Pennsylvania Deer News

New approach to deer management takes aim at urban and rural problems April 13, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... The system he calls "tri-tag" or "earn a buck" would be an archery-only program. Hunters would apply for permits to hunt deer in problem urban areas that could be as narrowly focused as the township level. The tag would permit the hunter to take two does and buck. But because deer are most effectively controlled through managing does, an antlerless deer would have to be killed before the hunter could take a buck [urban deer management]

New permit to address deer wasting disease April 12, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
... Pennsylvania game commissioners shortened the antlerless deer season in wildlife management unit 4A and slashed the number of doe licenses to be available. The goal was to increase the deer herd by 20 percent... the commission is going to offer 14,000 “DMA 2 antlerless deer permits.” ... “Our idea is to harvest deer in the (disease area) and keep the herd down to control CWD,” ...

Researchers identify terrain likely to attract CWD-infected deer April 10, 2014 Pennsylvania, back40forums.com
... A study of the spread of chronic wasting disease among white-tailed deer in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania found that infected deer tend to cluster in low-lying open and developed areas. These results suggest that state wildlife management agencies should concentrate surveillance efforts in such topography and landscapes, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences...

Doe licenses to see major decline April 10, 2014 Pennsylvania, Daily Item 
... Pressure from legislators and hunters to grow Pennsylvania’s deer herd was not lost on the board members, so they actually set the allocations below what was recommended by game commission biologists...

Deer farm under quarantine April 10, 2014 Pennsylvania,  WFMZ-TV
... Officials say a white-tailed deer, originally from Birch Creek Deer Farm in Walnutport, tested positive for the disease after its death...

Green Tree residents want stronger deer controls April 10, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... Though he called deer culling controversial, Mr. Schenck pointed out that the borough has joined in a deer sterilization program initiated by Mt. Lebanon... "I think this is a state matter," said manager David Montz...

... The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday set the 2014-15 antlerless deer license allocations at levels intended to allow the deer population to increase almost everywhere in the state ... Referring repeatedly to hunter comments and legislative pressure in favor of growing the deer herd, commissioners cut the allocations below last year's levels ... 

... Deer farms in another two far-flung spots at nearly opposite ends of Pennsylvania have joined the state's roster spots quarantined after chronic wasting disease has been found in a deer associated with them ... The always fatal CWD attacks the brains of infected antlered animals ...

Deer from Western PA Farm Tests Positive for CWD April 8, 2014 Pennsylvania, Gant Daily
...  A Jefferson County deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today, marking the seventh case in a captive or wild deer since 2012.  The five-year-old white-tailed deer died on a Reynoldsville deer farm ...

2014-15 Hunting/Trapping Seasons Receive Final Approval April 8, 2014 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     The board voted to allocate 779,500 antlerless deer licenses statewide... In allocating antlerless licenses, the commissioners also voted to change the length of the firearms deer season in two WMUs... will have seven days of concurrent hunting for antlered and antlerless deer in the 2014-15 deer firearms season. In this format, only antlered deer may be taken during the first five days of the firearms season. Both antlered and antlerless deer may be taken from the first Saturday to the close of the season... The Board of Game Commissioners adopted a slate of deer seasons for 2014-15 that establishes the split, five-day antlered deer season (Dec. 1-5) and seven-day concurrent season (Dec. 6-13) in 14 Wildlife Management Units ...Those exempt from these antler restrictions are junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty military on leave... 
   The board on Tuesday also voted to issue 108 elk licenses (27 antlered, 81 antlerless) for the 2014 hunt.

Game Commission Prepares for Controlled Burn April 7, 2014 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... Depending on conditions, the Game Commission plans to burn up to five units totaling 340 acres... The purpose is to restore the pitch pine/scrub oak ecosystem on the Scotia Barrens.  Controlled burns are used by the Game Commission on game lands statewide to improve plant and wildlife habitats, and reduce the chance of wildfire...

Commissioners to Finalize 2014-15 Hunting, Trapping Seasons, Board to meet in Harrisburg April 7 and 8. April 3, 2014 Pennsylvania
... The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners is scheduled to meet April 7 and 8 at the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters.  Among other things, the board is to give final approval to the 2014-15 hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits, as well as establish the number of antlerless deer licenses and elk licenses to be allocated... The agenda for the April meeting is available at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. From the “Quick Clicks” box running down the right side of the homepage, select “Commissioners’ Meeting April7-8, 2014” and click the link posted on the page.  The Game Commission’s headquarters is located at 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81 in Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

Increase in poaching could restrict spotlighting April 3, 2014 Pennsylvania, Lewistown Sentinel
... Since the advent of antler restrictions in 2002, Pennsylvania has been producing more big bucks that ever.... "If there's a big buck in the neighborhood, the lights are out there every night looking for that guy," Delaney said.  That had commissioners debating last month whether it might be time to expand the state's prohibition on spotlighting ...

Man successfully argues the Fifth in deer killing case March 27, 2014 Pennsylvania, Yahoo News
... In central Pennsylvania, a farmer apparently has won an expensive constitutional argument over his Fifth Amendment right to evasively answer a game warden’s questions about a recently deceased deer... Coble was charged with a summary offense for not answering initial questions posed by the game warden ...

