CWD..,

... Pennsylvania Game Commission officials say they’re planning targeted deer removals after several isolated cases of Chronic Wasting Disease were found in parts of Clearfield, Jefferson and Franklin counties...

Public meeting on CWD planned February 24, 2019 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror
... Blair County landowners recently turned away U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters from their property and halted the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s plan to reduce deer populations for a study about whether that could slow the spread of chronic wasting disease...
 
Experts discuss response to CWD February 22, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pocono Record 
... officials in Pennsylvania are attempting to follow a model of containment set by Illinois, which includes targeted removal in areas where the disease is prevalent.  “What’s been done in Illinois has allowed them to maintain about a 10 percent prevalence rate which has stayed relatively stable for over a decade ...

Hunters, Game Commission at Odds Over CWD Management February 21, 2019 Pennsylvania, Morrisons Cove Herald 
... The game commission contends that reducing deer numbers is the best management option... [hunter reaction]:  "Sure it could stop the spread, because if you annihilate the herd there will be no deer left," ...

Nearly 150 deer taken out in this year’s Lower Merion deer cull February 12, 2-19 Pennsylvania, Main Line 
... A total of 148 deer were removed ... Over the 10 years since Lower Merion began its culling program, the only year more deer were removed was last year, when 170 were killed...

Could we be wrong about what causes dreaded chronic wasting disease in deer?  February 10, 2019 Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline 
... the prion explanation is simply wrong as a cause for chronic wasting disease, Bastian and Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania insist... not prions but a super-tiny bacterium, according to Bastian. The prion is only a secondary bacterial byproduct and a marker for deer with chronic wasting disease, he says...

Albino deer shot with pellet gun in Cambria County February 8, 2019 Pennsylvania, WTAJ - www.wearecentralpa.com
... An albino deer was shot with a pellet gun and left to lay in the woods ... 

Mt. Lebanon to launch sharpshooting program for third year February 8, 2019 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... White Buffalo will be paid $59,605 for the upcoming cull... The Game Commission permit authorizes White Buffalo to kill up to 100 deer during the upcoming cull, which is defined as a sanctioned wildlife-control operation not bound by state hunting regulations...

Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer culling to be delayed February 5, 2019 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror 
... For a study to determine whether lower deer numbers can control Chronic Wasting Disease, the commission had hired USDA wildlife sharpshooters to decrease the deer population potentially by a couple thousand within a 100-square mile area ...

Coyotes are among the problems for Pennsylvania deer February 1, 2019 Lebanon Daily News
... experts believe that there may be hundreds of thousands of them in Pennsylvania... hunters and trappers take more than 40,000 coyotes annually ..,

Deer removal plan has hunters up in arms February 1, 2019 Pennsylvania, WJAC Johnstown
... The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking to cut the population in southern Blair and northern Bedford counties down to between 2,000-2,500 to combat Chronic wasting disease. Hunters were given the first chance ... but the remaining does and bucks will be removed with the help of sharpshooters ...

Highlights from PA Game Commission Meeting January 30, 2019 Pennsylvania, GantDaily
... will entertain a proposal to allow semiautomatic rifles for big game in the 2019-20 license year... Written comments can be submitted by e-mail to pgccomments@pa.gov up until the April meeting...

... In an effort to attract younger people to the hunting ranks, the Pennsylvania Game Commission ... gave preliminary approval to change the opening day of deer season from the first Monday after Thanksgiving to the first Saturday... data that shows hunters aren’t in favor of changing the opening day ...

Pneumonia Likely Caused Upper Dauphin Deer Deaths January 28, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... The mystery surrounding the deaths of perhaps two dozen deer in upper Dauphin County might have been solved.  Preliminary test results have come back for three deer picked up in the Powell’s Valley area, and all three had one or more types of pneumonia. Further testing to check for the presence of other diseases has not yet returned results...

Volunteers Create Better Habitat for Wildlife in Bradford County January 27, 2019 Pennsylvania, PAHomePage.com
... these fields are going to become a part of a burn unit and we're cutting trees for  browse for deer.  "Cutting trees in the winter time will provide high protein and high calorie browse for whitetail deer and we're also creating an additional edge for species." [deer] ... 

... The deer Stoll took home — a young buck — had been in the icy water for several hours before the rescue, and Stoll said he didn't want to leave him to die...

