Pa. game agency reports decrease in deer harvest

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Hunters harvested an estimated 303,973 deer in the latest seasons, a 14 percent decrease from a year ago, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Statistics released by the agency Monday show the antlered harvest decreased 11 percent from 184,713 bucks in 2014-15 to 119,260 in 2014-15. The antlerless harvest fell 16 percent from 218,640 deer taken in 2013-14 to 184,713 in 2014-15.

Game Commission executive director R. Matthew Hough said a couple of factors seem to have contributed to the decrease, and some of it was by design.

The agency reduced the number of antlerless licenses available for sale by 59,500 across the state.

Additionally, some parts of the state had unseasonably warm temperatures on the opening day of the rifle season, and conditions on the first Saturday included steady rain, snow and dense fog.

The latest harvest, however, had the highest percentage of adult bucks in decades. Of the antlered deer taken, 43 percent were one-and-a-half-year-old bucks and the remaining 57 percent were two-and-a-half years or older.

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