Pa. Rep. Causer presides over deer management hearing March 24, 2014 Pennsylvania, Olean Times Herald
... A recurring issue raised by members during questioning of Calvin DuBrock, director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, was the soundness of the science used to manage the state’s deer population. Members questioned whether sufficient studies have been done on issues such as predation and forest regeneration to back up policies and decisions ...

State committee examines legislation related to deer management March 20, 2014 Pennsylvania, Bradford Era
... . Members questioned whether sufficient studies have been done on issues such as predation and forest regeneration to back up policies and decisions made by the commission.  Another significant concern is a lack of harvest reporting ... there is little faith in the accuracy of the commission’s harvest reports and population estimates...

Deer hearing in Harrisburg draws emotion March 19, 2014 Pennsylvania, Tribune-Review
... “I can tell you that, as legislators, deer management is probably the one topic we hear the most about ...,” Rep. Martin Causer ... while populations can vary across areas, deer harvests and hunter success rates have remained steady for about two decades, Cal DuBrock, director of the commission's bureau of wildlife management...

... The charges stem from an investigation that started on Jan. 4 after Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Brian Sheetz received a tip that a deer was killed on New Year's Eve in the area behind the Green Point Fire Company, Union Township...

Idea of changing deer season opener draws comments March 18, 2014 Pennsylvania, Tribune-Review
... opening the firearms deer season on the Saturday after Thanksgiving ... About 65 percent opposed the idea of a Saturday opener, he said, on the basis of tradition, the impact that would have on families who would have to choose between celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday at home and traveling to camp, and concerns it would lead to more deer killed...

McKean Co. state rep to hold hearing on deer management in Pa. March 18, 2014 Pennsylvania, Olean Times Herald
... Bills slated for discussion include: • House Bill 870 — Excludes public land from the Deer Management Assistance Program. • House Bill 1146 — Removes antler restrictions for senior hunters. • House Bill 1370 — Establishes a separate three-day antlerless deer season following the regular rifle antlered deer season ...

Pa. Game Commission still debating length of buck, doe seasons March 17, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
... In the 1990s, herds were increasing to the point that populations were above goal in all but one of the state's 67 counties, Rosenberry said. In the 2000s, they were lowered to reach those goals, and have been maintained there since ... The people asking for a three-day doe season aren't worried about opportunity ... “All of those emails we receive are a roundabout way of saying they want us to kill fewer deer,” ...

Release of deer harvest numbers always sparks debate March 13, 2014 Pennsylvania, York Dispatch
...  the release of the Game Commission's annual deer harvest estimates ... The agency doesn't know exactly how many deer were killed. But that's not the fault of the Commission or its employees. It is the fault of the state's hunters. Many among our ranks are too lazy to take a minute or two of their time to report their harvests...

...  on February 28 ... a second white-tailed deer harvested in Maryland tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The adult female deer was harvested in Allegany County in December 2013 during Maryland's firearm season.  Allegany County borders Pennsylvania's Bedford and Somerset counties to the north. ... The first confirmed case of CWD in Maryland was reported in February 2011, also in Allegany County...

Game Commission Releases Deer Harvest Estimates, Harvests up 3 percent statewide in 2013-14, report shows March 11, 2014 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that, in the state’s 2013-14 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 352,920 deer – an increase of about 3 percent compared to the previous seasons’ harvest of 343,110.  Hunters took 134,280 antlered deer in the 2013-14 seasons – a harvest similar to the previous license year when an estimated 133,860 bucks were taken. Also, hunters harvested 218,640 antlerless deer in 2013-14, which represents an about 4 percent increase compared to the 209,250 antlerless deer taken in 2012-13.
     Harvest estimates are based on more than 25,000 deer checked by Game Commission personnel and more than 110,000 harvest reports submitted by successful hunters. Because only about one-third of hunters report their deer harvests, the Game Commission uses data from deer checked in the field and hunter reports to estimate the total harvest.  The age structure of the 2013-14 antlered deer harvest was 47 percent 1½-year-old bucks, with the remaining 53 percent of harvested bucks being 2½ years old or older.  The antlerless harvest included nearly 62 percent adult females, about 21 percent button bucks and almost 18 percent doe fawns. The rates are similar to long-term averages.
     The antlerless success rate remained about 25 percent for the licenses issued. 
Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2014-15 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, staff will be looking at deer health measures, forest regeneration and deer-human conflicts for each WMU.

Time to return to three-day doe season? March 8, 2014 Pennsylvania, Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
... In 2001, the Pennsylvania Game Commission switched from a three-day doe season to a two-week concurrent season for antlered and antlerless deer... As we learned when the board switched to a two-week season in 2001, making such a drastic change overnight isn’t a good idea... 

Fayette judge convicts man in deer spotting shooting February 26, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
...A Fayette County judge convicted a Normalville man Thursday of aggravated assault for shooting a teen girl with a shotgun as she spotted deer with her family... he did not intend to hurt anyone, but rather hoped the shot would deter poaching and deer spotting near his home...

