Sixty percent of Pennsylvania deer hunters support a Saturday-after-Thanksgiving start to the firearms deer season, while another 12 percent have no preference between a Saturday or Monday opener, and 27 percent oppose a Saturday opener, based on recent survey results presented to the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Reports
It’s also the second-best take of black bears since 2011.
The first-ever day of regulated Sunday big-game hunting will take place on Sunday, Nov. 15, for archery deer hunting only.
The percentage of older bucks in the 2019-20 deer harvest remained amazingly high. About 66 percent of the bucks taken by hunters were at least 2½ years old. The remainder were 1½ years old.
The overall bear harvest increased by a third from 2018 to 2019.
Grouse priority area sitting tool launches.
Although numbers are continuing to come in, and bear hunting remains open through Saturday in some of the state’s Wildlife Management Units, as of today, the 2019 preliminary bear harvest sat at 4,577.
Senate Bill 147 has not been passed in final form yet, and even if it passes the state Senate a second time and is signed into law, it will not take effect until 90 days after passage – not in time for 2019 hunts.
Hunters harvesting deer in Lancaster County are encouraged to have them tested for CWD.
Due to CWD detections, DMA 2 now covers more than 6,715 square miles, an expansion of 2,101 square miles since last year.
This past weekend was a big one for Pennsylvania’s student archers.
Season will kick off the Saturday following Thanksgiving instead of the Monday after.
The 2018-19 deer harvest topped the previous year’s harvest of 367,159 by about 10 percent.
While the new DMA 3 boundary will be announced after all sampling of hunter-harvested deer is final, the CWD-positive captive deer would expand DMA 3 to the northeast, where it would encompass at least some Elk Hunt Zones
Hopes were high in 2018 with a bear population estimated at 20,000 and a fine start to the November firearms season, but unfavorable weather conditions kept harvest down. Still, there were highlights, including the harvest of a nearly 800-pound bruin, and hopes remain high for next year, too.
Too few landowners give permission in Bedford, Blair counties.
No proposal will be drawn up, no vote will be taken in near future.
Modifications proposed for the 2019-20 seasons include moving the opening day of the firearms deer season to the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
Three deer collected for testing all had respiratory infection; pneumonia is a rare occurrence in deer and the reasons it might have cropped up in the area are unknown.
The Game Commission is implementing reduction to minimize the impact of CWD on the deer population in this specific area.
State also sees 10 percent increase in black bear harvest – 1,993 compared to 1,796 in 2017 – and more bears are yet to be taken in extended seasons in many Wildlife Management Units.
One of the more intriguing bears taken was a 679-pound male shot at 5 yards with a .357 handgun.
Harvest included some large elk – 13 bulls were estimated to weigh 700 pounds or more, with two more than 800 pounds and the heaviest estimated at 894 pounds – 7-by-8. An 806-pounder with a 10-by-7 rack also taken.
With cooperative weather, particularly on opening day Nov. 17, hunters primed to overtake state’s record 4,350 bear harvest, set in 2011. And Game Commission bear biologist says Penn’s Woods hold bigger bears, too, at least 800-pounders.
The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Mario M. Scavello, provides another choice for hunters who have shot and inflicted injury on a white-tailed deer, black bear or elk, but lose the trail.
The Pennsylvania species being targeted by this fieldwork are Swainson’s thrush, wood thrush, blackpoll warblers, Canada warblers, rusty blackbirds, American woodcock and northern long-eared bats. New York among states also included in effort.