2008-2009 harvest

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SilverKype
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2009/03/18 12:54:39 (permalink)

2008-2009 harvest

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that hunters harvested an estimated 335,850 deer in the state’s 2008-09 seasons. That’s up four percent from the previous seasons’ harvest of 323,070.

Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2008-09 (with 2007-08 figures in parentheses) are as follows:

WMU 1A: 5,400 (4,900) antlered, 12,600 (12,500) antlerless;

WMU 1B: 7,500 (6,000) antlered, 13,400 (11,400) antlerless;

WMU 2A: 6,700 (6,600) antlered, 15,300 (14,300) antlerless;

WMU 2B: 4,000 (4,400) antlered, 15,300 (15,300) antlerless;

WMU 2C: 7,500 (8,400) antlered, 12,800 (11,600) antlerless;

WMU 2D: 9,500 (9,100) antlered, 15,600 (18,100) antlerless;

WMU 2E: 5,000 (3,600) antlered, 6,200 (6,400) antlerless;

WMU 2F: 7,000 (4,800) antlered, 9,100 (7,100) antlerless;

WMU 2G: 6,800 (5,100) antlered, 6,500 (6,600) antlerless;

WMU 3A: 4,100 (3,400) antlered, 7,500 (7,800) antlerless;

WMU 3B: 5,500 (5,900) antlered, 9,900 (10,200) antlerless;

WMU 3C: 6,300 (5,300) antlered, 7,300 (9,600) antlerless;

WMU 3D: 3,900 (3,600) antlered, 6,900 (7,000) antlerless;

WMU 4A: 4,200 (4,500) antlered, 6,900 (6,700) antlerless;

WMU 4B: 3,900 (3,500) antlered, 3,800 (4,500) antlerless;

WMU 4C: 5,000 (4,800) antlered, 8,000 (9,400) antlerless;

WMU 4D: 6,600 (5,800) antlered, 9,300 (8,100) antlerless;

WMU 4E: 4,300 (3,300) antlered, 7,200 (8,100) antlerless;

WMU 5A: 2,100 (2,400) antlered, 3,800 (3,900) antlerless;

WMU 5B: 6,800 (6,000) antlered, 11,200 (11,100) antlerless;

WMU 5C: 8,700 (6,500) antlered, 20,200 (18,900) antlerless;

WMU 5D: 1,300 (1,000) antlered, 4,500 (5,200) antlerless; and

Unknown WMU: 310 (300) antlered, 140 (70) antlerless
 
 
 
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that hunters harvested an estimated 335,850 deer in the state’s 2008-09 seasons. That’s up four percent from the previous seasons’ harvest of 323,070.

The rest of the release:

Hunters took 122,410 antlered deer in the 2008-09 seasons, up from the previous license year’s harvest of 109,200. Also, hunters harvested 213,440 antlerless deer in 2008-09, which is almost the same as the 213,870 antlerless deer taken in 2007-08.


“This year’s antlered harvest is on average with the harvest for the last five years,” said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer and Elk Supervisor. “As for the antlerless deer harvest, about one quarter of all antlerless deer licenses issued were used to harvest an antlerless deer, which also is on average with the harvest success rate for the past five years.


“It is important to note that in 2008-09 there was a shorter antlerless deer season for firearms deer hunters in WMUs 2D, 2G, 3C and 4B. As a result, in three of the four WMUs, the antlerless harvest dropped. In WMU 2G, the antlerless harvest was similar to last year.”


Rosenberry noted that the agency has launched a study to evaluate the impact of this split-season. (For more information, please see News Release #012-09 in the “News Release” section of the agency’s website – http://www.pgc.state.pa.us.)



Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2009 antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the April Board meeting. Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, said that in addition to harvest data, the staff will be looking at population trend data, deer reproduction data, forest regeneration data, and input from new Citizen Advisory Committees.


