Pennsylvania's 2023-2024 Deer Hunting Season Yields Favorable Results, Signaling Success for Hunters

Thayne Muthler

The Game Commission of Pennsylvania has shared good news about the deer hunting season for 2023-24. They say hunters have reported around 430,010 white-tailed deer were taken in January. This number is a little higher by 2% from last year and also up by 4% over the average of the past three years.

Supervisor David Stainbrook describes that we make the estimates using hunter reports and details from processors all over Pennsylvania. Expert deer evaluators, working in groups, visit these processors to find out how old the deer are and they take notes from the harvest tags as well.

Most of the reports, like 74 percent, came in through the Game Commission's web system for reporting. The rest were report cards and phone calls making up 18 percent and 8 percent each.

The number of bucks hunted went up by 5% from last season and was also 6% higher than the average of the last three years. Around 27% of deer hunters were able to hunt a buck, which is much better than in past years.

The age of bucks being caught has changed; now, 64% of these bucks are at least two and a half years old. This is different from before when the majority were only one year old when captured.

The taking away of deer without antlers was similar to what has happened in the past, with older female deer making up 69% of those caught. Around one in four licenses given out for this hunting period led to catching a deer.

Bryan Burhans, who is the Executive Director of the Game Commission, feels positive about the results. He thinks they show how good their deer management program is and says it helps both to keep a healthy number of deer and to make sure hunting can continue in a way that doesn't harm nature.

The normal season for hunting deer with guns was responsible for most of the animals caught, as hunters reported getting 254,710 deer. Those who hunt using bows added to more than one-third of this number, and people using muzzleloaders also did well by taking 20,450 deer.

The 2023-24 deer hunting season in Pennsylvania shows that the Game Commission's management methods for sustainability are working well, keeping a healthy number of deer and making hunting a satisfying experience.