Pa latest deer harvest numbers are in and reflect a 12 percent increase over the 2021-22 season
The 2022-23 estimated deer harvest numbers are in and they reflect a 12 percent increase over the 2021-22 seasons.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, there was an estimated total of 422,960 deer harvested. This was an increase over the 2021-22 season when 376,810 deer were taken. The estimated count broke down as 164,190 antlered and 258,770 antlerless deer.
The PGC points out that the buck harvest was only two percent higher than the most recent three-year average, and they are seeing more older bucks being available for harvest. Along with that, the agency reports that for five years running, about one of four Pennsylvania hunters tagged a buck, with two of every three bucks harvested being 2.5 years old or older.
Interestingly, of the antlerless deer taken, 67 percent were adult females while 17 percent were button bucks, and 16 percent were doe fawns. Hunters filled roughly one of every four antlerless deer licenses last season.
As a further breakdown of the total harvest, the regular firearms season accounted for the largest part of the 2022-23 tally as hunters took 251,520 deer with 87,190 being bucks and 164,340 being antlerless deer. Bowhunters, with either bows or crossbows, tallied 145,640 deer of which 75,770 were bucks and 69,870 were antlerless deer. The estimated muzzleloader take was 25,790 deer of which 1,230 were bucks and 24,560 were antlerless.
As for local Wildlife Management Units, the totals were as follows with bucks noted as “A” and antlerless as “AL” and with last year’s totals listed in parenthesis: 3D: 5,550A (4,700), 7,400 AL (6,300); 4C: 6,900 A (5,700), 8,200 AL (6,400); 5C: 7,200 A (6,600), 16,700 AL (14,700); 5D: 2,500 A (2,600), 6,700 AL (6,300).
Of all the states WMUs, 2D registered the highest totals of 14,000 A (11,500) and 23,000 AL (19,900) for the firearms season.
For archery and muzzleloader season totals, they are as follows: 3D, archery, 2,260 A, (1980), 2,030 AL (1,500); muzzleloader, 40 A (20), 770 AL (500); 4C: archery, 3,450 A (2,870), 2,170 AL (1,750; 5C: archery, 5,020 A (4,730), 8,040 AL (6,890); 5D: archery, 2,080 A (2,800), 4,760 AL (4,390), muzzleloader, 20 A (120), 140 AL (210).
In addition to inseason trout stockings, volunteers with Lehigh Fish-Game, Pioneer Fish-Game and Trout Creek Fish-Game associations stocked over 60 golden rainbow trout in the Little Lehigh and other area streams. The trout were compliments of Cabala’s in Hamburg.
Shad are also being caught in the Delaware River from Lambertville upriver. Steve Meserve, who does commercial shad netting in the Delaware, has reported catching 87 roe and 121 bucks as of March 27, and has returned 182 shad to give him a total of 390 or 12.58 shad per haul so far this season. And that was done in 31 hauls over 26 days.
We’ll keep you posted on further Delaware River shad updates.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.