Harvest estimates for 2008-09 seasons are based on 127,351 usable harvest report cards (44,995 antlered; 82,356 antlerless) returned by hunters to the Commission and 26,057 deer (8,791 antlered; 17,266 antlerless) examined by Game Commission personnel in the field and at processors.


For an explanation of the agency’s deer harvest estimating procedure, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “White-Tailed Deer” icon in the center of the homepage, then scroll down and select “Deer Research” and click on “Reporting rate variability and precision of white-tailed deer harvest estimates in Pennsylvania.”


Yearling bucks comprised 52 percent of the 2008-09 antlered harvest. Since 2003, the percent of yearling bucks in the annual harvest has varied between 50 and 56 percent. Button bucks represented 22 percent of the antlerless harvest, and similar to 24 percent in 2007-08.

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    dpms
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/18 12:56:26 (permalink)
    Interesting that the antlerless harvest in 3 of 4 WMU with a shorter season was reduced.  If the trend continues possibly more antlerless tags and statewide one week concurrent?

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    #2
    DanesDad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/18 15:58:28 (permalink)
    I hope not.  It should be 2 weeks concurrent, but LESS tags available.
    #3
    scaremypsu
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/18 17:39:44 (permalink)
    They were not down by much.  It is difficult to make any conclusions from one year of data.  Especially, since half of the WMU antler less harvest in 2008/2009 were lower than last year.  Should be able to get a better idea after a few more years though  
    #4
    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/19 20:42:39 (permalink)
    Looks like the buck harvest is still trending downward. Put the worst season weatherwise with last year which was one of the best weatherwise and the average is under 116,000. Does a total of one healthy deer in the state that doesn't cause conflicts with the farmers or insurance companies mean the plan is working?
    #5
    SilverKype
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/20 08:42:06 (permalink)
    S-10
     
    I think there is more to this downward spiral than just less deer.   First, less hunters.. and two, participation.  I heard an aweful lot of people leaving the first day of rifle at 9:30.  I hear them leaving at 9:00 am during archery !  That didn't used to happen.  I don't even consider leaving before 10:30..  The 'time spent in the woods cause I enjoy it' mentality has certainly changed over the years.  And it's only going to get worse.  So many other "important" things to do during the day.

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    #6
    dpms
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/20 08:49:21 (permalink)
    Yep!!

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    SilverKype
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/20 10:31:44 (permalink)
    Here is why I have issue with the one week doe season.
     
    WMU 3C: 6,300 (5,300) antlered, 7,300 (9,600) antlerless.
     
    More bucks shot this year than last and less doe taken.  A shortened doe season puts more pressure on the bucks.  Both situations are pulling away from balanced ratios.  That being said, this can be interpreted from multiple angles .. such as the weather angle.  My opinion, we need three years of data to draw any valuable conclusions.   But one thing is certain, better ratios create better hunting for the buck hunter in the woods in late October, November, and some years, early December.  I know the saying.. the doe has the bucks, but I've been there before and I didn't care for it.