One deer missing, one dead after Allegheny incident February 24, 2014 Pennsylvania, 27 First News
...  One of two deer stranded on the frozen Allegheny River earlier Monday has drowned, and the location of the other is uncertain, according to the Parker, Pa., fire chief...
     Ice On Allegheny River Leaves Deer Trapped On Water February 23, 2014 Pennsylvania, pittsburgh.cbslocal.com
... “There’s no way they can get off there … unless you got a way to helicopter them out there ... They’re stranded now ...

Airport deer hunt yields limited harvest February 23, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... Lottery applications: 2,933. Hunters chosen: 157. Total deer harvest: 11. Doe harvest: 4...  archery-only ... If continued as expected, the pilot project could evolve in its second year...

Searching for shed antlers soars in popularity February 22, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
... looking for “sheds,” the antlers dropped by deer and elk. It's a phenomenon soaring in popularity. “In the 1980s, nobody stopped to pick up a shed antler unless they were going to trip over it. ... North American Shed Hunters Club ... a registered Pennsylvania elk hunting guide, even has started offering guided elk shed hunts...

Deer survival in southeast Pennsylvania February 21, 2014 examiner.com ·
... deer ... underfur is 5 times as dense as sheep underfur ... traps layers of air ... deer decrease movement which lowers their metabolic rate and ... seek shelter in conifer stands that reduce wind speeds and snow pack and which provides overhead thermal cover...

Changes to deer harvest reporting possible in Pennsylvania February 18, 2014 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
... Commission estimates are that fewer than 40 percent of successful hunters report their deer... hunters killed an estimated 343,110 deer in 2012-13. Emrick wasn't buying it, not after having what he described as his worst deer season in a decade last year... Some states require a hunter to call a toll-free number within 24 hours of taking a deer ...

Game Commission Delivers Annual Report to Legislature February 18, 2014 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     Based on the sex, age, and kill (SAK) data collected by our 33 deer-aging teams, which examined 26,000 deer and hunter-harvest reports, we estimate that our hunters harvested 343,110 deer during the combined deer seasons in 2012-13. The antlered harvest was 133,860 and the antlerless harvest was 209,250. The antlered harvest was a 5 percent increase over the harvest in 2011-12 and the antlerless harvest was very similar to the 2011-12 harvest. In comparison to years prior to the implementation of antler restrictions, the age structure and the number of 2.5-year-old and older bucks have increased. Archery hunters were responsible for 32 percent of the total antlered deer harvest, and 48 percent of the archery antlered harvest was taken by individuals using crossbows. The Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP, continues to provide both public and private landowners a tool to control deer numbers and impacts on their properties through hunting. In 2012-13, we approved 832 applications to enroll 1,479,477 acres into the DMAP program. We approved 28,170 coupons to obtain a DMAP antlerless permit and had a reported harvest of 3,852.
     During the 2012-13 elk season, the 65 licensed elk hunters harvested 19 bulls and 33 cows. The annual elk population survey was conducted in the winter of 2013 and the results of the survey totaled a minimum 833 elk in the elk range.

Communities ponder deer sterilization program February 13, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... in communities such as Castle Shannon and Mt. Lebanon ... sharp-shooting and bow hunting may not be the right answers for such densely populated areas... Green Tree manager David Montz called the proposed sterilization program "the least controversial measure that I've seen in 20 years." ... residents might accept the sterilization program because they understand the concept of spaying and neutering their pets...  another aerial survey should be done to make sure the problem is acute enough to justify the expense...

Lehman Township, Deer culling debate shows power of petitions February 13, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pocono Record 
... At Saw Creek Estates in Lehman Township, more than 600 residents signed a petition asking the community board for another chance to discuss the plan of a sharpshooter thinning the deer heard there. Leadership has put the culling of the deer on hold and will schedule a meeting....

Upper Dublin deer management program questioned February 12, 2014 Pennsylvania, Montgomery Media 
... About 20 residents have banded together to ask the commissioners to discontinue the program. The main objections are safety and efficiency.  Among safety concerns expressed are: the tree stands, which must be 50 yards from an occupied structure, are too close to property lines, rendering them unnerving for homeowners to view and unsafe; a deer shot in the woods may move onto private property to die; having hunters in the woods makes it unsafe for residents to walk in the woods or for children to play there...

Saw Creek postpones deer cull pending special meeting with members February 6, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pocono Record
...  some of the Lehman Township community’s 3,000 property owners are opposed to shooting the deer and petitioned for a meeting... The board contracted with a USDA sharpshooter team to reduce the herd through a controlled hunt, to be conducted by one expert shooter, a driver and spotter... For now, the board has postponed the deer cull ...

Tinicum discusses deer management survey February 5, 2014 Pennsylvania, The Intelligencer
... the Tinicum Conservancy — a nonprofit land conservancy that protects the rural character, open space and scenic areas in Tinicum — wants to have residents participate in a survey to determine the level of interest there is for initiating a deer-management program... According to John Morgan, a wildlife supervisor for the state Game Commission, the deer population in Upper Bucks has remained relatively consistent over the past 10 years...

Never-ending debate flares up February 1, 2014 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
... state Rep. Bob Godshall ... intends to introduce legislation that would require hunters to say whether they killed a deer before they could buy a hunting license the following year ... Godshall's plan ... would leave the commission in the spot of having to decide how many doe licenses to make available one year not knowing how many deer had been killed the year before...

