Friday, January 28, 2011

Pennsylvania's Successful Deer Management Program

Pennsylvania’s deer management program has been nationally recognized for many years, both favorably and unfavorably. Historically it was recognized as one of the poorest in the country. More recently it has been recognized as a national leader – deer herds in balance with what the habitat could support, balanced adult sex ratios, complete age structures, healthy deer, improved habitat health, and increased recreational opportunity. These successes are the result of a science-based deer management program and sweeping changes implemented nearly 10 years ago. These changes are supported by the majority of Pennsylvania sportsmen and women.

Annually the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), an organization founded to promote healthy, balanced, productive, sustainable deer herds and habitats – not to produce more deer, publishes their Whitetail Report. The report is intended to be a useful resource for communicators, media members, industry leaders, and hunters.

Here are some comparisons from the report that show how Pennsylvania’s program stacks up:
• PA is one of only six states in the U.S. to harvest more than 300,000 whitetails annually;
• In 2009 PA harvested 2.4 antlered bucks per square mile (PSM)– this is higher than the averages for the Northeastern (2.0) and Midwestern (1.5 bucks PSM) states;
• In 2009 for the first time in several decades (or maybe ever) over half of PA’s antlered buck harvest was 2.5 years or older;
• In 2009 PA harvested 4.4 antlerless deer PSM – this is higher than the averages for the Northeastern (3.2), Midwestern (2.1) and Southeastern (3.6 antlerless deer PSM) states;
• In 2009 PA harvested 1.9 antlerless deer per antlered buck – this is higher than the averages for the Northeastern (1.4), Midwestern (1.4) and Southeastern (1.1 antlerless deer per antlered buck) states.

These comparisons clearly show how well Pennsylvania is doing compared to other states. These are reasons to celebrate our deer management program, not change it or replace its managers. They also highlight the successes of our program; successes that clearly would not be attainable if the herd was mismanaged as some contend.

That brings me to my final point, the Pennsylvania Game Commission Board of Commissioners are to meet and set seasons and bag limits for the coming 2011-2012 deer season from Jan 30-Feb 1. The meetings are open for public comment on Sunday, January 30th beginning at 1:00 PM and again on Monday, January 31st beginning at 8:30 AM. To view the I urge all of you to attend and provide testimony. If you are unable to attend you can write your game commissioners by sending an e-mail to:

(Information provided by Kip Adams, Director of Education and Outreach, QDMA)


Anonymous said...

The pa deer plan is a joke and so is this article touting it as otherwise.

Though what would you expect from a "forestry" site, people who want all the deer dead.

David R. Jackson said...

February 09, 2011, Release #020-11

HARRISBURG – A Commonwealth Court ruling, handed down Feb. 8, has dismissed the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania’s legal challenge to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s deer management program, according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director.

Read the full story on the PGC web site:

Anonymous said...

I agree the article is absurd. Independant biologist John Eveland has uncovered alot of very incriminating things about the fraudulent deer program. I think the legislators need to grow a set and act on this travesty.