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    #8
    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/20 17:36:05 (permalink)
    I agree that there are a lot of casual hunters quitting early or not going out at all but I don't think it has much effect on the overall number of deer killed. What it does do is allow the avid hunters the chance to continue to be successful even with a greatly reduced deer herd. The problem with that is if/when the casual hunter quits for good there will not be enough avid hunters to keep the PGC afloat.
     If what your suggesting was true there should be a large number of bucks surviving each year and thereby getting larger racks which would show up in increased numbers and better scores in the record books. In fact just the opposite is happening. According to the PGC records the number of bucks making the record books in archery, and in rifle season  have decreased when comparing 2002 forward with the same number of years prior to AR/HR. In addition, when comparing the average size of the racks on all deer 140 and above both archery and rifle they are nearly identical both pre HR/AR and from 2002 forward. Bottom line is the number of record bucks has decreased as a result of HR/AR and the average size of the ones harvested has remained the same.
     The hard core hunter or one with private land to hunt will continue to be fairly successful just by the fact he spends so much time at it but may not be able to afford the license increase it would take to keep the PGC solvent. Then who knows what will happen.
     If you go through the latest posted deer records and compare the number of record book bucks entered in both archery and rifle, by year you will find that the best year by far was 2000 which was also the year before AR/HR started and the year Pa. had the most total deer. Must be they were not all starving.
    #9
    DanesDad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/20 21:24:30 (permalink)
    I would agree that many hunters are putting in less time than they used to.  By Wednesday of the first week I'm alone in the woods a lot of the time.
    #10
    Big Tuna
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/21 20:03:00 (permalink)
    Do you guys believe these Pa, guessaments ? Till Pa. goes to Check station like Ohio or W.V. I'm not buying there propaganda. I'd be willing to bet the number are really lower than they say.
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    dpms
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/22 12:10:24 (permalink)
    Ohio will be eliminating the check stations and going to phone and online reporting I thought I heard somewhere.

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    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/22 13:37:01 (permalink)
    You heard correctly DPMS. This season will be the last for deer check stations in Ohio and the businesses doing it are none too happy. Apparently they feel they can save some man hours by having us going online or phone to report and are willing to accept a less accurate reporting rate by doing so. I think they have so many deer now in Ohio they aren't all that concerned over how many get killed. In some of the urban areas they are even going to allow unlimited doe kill. I never thought that Ohio would ever surpass Penna as the state for the most deer.
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    duncsdad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/22 13:55:58 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: SilverKype

    S-10

    I think there is more to this downward spiral than just less deer.   First, less hunters.. and two, participation.  I heard an aweful lot of people leaving the first day of rifle at 9:30.  I hear them leaving at 9:00 am during archery !  That didn't used to happen.  I don't even consider leaving before 10:30..  The 'time spent in the woods cause I enjoy it' mentality has certainly changed over the years.  And it's only going to get worse.  So many other "important" things to do during the day.

     
    Jon,
     
    Please take this post with the hint of sarcasm that is intended, but also the truth of it as well.
     
    The reason people are leaving the woods at 9:30 is that they are bored to tears.  In the past, when they were seeing deer, that kept them occupied.  Now, with 3 hours of seeing nothing, they begin to think of all the other things they could be doing.
     
    Think about it.  How long is a football game -- 3 hours.  How long is a baseball game -- 3 hours.  How long is a NASCAR race -- 3 hours.  How long is a concert including the opening band -- 3 hours.
     
    Something about sitting for three hours and then onto something else that is in the human nature.
     
    How long are movies -- 2 hours (or less) because unlike the above you can't really get up and move or talk (make that yell if your home team isn't doing well).
     
    How long can the average person sit in the woods not talking, remaining pretty much motionless, etc., while seeing nothing and continue to stand it?
     
    Think about going to a theater and they put a lovely picture of the woods up and nothing changes -- it is just a still photo.  At what point do people walk out?
     
    If there is nothing to hold their attention, they leave.
     
    The problem comes when they decide not to go at all.  Not only are the license dollars lost, but so are the matching funds.  Soon the PGC has no choice but to feed at the trough of public money and join DCNR (and those that work for the PGC more than likely don't care whom the paycheck is coming from as long as it, the benefits, and the retirement are there).
     

    Duncsdad

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    DanesDad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/22 23:11:24 (permalink)
    How is it the fault of the PGC that people have short attention spans?  Society today is too much about "instant gratification", and that just doesn't jibe with getting the deer population in line with the carrying capacity of the land and getting buck to doe ratios back to something approaching natural.
     
    If you can't sit on stand for three hours, you probably shouldn't be hunting anyway.
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    DanesDad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/22 23:15:14 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Big Tuna

    Do you guys believe these Pa, guessaments ? Till Pa. goes to Check station like Ohio or W.V. I'm not buying there propaganda. I'd be willing to bet the number are really lower than they say.