Taking Action to Reduce the Impact of CWD January 25, 2019 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... During the past deer hunting seasons, the Game Commission provided hunters the first opportunity to harvest more deer by increasing antlerless licenses and Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permits in northern Bedford and southern Blair counties..,

... dozens of dead deer in different stages of decomposition, some still covered in fur and others little more than bone... used by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other local agencies as a dumping ground for roadkill deer ...

Fairmount Park neighbors to City Hall: Stop killing our deer January 18, 2019 Pennsylvania, Billy Penn
... The annual cull, formally referred to as the “professional deer management project,” began in the late 90s ... supporters stressed that it would only take about a year for the wildlife to be managed.  Twenty years and 3,793 dead deer later ...

... The buck was being pulled onto the bank by rescuers and the fire department when he arrived, but it was trembling and cold. Stoll says he couldn't bear to see the deer suffering and offered to take the buck home...  Stoll could face a fine of up to $800... So, just let them suffer ...
... volunteered to take one of the deer home to try and save it, posting a Facebook update of the deer lying covered in blankets... the deer did not survive ...

Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
... The agency is planning several habitat work days on State Game Lands 219 in Warren Township, Bradford County, in the coming months and can use some additional help...

Let the Pa. Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission set license fees January 8, 2019 Pennsylvania, York Daily Record/Sunday News
... Taxpayers have a right to question how their money is being spent. Problem is, this situation involves no tax dollars. Hunting and fishing are self-sustaining ... my trust is in both agencies to act responsibly when given the right to set the price of a license...

Hunters rescue deer trapped in crevasse January 7, 2019 Pennsylvania, Watertown Daily Times
... They tried until dark to extricate the deer, making multiple trips back to Queensbury for jacks and other tools... In a last-ditch effort, they decided to lasso the deer’s hind legs and try to pull it out upside down. “I pulled and there he was, lying in my lap,” ...

Game Commission investigating mysterious deer deaths January 4, 2019 Pennsylvania, WPMT 
... “As far as we could tell, dehydration seemed to be the primary cause of any complications that led to that deers death,” said Lau.  It’s unusual, he says, and while they don’t know what it is, they know what it isn’t...
     Hunters report mysterious deer deaths January 3, 2019 Pennsylvania, ABC27
... at least 21 deer that dropped dead in Carsonville. Other Midstaters are adding to that tally on Facebook... Morgan first found a dying fawn that couldn't control its legs ... he found three more the next week...

