Game agency: Buck harvest could increase 3rd straight year

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission says hunters could see an increase in the state buck harvest for the third consecutive year.

Hunters harvested an estimated 333,254 deer during the 2016-17 season. Of that total, 149,460 were antlered deer, the largest buck harvest since 2002.

The agency’s deer biologists believe there’s a chance this season will be even better for hunters. And, it says, bucks with larger racks are making up more of the deer harvest with each passing year.

In 2016, 56 percent of the antlered buck harvest was made up of bucks 2½ years old or older.

The “rifle season” begins the Monday after Thanksgiving and runs to Dec. 9.

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