Deer season helps researchers take aim

(WHTM) – The first day of rifle deer season may be the biggest unofficial holiday in Pennsylvania. Many schools are closed and lots of people take off work for it. More than 750,000 hunters will head into state game lands over the two week season.

15-year-old Hunter Malloy lived up to his name, nabbing his tenth deer.

“We just climbed up the tree and we were sitting there. There were some deer as soon as we got there. And the same group of deer was just circling around, again and again, picking up more deer as they went by. Then they went away. Then the buck came out,” he said.

His dad, Mark MAlloy, owns Potteiger Meats in New Kingstown.

“It’s going good. We’re getting quite a few deer in,” said Malloy. “We’ve done well. We’ve gotten probably 50 in, so far.”

By the end of the season, they’ll process between 1,000 and 1,500 deer, but that’s not all that happens there.

“The biologists come in and take their data from all the deer,” Malloy said. “They age them and take their samples for whatever they do.”

They’re researching for the PA Game Commission.

“It’s essential to our development of an estimate for the number of deer that are harvested each year per wildlife management unit and statewide,” said Travis Lau, PA Game Commission Spokesperson. “Then through that harvest estimate we’re able to build a population estimate which serves as the basis of our allocation of antlerless licenses the next year.”

Random samples will also be collected from deer across the state– to test for chronic wasting disease.

“They send teams out that age the deer and we’re also an approved processor for the CWD site out of York and Adams County. So we keep all those deer separate,” said Malloy.

By the end of the season, the PA Game Commission will examine 25,000 deer.

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