     
    They may not be as far off as you think.  If they check butcher shops then look at report cards and find that 30% of the deer in the butcher shop have a report card turned in, you can make a pretty good guess.  That said, I dont think that any method can get you within 90% of reality.
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    SilverKype
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 08:09:30 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: duncsdad

    ORIGINAL: SilverKype

    S-10

    I think there is more to this downward spiral than just less deer.   First, less hunters.. and two, participation.  I heard an aweful lot of people leaving the first day of rifle at 9:30.  I hear them leaving at 9:00 am during archery !  That didn't used to happen.  I don't even consider leaving before 10:30..  The 'time spent in the woods cause I enjoy it' mentality has certainly changed over the years.  And it's only going to get worse.  So many other "important" things to do during the day.


    Jon,

    Please take this post with the hint of sarcasm that is intended, but also the truth of it as well.

    The reason people are leaving the woods at 9:30 is that they are bored to tears.  In the past, when they were seeing deer, that kept them occupied.  Now, with 3 hours of seeing nothing, they begin to think of all the other things they could be doing.

    Think about it.  How long is a football game -- 3 hours.  How long is a baseball game -- 3 hours.  How long is a NASCAR race -- 3 hours.  How long is a concert including the opening band -- 3 hours.

    Something about sitting for three hours and then onto something else that is in the human nature.

    How long are movies -- 2 hours (or less) because unlike the above you can't really get up and move or talk (make that yell if your home team isn't doing well).

    How long can the average person sit in the woods not talking, remaining pretty much motionless, etc., while seeing nothing and continue to stand it?

    Think about going to a theater and they put a lovely picture of the woods up and nothing changes -- it is just a still photo.  At what point do people walk out?

    If there is nothing to hold their attention, they leave.

    The problem comes when they decide not to go at all.  Not only are the license dollars lost, but so are the matching funds.  Soon the PGC has no choice but to feed at the trough of public money and join DCNR (and those that work for the PGC more than likely don't care whom the paycheck is coming from as long as it, the benefits, and the retirement are there).


     
    I agree Shawn.  It becomes difficult to justify getting up at 4:00 to be see nothing.  Happens to me alot.  Over the past few years, I've averaged a deer sighting about once every 3-4 hours.  It's boring and sometimes I have to look for reasons for me to go hunting after work, instead of going home.  The thing that keeps me going is the fact that I know the deer are there .. and if i'm buck hunting, I'm usually after a particular one.  The pre-season encounters keep me motivated.  I know the area and I know if I spend enough time, it'll happen at some point.  Partially the reason why I spend more time pre-season scouting than actual hunting.  For the guy that doesn't care to spend the time pre-season, probably doesn't care much for hunting anymore.
     
    It's funny, when you and I talk hunting, you're refering to rifle season, and I'm refering to archery.  Weather is usually nice in archery.  That'll keep folks on spot longer too. 
     
     
    S-10
     
    You're just anti AR/HR.  We all know this.    I do know 60% of the top ten archery bucks have come since AR's beginning.  That's quite an impressive stat considering the number of years the books have existed.  As for B&C records not being rewritten, AR was never intended to produce 5.5 year old bucks. 