Pennsylvania firearms deer season not headed for earlier start in 2014-15 January 28, 2014 Pennsylvania, The Express-Times 
...  the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau on Sunday asked the Pennsylvania Game Commission to consider opening the firearms deer season on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving ... 

Split Firearms Deer Seasons Up for April Approval January 28, 2014 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     The Board of Game Commissioners adopted a slate of deer seasons for 2014-15 that retains the split, five-day antlered deer season (Dec. 1-5) and seven-day concurrent season (Dec. 6-13) in 12 Wildlife Management Units... Hunters with Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits may use the permits on the lands for which they were issued during any established deer season, and will continue to be permitted to harvest antlerless deer from Dec. 1-13 

Land Acquisitions Highlight Meeting January 28, 2014 Pennsylvania, PGC News
     Purchases add more than 16,000 acres to game lands system.  The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday approved a purchase that will add nearly 13,000 acres to State Game Lands 25 in Jones Township, Elk County.The nearly $12.2 million purchase does not include timber rights for many tree species on the property. The property’s seller, The Conservation Fund, will reserve the timber for 25 years with the right to harvest, cut, remove and otherwise manage and use all timber, except conifer, white oak, walnut and apple trees.
     It’s one of the biggest purchases in decades, and links one of the biggest game lands in the Commonwealth to the Allegheny National Forest – one of the largest forested public resources in the state.

Man fined for illegal deer kills January 28, 2014 Pennsylvania, Daily Item
... A Liberty Township man was ordered Monday to pay more than $7,000 and placed on supervised probation for one year after pleading guilty to killing three bucks without having a hunting license in Liberty Township... 

Redding, Local hunters ask: ‘Where are the deer? January 24, 2014 Pennsylvania,  thereddingpilot.com 
... A debate has been sparked between local hunters and town officials as to what is an adequate number of deer per square mile in town.... there isn’t a follow-up survey of deer in the area at the end of the regular hunting season — before White Buffalo comes in and kills more deer... It is stated in the town’s 2008 Plan of Conservation and Development that in order to “contain” Lyme disease, 10 to 12 deer per square mile is the target level [deer density generally not correlated to Lyme disease] ...

Meridian's Township deer harvest grows nearly 30 percent January 23, 2014 Pennsylvania, Lansing State Journal 
... The third year for a managed hunt on designated township properties yielded nearly a 30 percent increase of deer taken ... some are saying that they are definitely seeing a reduction in deer, while others are reporting large deer herds living in their backyards ...

Building the biggest buck through genetics January 22, 2014 Pennsylvania,  readingeagle.com 
... His deer have advanced from a little hobby herd with spaghetti antlers to bucks with 200- to 300-inch racks in 15 years.... "That one is Licker," ...  She licks everyone. ... Energizer is a whitetail from Ohio valued at $800,000 and the focus of a contract dispute among his three owners ... Hunts for bucks with more than 200 inches of antlers can cost upwards of $4,000...

Muddy Run deer count tops 500 January 19, 2014 Pennsylvania, Lancaster Online 
... For nearly three decades, volunteers have gathered on a January afternoon to count the deer at Muddy Run," just so we have an idea how many deer are in there," ... by doing the count the same way every year, Byers said, Exelon can get an idea of the size of the deer population at Muddy Run ... more than 500 deer, according to park manager Dave Byers... "It should have been up this year, because the winter wasn't too bad last year," ...

Coyote conspiracy: Myth, or state-business collusion? January 19, 2014 Pennslvania, Philly.com
... For years, a not-so-small segment of the hunting community has suspected coyotes have been secretly imported to the region by states to reduce their deer herds and/or by insurance firms to cut deer-related accident claims.  Spokesmen for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife both deny the claim... 

... He got a call at around 12:15 that three deer had fallen through, and although two made it out, one was stuck...  a struggling 180 pound 6 point buck ... chopped ice as the boat advanced toward the deer ...  threw a rescue strap over its antlers and started pulling the buck closer ...

Pennsylvania Game Commission under new management January 18, 2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... Following the retirement last week of Carl Roe, after eight years as the agency's executive director, Washington County native Matt Hough was tapped as the new leader of the nearly $100 million agency charged with non-aquatic wildlife management... will manage the agency while the commissioners continue a nationwide search for an executive director ...

'Bullwinkle deer,'  ... January 15, 2014 Pennsylvania, Patriot-News Blogs 
... The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study ... has received samples from 10 deer with oddly deformed muzzles ...  Swollen muzzles give the deer a strange appearance, which has led to them be referred to as "Bullwinkle deer,"  ... from Michigan to Alabama. The swollen muzzles are the result of chronic inflammation ...

Deer must weather both storms and CWD January 12, 2014 Pennsylvania, 
Altoona Mirror 
...  Starvation will probably take a good number of whitetails this year and free-running dogs will account for the deaths of many hungry, exhausted deer that cannot outrun them in this kind of snow and ice conditions... Chronic Wasting Disease spreading throughout our deer herd ... 