Deer Data:  About 1.5 million deer in 2017 using information from the deer population report (the 2019-20 report).  Stable to increasing, about the same in 2020.  The deer harvest rose by about 10 percent in 2018, but the buck harvest was down by 10 percent.  In 2019 deer populations were increasing in three of the 23 management units and stable in other units, doe tags were increased to 932,000 for 2020-21, up from 903,000 in 2019-20 and up from 838,000 in 2018.   A below average acorn crop in 2020.
     About 1.4 million deer in 2015, up from about 1.3 million in 2014 (estimated using harvest data).  Populations are generally stable to increasing in 2017 and stable in 2018.  A 7.5 percent increase in antlerless deer tags in 2017, 14 of 23 units were increased, significantly less that recommended by staff.  A 2017 EHD outbreak reduced populations in some areas, but the mild temperatures from the winter 2016-17 and a  good 2016 acorn crop have generally increased the deer population in 2017.  A 13 percent increase in antlerless tags for 2016 which designed to reduce the deer herd in two management units and maintain the herd in the other 20 units.  The 2016 deer population was stable to increasing in most regions of the state. About 550,000 deer hunters.
      The hard winter in 2013-14 reduced populations that had generally been stable to increasing into 2013, about 1.5 million deer.   In 2014 and 2015, the Game Commission reduced doe deer licenses in an effort to grow the herd.  In 2011 the deer population was estimated at between 1.3 and 1.5 million by the Pennsylvania Game Commission or about 1.37 million. The deer population was estimated at about 1.2 million in 2010, 1.1 million in 2008 and 2007,  1.4 million in 2002,  to 1.5 million in 2001 and 2000.  Population estimates have been a matter of public controversy. The deer harvest rose about 4 percent in 2015 to 315,813, 43.4% were antlered deer. Of the bucks taken, 59 percent were 2.5 years old or older, a big increase from past years that the department attributes to antler restrictions.  Peak of the rut is about November 14.
     According to the Nature Tourism project, the deer population grew from 1.2 million deer in 2006 to 1.6 million in 2011. After antler restrictions on hunters were introduced in 2002, the observed ratio of button bucks to adult bucks dropped from 15-to-1 in the winter of 2002 to 2-to-1 in 2004. Yearling buck survival has increased from 15 to 52 percent, harvest of adult bucks has increased from 20 to 50 percent. The observed ratio of adult doe to adult bucks fell from 14-to-1 to 2-to-1 over that period. 90 percent of all deer are conceived between mid-October and mid-December.  About 750,000 deer hunters were estimated, 16 per square mile of hunting land, but this number was later determined to be too high. 
     Hunting license sales peaked in 1982 at 1.3 million, 952,989 sold in 2013.  Hunting success about 33 percent in 2013.  About 80 percent of hunting is on public land, 1.5 million acres of game land.  In 2000 the PGC increased hunting in order to reduce the herd. Although the strategy changed to stabilizing the population in 2005, the herd continued to decline, especially in the north.
   In Pennsylvania, harvest data represents the primary source of population trend
information [2009 Deer Management Plan, page 77]. 
     Deer Farms.  In 2020, there were over 750 deer farms.  In 2018, there were 860 deer farms regulated by the Department of Agriculture with about 23,000 deer.  In 2017 a reported 23,000 captive deer on 1,100 breeding farms.
     Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania was first detected in 2012 at a captive deer facility in Adams county.  First discovered in the wild herd in 2013 in Bedford and Blair counties.  From 2012 to 2015, a total of 22 free-ranging deer tested CWD-positive deer.  In 2016, 25 free ranging deer tested positive, bringing the total free-ranging CWD-positive deer to 47.  With more deer testing positive in 2017 and 2018, bring the total to more than 100.  In 2017 after only 13 cases of CWD in captive deer, 27 deer tested positive in a deer farm in Bedford county - the herd of 215 were euthanized.  Four more at the end of 2017 bringing the total positives from cpative deer to 44.  In 2018, 36 deer positives from a farm in Fulton County and two more from Bedford.  By mid-2019, 250 positives in free ranging deer with 204 additional free-ranging deer testing positive from the 2019 season bring the total since 2012 to 453.
      Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) likely first observed in the state in 1996, but no samples fresh enough to test.  Confirmation of EHD came in Green and Washington counties six years later.  A limited outbreak in 2007, 2012, 2017,  and 2020.  An outbreak in the southeast in 2018.
     History:  The first deer season was established in 1869.  In 1897, the use of bait and dogs to hunt deer were both outlawed.   In the early 1900's, the Pennsylvania deer population was so low that the Game Commission began stocking deer in 1906.  Does were protected from 1907 until 1923 to boost the population and for many of the years until 1957.    The restrictions on hunting antlerless deer and extensive logging during the late 1800s and early 1900s supported an increase in the deer population from about 1,000 deer in 1905 to about 1 million in 1928 [2009 Deer Management Plan, page 9].  The first hunting licenses were established in 1913.  In 1923, a minimum 2 points to an antler or 6-inch spike was required for a buck.  During the depression the practice of hunting deer at night "jacklighting" became popular, made illegal in 1935.  The buck season was closed in 1938 with the herd in decline. 
       In 1986, there were 1,000,000 deer hunters in Pennsylvania.  In 2013 around 740,000 deer hunters.  Since antler restrictions were enacted in Pennsylvania in 2002, yearling buck survival has increased from 15 to 52 percent, while harvest of adult bucks has increased from 20 to 50 percent.  More history starting on page 9.
     A 2019 report states that  "According to the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania’s white-tailed deer population has grown from about 10 deer per square mile in the 1700s to an estimated 30 deer per square mile."
    Reindeer once roamed the state when its weather was more like southern Alaska today.
     The Elk population was about 1,000 in 2019, 900 in the beginning of 2015, growing from about 65 in 1971 to 800 in 2011.  Once native to Pennsylvania, by 1877 over hunting and habitat loss resulted in the regional extermination of the species.   The last far eastern elk was killed in the state in 1869 or 1877.  Between 1913 and 1926 the Game Commission released 177 elk.  The first shipment of 50 elk from Yellowstone Park came by train in 1913.   In 1934, about 14 in the state.  Elk hunts were banned, but illegal poaching occurred. A 1971 survey counted 65 elk in Pennsylvania  In 1998 a three year long trap and transfer program expanded the elk's range.  History
     An estimated 18,000 Bears in 2013.
     Coyotes, some experts believe there may be hundreds of thousands in 2019.
     Bears, over 20,000 in 2020 and increasing.

Report Poaching:   Call the Game Commission at 814-643-1831.  Callers can remain anonymous and there may be a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Report a dead deer for removal from state roads, call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

Other useful links: