Pennsylvania deer hunters harvested more deer last season than they have in well over a decade.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported that this past deer hunting season their deer harvest numbers increased dramatically from the year before. The buck harvest and the overall deer harvest each increased by 10 percent.
The 2017-18 deer hunting season closed in January, and 367,159 deer were taken by hunters. Of those deer, 163,750 were bucks. By contrast, the previous 2016-17 deer season saw 333,254 animals harvested, with 149,460 of that total consisting of bucks.
The 2017-18 season ranks as the best harvest total in 13 years—since the 2004-05 season—when 409,320 deer were killed.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans spoke with obvious pride about the state's impressive numbers.
"Everywhere I go, hunters are telling me about and showing me photos of the trophy bucks they took last season," he said. "It's something that started months ago and hasn't stopped. I consider it a pleasure to share their excitement and see their pride."
Bowhunters took 118,110 deer (62,830 bucks and 55,280 antlerless deer), making up about a third of the overall harvest. The bowhunter harvest also increased 10 percent over last season's total number of 109,250. Bowhunting includes both bow and crossbow.
Muzzleloader hunters maintained the year's increase over last season, taking 23,490 deer (1,310 bucks), which was also a 10-percent improvement from 2016-17.
The Pennsylvania deer harvest decreased in only three of the state's 23 management units.
The state's deer harvest has increased in each of the last three hunting seasons.
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