Radnor deer hunt removes 74 as winter storms delay cull January 7, 2014 Pennsylvania, Main Line Media News 
... This is the second season that the township has engaged sharpshooters from the USDA to cull deer. The Board of Commissioners approved $76,263 for the deer management program ... deer have also been blamed for the spread of Lyme disease. [deer cull not generally effective against Lyme

Old hunting licenses becoming an issue in Pennsylvania January 5, 2014 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
... The Pennsylvania Game Commission may look to officially make it illegal for you to carry more than one year's worth of hunting licenses on your person. In years past, the color of licenses changed from year to year. That's not feasible with the new licenses ...

... in the area of southern Chester County where I hunt.  And the deer sightings are few or nonexistent... I am a supporter of the antler restrictions, but I feel that with having the concurrent antlerless season, we have decimated the deer herd on public land... one has to wonder, 'Is it worth the time?' ... I heard only 8-10 shots opening day but nothing close.  This tells the whole story. No deer = no hunters, period!

Living with deer, deer culls in the parks January 3, 2014 Pennsylvania,  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... White Tail Management Associates of Greater Pittsburgh ... kill approximately 600 deer in our county parks yearly... our county parks are being used as the private hunting preserve for White Tail Management. If this is all we can think to do with our county parks system, it is time to reevaluate what parks management is doing...

CWD found in deer killed on Bedford County highway January 2, 2014 Pennsylvania, The Tribune-Democrat 
... The Pennsylvania Game Commission has reported that a white-tailed deer that was killed by a vehicle in Bedford County last fall has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The 1½–year-old buck was hit on Interstate 99 in November ...

Tests Confirm CWD Case in Pennsylvania January 2, 2014 Pennsylvania, The Business Journal 
... A white-tailed deer that was killed by a vehicle in Bedford County this fall has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD)... CWD was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2012 at a captive facility in Adams County... The buck that tested positive Dec. 24 was killed within what is known as DMA 2, (Disease Management Area) ...

Deer season saw 750,000 hunters December 27, 2013 Pennsylvania, Erie Times-News 
...  while the season was later than usual this year, an estimated 750,000 hunters participated in the annual hunt... Blakeslee thinks the snow helped hunters for both bear and deer this year but that more restrictions should be placed on doe hunting to improve the local herds...

Deer Walks into Dick's Sporting Goods December 26, 2013 Pennsylvania, WFMC
... "A deer you would think would want to walk into a store that does not have rifles and other sporting good equipment," said Stephanie Dietrich of Blandon...  the Pennsylvania Game Commission escorted the deer out of the store...

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking the public's help to identify who has been illegally killing white-tailed deer at night in Saville Township, ... since Oct. 30, 11 deer have been shot and left where they fell along Rupp Road and Dobbs Road...  call the Game Commission at 814-643-1831.

Don't forget to report deer harvests December 20, 2013 Pennsylvania, Sunbury Daily Item
... You can make a very valuable contribution to Pennsylvania's deer management program by just taking the few minutes to complete this report.... Hunters can go to the Game Commission’s website and report harvests online, or they can make reports by calling toll-free: 1-855-724-8681

Climate change converts nuisance insects into a real threat December 15, 2013 Pennsylvania, Pocono Record,
...  although warmer winters may reduce deer mortality, disease and insect predators are taking an increased toll... Climate change is also affecting moose populations all across the southern portion of their range, from Wyoming to New Hampshire. Warmer winters have facilitated the explosion of tick populations ... 

Dogs could be useful in deer hunts December 14, 2013 Pennsylvania, Reporter 
... in Pennsylvania deer hunters were banned from using dogs during the hunt...  concerns that dogs would be used as weapons ... an unintended consequence. Hunters could not use dogs to track deer they’ve wounded or killed and recover them. ... legal in 11 states ... The matter is in the hands of the state Legislature ...

Ridley Creek State Park, Deer hunters kill 49 in Ridley Creek State Park   December 12, 2013 Pennsylvania, DelcoTimes,com
... The 92 deer killed is the lowest total in recent memory. That compares to the two-day totals of 146 deer killed in 2012, 136 in 2011 and 134 in 2010... hunters, who often sit for hours waiting for a prize buck to cross their paths [a hunt for population control would target does] ...

Allow dogs to track wounded deer in woods December 11, 2013 Pennsylvania, Daily Local News
... in Pennsylvania deer hunters were banned from using dogs during the hunt. The reasons were many... The ban, though, had an unintended consequence. Hunters could not use dogs to track deer they’ve wounded or killed and recover them... There is nothing worse, one hunter said, than losing the track of a wounded deer... Dogs trained to track deer could help... The matter is in the hands of the state Legislature ...

Deer Movement Ramps Down, But Not Out December 6, 2013 Pennsylvania, Field and Stream (blog)
... Deer activity has generally slowed considerably. In Erie County and Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Adam Brozewicz at Edinboro Outdoors said that he has been seeing plenty of does moving, but the bigger bucks have disappeared...

... about 30 deer aging teams from the commission gathering age and sex data on deer killed by hunters ... The information ... will be provide a critical set of data for commission biologists in estimating this year's deer harvest, proposing deer hunting seasons and doe license numbers for next year, and running their formulae for deer and forest health that are at the core of the commission's deer management program...

