The 2013-14 deer harvest estimates are in and the statewide total increased by about 3 percent according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
This past season hunters took 134,280 antlered deer and 218,640 antlerless over all seasons. This compares to 133,860 (A) and 209, 250 (AL) in the 2012-13 seasons.
These harvest figures are based on more than 25,000 deer checked by PGC personnel and over 110,000 who either mailed, emailed or phoned in their harvest report cards.
The PGC reports that the average age structure of the recent hunting seasons showed that 47 percent were 1.5-year old bucks while 53 percent were 2.5-years old.
Antlerless ages were 62 percent adult females and 21 percent were button bucks and 18 percent were doe fawns. The PGC points out that these rates are long-term averages. That, plus the antlerless success rate remained at about 25 percent for the numbers of licenses issued.
As for local deer harvests, the following is the breakdown for our own WMU 5C, plus neighboring 5D, 4C and 3D WMUs. Antlered deer numbers are represented by an “A,” and antlerless by “AL.” The previous years harvest is denoted in parenthesis.
WMU 5C: 8,100-A (7,800); 21,700-AL (23,600)
WMU 5D: 1,600-A (1,300); 4,500-AL (3,800)
WMU 4C: 5,200-A (5,300); 6,900-AL (7,800)
WMU 3D: 3,400-A (4,000); 5,000-AL (6,000)
WMU 5C: 5,110-A (4,170); 9,840-AL (9,370)
WMU 5D: 1,300-A (970); 3,140-AL (2,520)
WMU 4C: 2,250-A (1,850); 1,540-AL (1,490)
WMU 3D: 1,170-A (1,080); 1,130-AL (1,170)
WMU 5C: 90-A (130); 1,760-AL (1,430)
WMU 5D: 0-A (30); 160-AL (80)
WMU 4C: 50-A (50); 860-AL (810)
WMU 3D: 30-A (20); 670-AL (730)
At their upcoming meeting in April, the PGC will recommend antlerless allocations for the 2014-15 seasons. Considering this, it’s interesting to note that while the antlerless rifle season saw a drop in the antlerless harvest, the archery and muzzleloader seasons saw a slight increase. Of course the latter two antlerless harvests pale in comparison to the rifle season.
TOP HUNTING/SHOOTING BRANDS FOR 2013
Every year Southwick Associates prepares a report on top hunting and shooting brands from their 36,680 sportsman internet-based survey. The results are as follows.
* Top rifle brand: Savage
* Top shotgun brand: Remington
* Top muzzleloader brand: Thompson Center
* Top handgun brand: a tie: Ruger and Smith & Wesson
* Top crossbow brand: Barnett
* Top air rifle brand: Daisy
* Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington
* Top Shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester
* Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester
* Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex
* Top balls, bullets, or shot brand: Hornady
* Top bow brand: Matthews
* Top broadhead brand: Rage
* Top bow case brand: Plano
* Top archery sight brand: Truglo
* Top decoy brand: Flambeau
* Top game call brand: Primos
* Top reloading die brand: Lee Precision
* Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady
* Top reloading primer brand: CCI
* Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon
* Top reloading shot brand: Lawrence
* Top scope brand for firearms: Nikon
* Top scope accessory brand: Leupold
* Top binocular brand: Bushnell
* Top spotting scope brand: Bushnell
* Top range finder brand: Bushnell
* Top boot brand: Rocky
* Top bi-pod and shooting stick brand: Primos
You’ll either agree or disagree with these picks but as always, to each his/her own.
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