Pa. not seeing the light on deer-vehicle crashes December 5, 2013 Pennsylvania, Tribune-Review
... in Canada, where deer, moose and even Sasquatch can be found crossing the road, officials decided to try a motion-sensor device that picks up movement on the sides of the road and alerts drivers with flashing yellow lights. It's a promising idea and one that other states are considering or already using ...

Rifle deer season opens, schools and offices close December 3, 2013 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Daily News 
... The state legislature is dark.  Schoolchildren from the Lehigh Valley to the Ohio border have the day off.... Welcome to the opening day of rifle deer season ... Pennsylvania is second only to Texas in the number of licensed hunters...

Deer season opens in Bradford County December 3, 2013 Pennsylvania, Daily Review & Sunday Review
... we project a season that's similar to last year. We have about the same number of hunters, and deer populations are either stable or increasing in most of the state. The opening day seemed to have some fairly decent weather in most of the state too ...  Travis Lau, press secretary with the Pennsylvania Game Commission ... 

Dallastown farm goes for the deer December 3, 2013 Pennsylvania, Lancaster Newspapers
... Red deer are native to Europe and are close cousins of the American elk. They are twice the size of whitetails and a little smaller than elk... "It's very hard to do (artificial insemination) in deer" ... These days, "there's actually not many red deer operations left" in Pennsylvania ...

Deer Processing Changes, CWD December 2, 2013 Pennsylvania, WTAJ 
... One of the big concerns for this hunting season is the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease among the state's wild deer population. ... "All the deer that is coming in, we are putting the bone material in a certified landfill is where they go.    They cannot go into any source of a plant that is manufacturing any kind of animal food or what ever so." ...

Pennsylvania deer hunters hit the woods today December 2, 2013 Lancaster Online
... Pennsylvania has about 950,000 licensed resident and nonresident hunters. The state Game Commission expects about 750,000 to be in the woods today... Last year, hunters statewide tagged 90,400 antlered deer during the two-week firearms season, in addition to 134,820 antlerless deer...

Game Commission studies deer herd December 2, 2013 Pennsylvania, Times Tribune
... When forests don't regrow, deer are the prime suspects ... researchers want to make sure that deer are, indeed, the cause of the damage... In three state forests they will count saplings by species type, look at other vegetation ... Hunters will get involved by registering when they hunt in the study areas - parts of the Bald Eagle, Rothrock and Susquehannock state forests....

...  because of the discovery of chronic wasting disease in wild Pennsylvania deer, they are cautioning hunters to be sure their animal appears healthy.  Chronic wasting disease — often called CWD — is a chronic, degenerative neurological disease affecting the central nervous system of animals such as deer and elk. The disease has been moving east in recent decades... “While the risk of CWD is very low, hunters need to focus on the overall safety of the meat. ...

Whitetails by the numbers, population management December 1, 2013 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
... In the beginning only antlered deer were legal game... It's taken a long time to learn the lesson, and some hunters still resist it, but stabilizing a deer population means killing more does than bucks...

Getting venison is No. 1 reason deer hunters go hunting in poll December 1, 2013 Pennsylvania, Shamokin News-Item Online 
... according to a survey done this year by Responsive Management ...  35 percent selected "for the meat" as the most important reason for them hunting deer...  the No. 2 reason in the survey for deer hunting with 31 percent was sport and recreation ... No. 3 in the survey as the reason for deer hunting with 21 percent was being with family and friends ...

Deer disease may impact economy, CWD December 1, 2013 Pennsylvania,. AltoonaMirror.com
... with the discovery this year of the state's first wild cases of chronic wasting disease ...  the possibility of a thinning herd and new restrictions in the central Pennsylvania mountains could compound a gradual decline in license purchases, particularly among the out-of-state hunters who spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the state annually... Researchers believe the disease is caused by a prion, a misfolded protein ...

Fewer hunters taking their shots in Pennsylvania December 1, 2013 readingeagle.com
... More than 1.3 million hunters bought licenses in 1982, the most ever in Pennsylvania, but only 943,583 bought them in 2012, a 28 percent decline.  License sales have been steadily dropping nationally, too, since the early 1980s.  A Pennsylvania Game Commission survey shows that in Pennsylvania many hunters either grew too old for the sport, found other interests, no longer had time for hunting or no longer had access to good hunting spots...

... Most municipalities have laws banning the discharge of firearms ... "They need to reconsider their laws," said Jason Raup, assistant council for the state Game Commission, the agency charged with enforcing hunting laws. "Those authorities have no jurisdiction over the discharge of firearms dring the course of legal hunting ...

Deer Season: Preparations underway for opening day November 30, 2013 Pennsylvania, Carlisle Sentinel
... During the 2012 season, hunters harvested an estimated 343,110 deer, up 2 percent from the previous year... Statistics for successful buck hunters in the Cumberland-Perry county region show that 56 percent and 52 percent of the bucks harvested last season were taken on the first day ...

Deer Season: Game commission predicts healthy group of deer November 30, 2013 Pennsylvania, Cumberland County Sentinel 
... The commission is tracking deer populations and say they have been stable or increasing in nearly all of the state’s 23 wildlife-management units... hunting license sales also are slightly ahead of their 2012 pace...

Pa. hunters could get help from dogs to find wounded or dead deer November 30, 2013 Pennsylvania, Evening Sun 
... 27 other states already can do: Use dogs to help find and recover white-tailed deer.  House Bill 451 would amend the Pennsylvania Game Code to allow hunters who have legally killed or wounded a white-tailed deer to use leashed blood-tracking dogs to track the deer and help hunters recover the animal. ... "I'm for anything that helps recover a dead or wounded animal," Krewson said. "I only ever lost one deer, and it was the worst feeling you can possibly have as an ethical hunter." ...

CWD confirmed in one region of state November 30, 2013 Pennsylvania,  HeraldStandard.com 
... The discovery of CWD in free-ranging deer followed by mere months the confirmation of a captive CWD-positive whitetail on a deer farm near Gettysburg in Adams County... The disease was first discovered among captive mule deer in Colorado in the 1960s and has since spread to wild or captive deer in 20 states and two Canadian provinces ... “If anyone becomes aware of a deer out there that’s sick, please call Southwest Region office: 724-238-9523 ...

Deer season presents challenges November 29, 2013 Pennsylvania,  Chambersburg Public Opinion
... Hunters killed 343,110 deer in Pennsylvania last year to continue a five-year trend of increasing harvests ... Ten years ago, prior to major changes in management of the state deer herd, the statewide haul was 464,890 buck and doe... Just one of every eight hunters will be fortunate enough to bag a buck, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission data... 

... A frost in late spring whacked much of this year's crop from white oaks and chestnuts oaks, while a cold, wet spring last year is being felt this fall in the red oak acorn crop, which produces on a two-year cycle...commission deer biologists have described their annual recommendations for deer harvest goals as maintaining the deer population within most wildlife management units at their current level or even allowing them to increase...

Oh, deer: season upon us, CWD November 29, 2013 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror 
... The disclosure last March that the first cases of chronic wasting disease had been confirmed in this region's deer population has made some hunters apprehensive ... special restrictions and regulations that the Pennsylvania Game Commission has put in place for much of a CWD four-county Disease Management Area that includes Blair...

York County hunters look forward to big day, CWD November 29, 2013 Pennsylvania, York Dispatch Online
... changes to regulations imposed by the state Game Commission after Chronic Wasting Disease was found in captive deer in the area.  Hunters aren't required to have their deed tested for CWD at checking stations like they had to last year.  However, deer harvested in the part of York County that's inside a Disease Management Area can't be transported outside the area unless the high-risk parts -- the head and backbone, essentially ...

Rep. seeks change to traditional start of rifle deer season November 27, 2013 Pennsylvania, Meadville Tribune
...  Republican State Rep. Greg Lucas ... " consider changing the start of Pennsylvania rifle deer-hunting season from a Monday to the Saturday after Thanksgiving,” ...  it’s hard — especially in a troubled economy — for some workers to take off a Monday to go hunting ...

Pennsylvania State Forest Districts Opening Additional Roads to Hunters November 27, 2013 Pennsylvania, Sacramento Bee
... "Selective, temporary opening of state forest roads enables our forestry experts to channel deer hunting pressure where they think it is needed to benefit forest regeneration," said Ferretti.. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Ellen ...

Why deer can be attracted to gas drilling sites November 26, 2013 Pennsylvania, NPR News
... deer love salt ... The brine water that comes back up after hydraulic fracturing (known as flowback) can be as much as 10 times saltier than seawater. It can also contain heavy metals and radioactive materials... the deer were attracted to it. It brings the deer in from a great distance around, and it concentrates them... U.S. Forest Service soil scientist, Mary Beth Adams

Deer hunters gear up for Monday's big event November 25, 2013 Pennsylvania, Daily Local News 
...  the traditional opening day of Pennsylvania’s general deer season always falls on the Monday following Thanksgiving ... approximately 750,000 hunters ... deer populations are estimated as stable or increasing in most of the state ... conditions have combined to limit acorn availability in many areas... 

PGC'S Delaney talks deer November 23, 2013 Pennsylvania, Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
... “In 3C, the herd is definitely growing and I’m getting a lot of favorable reports from hunters. The reports from 3D are hunters are seeing very few deer and, this year, we cut the antlerless license allocation significantly. While deer numbers are down, according to hunters, there has been very little improvement to forest health over the last few years in 3D...   In 3B, the forest health measures show it has improved a lot. The deer numbers are starting to come back...

Deer forecast November 22, 2013 Pennsylvania, PGC
     While deer populations are being tracked as stable or increasing in most of the state, many other factors influence deer hunting, said Chris Rosenberry, who supervises the Game Commission’s deer and elk section.  The availability of food sources in an area plays a role in the deer harvest at a local level, he said.  This year has produced a spotty acorn crop statewide, said David Gustafson, the Game Commission’s chief forester. A late spring frost affected white oaks and chestnut oaks. And a cold and wet spring in 2012 affected red oaks, which take two years to produce. Those conditions have combined to limit acorn availability in many areas.
     The timing of deer-hunting seasons in relation to the deer’s breeding season, commonly referred to as the rut, can impact the harvest, he said. But he said other factors typically are more important, as evidenced by deer harvests in different seasons with either early or late starts.

South Park, Deer management, Suburbs November 18, 2013 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... Some of the woods in South Park are so devoid of ground vegetation that everybody blames the deer. This is not all true.  One only has to walk down East Park Drive from the BMX Track to the Oliver Miller Homestead and see huge trees that almost totally block out any sunlight from reaching the ground....There is nothing for the deer to eat, so they move into the neighborhoods to feast on homeowners’ flora.  Why can’t these parks get logged out of these big trees so new vegetation can regenerate the woods? ...

Deer-Forest Study November 18, 2013 Pennsylvania, PGC News
... several deer in Pennsylvania are wearing GPS radio collars that can be controlled via text messages... the Game Commission has placed collars on thousands of
Pennsylvania deer. Through such monitoring, researchers have learned things such as 70 percent of yearling bucks will disperse miles from where they were born, and have better understood harvest rates of antlered and antlerless deer during the hunting seasons... 
 The study also looks at the impact deer have on forest regeneration, a phenomenon that has been studied for decades but now can be measured at a higher level of detail... their browsing in the forest understory often makes deer an easy target when it comes to assigning blame for lagging forest regeneration – even when other factors could be responsible.  The new study will help ensure that, in cases where deer aren’t responsible for lagging regeneration, they won’t be blamed for it.
  
Deer and hunters are out and about November 17, 2013 New York, Concord Monitor
...  a recent survey asked 722 hunters why they hunt deer. The top answer was acquiring meat. It seems the locavore movement is influencing the hunting community. According to the survey, sportswomen now command nine percent of the “established hunter” category and 14 percent of new or returning hunters. More than half of all women surveyed, 55 percent, indicated acquiring meat was their largest incentive to hunt. Only 27 percent of men voted similarly....

A bounty of concern, coyotes November 17, 2013 Pennsylvania, Times-Leader 
... The House Game and Fisheries Committee approved a bill (HB 1534) on Wednesday that would allow the Game Commission to enact a $25 bounty on coyotes... When it comes coyotes, management and tolerance are the better options as opposed to taking a step back in time with bounties...

Deer disease a serious concern for wildlife managers November 16, 2013 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
...concern grew with the Game Commission's discovery in the spring of chronic wasting disease in three deer killed by hunters in Blair and Bedford counties. The discovery followed by mere months the confirmation of a captive CWD-positive whitetail on a deer farm ... CWD's arrival in Pennsylvania followed closely behind a recent surge of epizootic hemorrhagic disease ... The Game Commission has set up Disease Management Areas ...

Local deer population plentiful November 15, 2013 Pennsylvania, Uniontown Herald Standard
... The population in 2C ... has steadily declined from 87,046 in 2008 to 61,386 this year ... In 2A ... there are more deer now than there were in 2008. The population increased from 45,462 in 2008 to 53,996 this year ... 240 property owners are enrolled in the cooperative farm-game and forest-game programs ...

Deer Rescued From Abandoned Well November 14, 2013 Pennsylvania, NBC Philadelphia 
...  looped a rope around the antlers of the deer one by one and pulled the animals to safety... 

Pennsylvania Elk Hunt November 12, 2013 PGC News Release
...  Nearly 85 percent of the hunters participating Pennsylvania’s 2013 elk hunt have taken home a trophy.The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced 72 elk were taken by hunters during the regular one-week elk season that ended Nov. 9. And for those licensed to hunt antlered elk, also known as bulls, the success rate was a perfect 100 percent...  The 2013 harvest included several large elk. Fourteen bulls each were estimated to weigh 700 pounds or more, with the heaviest bull taken in this year’s hunt estimated at more than 847 pounds... 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 typically is held in September and annually attracts more than 20,000 applicants.


Search by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic. 

Data: 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 1.2 million in 2010, 1.1 million in 2008,  1.4 million in 2002,  to 1.5 million in 2000.  Population estimates have been a matter of public controversy.  The hard winter in 2013/2014 and the spread of chronic wasting disease will reduce populations.  In 2014, the Game Commission reduced antlerless deer permits in an effort to grow the herd.
     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. 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. 
     The elk herd has grown from roughly 65 in 1971 to about 800 in 2011.
     In the early 1900's. the Pennsylvania deer population was so low that the Game Commission began stocking deer in 1906.  Does were protected until 1923 to boost the population.  The elk population was eliminated in the late 1800s, between 1913 and 1926 the Game Commission released 177 elk.  In 1998 a three year long trap and transfer program expanded the elk's range.

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.

Other useful links:
Deer Chronicles - Pennsylvania Game Commission bi-annual publication.
Information about Chronic Wasting Disease from PGC  
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Deer Management Plan: "Pennsylvania's Constitution and Game and Wildlife Code direct the Game Commission to protect, manage, and preserve wildlife and their habitat . . . for the benefit of all people, including generations yet to come." PA DCNR - Managing Deer and Forests, Mission Statement May 20, 2011 Pennsylvania Management
Pennsylvania Game Commission News

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Rep. Martin Causer asks some questions at a recent meeting of the House Game and Fisheries Committee.- February 21, 2013