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    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 09:53:39 (permalink)
    Your right, I am against Ar/HR and if you look closely at the records you should be too. Just looking at archery Typical bucks---1996 through 2001 there were approx 242 total entered in Pa record books of which 53 scored 140 or better. From 2002 through 2007 including the most recent scoring session there were approx 160 total entered of which 47 were 140 or better. 2000 was the top year of all which is the year BEFORE AR/HR started. You can't just judge it by a couple real good ones. All this info came right from PGC's posted records so you can check it out when you have the time. I said "approx" in case I missed one ot two up or down but that was my count.
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    SilverKype
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 12:50:59 (permalink)
    I have the time to look now, but to be honest, I think I lack the desire to add them up.  That's a lot of counting.     I find those numbers difficult to believe.  You sure you added correctly?    I wasn't hunting 30 years ago, but I was 10, and 15+ years ago.  I remember the bucks we pulled out of the woods then and I remember the ones we've pulled out in recent years.  You can't use the private land argument on me.    Same forest, same hunters, generally same spots, same deer.   I don't know what to give credit for bigger bucks .. AR..HR..impatient hunters..bad weather..  i don't know, probably a combination of all.  I think this is a case similar to if you believe mountain lions are in PA.  If you've seen one, you probably believe.  Vice versa.  Same with bigger bucks, perhaps.

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    DanesDad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 14:54:21 (permalink)
    Remember, the habitat changes over time.  The place you hunted ten or fifteen years ago is not the same today.  It may support fewer deer now.  Or maybe, it supports more.  But the habitat does change as time goes by.
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    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 15:39:35 (permalink)
    I'am sure of my numbers, could be off one or two, as you said it's a lot of counting. A fellow on another site came within a couple of mine on total and I think he may have missed catching a couple duplicates in the archery side. For the less ambitious, you could try the non typical side. Both archery and gun show about the same thing and there are a lot fewer to count. Remember, this is statewide so your experience in a small area could be different or be because of other factors. I know the areas I hunt have gone downhill which may explain why we have different attitudes about it. Nothing like killing a nice buck or two to influence your thinking and it may just be because you have become a better hunter. I'am still killing 2-1/2 year olds, there just not any better than before.
    #21
    SilverKype
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 15:59:21 (permalink)
    That's the thing though S-10, I killed nice bucks in past, not just recent.  They were far more rare then.   A 2.5 year old 8 pt used to be the exception of the rule.  While I may have learned more about my area since being out of college, and spent more time hunting, that doesn't justify the guys that have been hunting there for 30 years.   The older bucks just didn't exist like they do today.  I've posted the pics of "camp spike" and the scrubbies of the past before taken by guys your age in the past and the ones they've taken recently.  Now they're killing far better ones.  At what point does a hunter learn the area, the deer, and NOT grow into being any "better" of a hunter than previous years?
     
    It may be for the particular areas I hunt but I do hunt 4 counties in 3 separate WMU's.

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    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/23 16:17:48 (permalink)
    I don't know what else to say as we have had opposite experiences since AR/HR. I will say that I didn't measure the bucks or post the Deer Record numbers, the PGC did, I only counted them. You mentioned some archery bucks in the top ten, I think we archers are skimming the cream in that area. There are 0 bucks in the top ten rifle since AR/HR and as I recall only 4 or 5 in the top hundred. I hunt 2 WMU's but only one county to any degree.
    #23
    SilverKype
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/24 09:36:29 (permalink)
    You did post a local paper's rifle season kill, correct ?   There were nice nice deer in there.  I've seen some real studs over the years come from your area.   All must not be gloom and doom.
     
     

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    RIZ
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/24 10:24:48 (permalink)
    so s-10, by your numbers the 96 - 01 percenage is 21.9% and the 02-07 is 29.4%.  that is a significant increase.  yes there are fewer deer entered but that was the idea, herd reduction and bigger racks.  actually you proved the PGC did it right.
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    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/24 17:22:46 (permalink)
    Silver--I did post an article (actually a contest results) with some very nice bucks. It was not from my area but was in Pa. That contest has had very nice bucks throughout it's history and I never found out how last year stacked up against other years. My county has historicaly been near the bottom for Pa. book bucks and it still is.
    #26
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/24 18:32:03 (permalink)
    I don't think a math teacher would buy into your theory Riz. If that were correct then if there were only 3 killed in the state that made book and one of them was over 140 that would be 33% and all would be great. Actually (Alts)the PGC plan originally was to reduce the total deer herd but by killing off a lot of does the buck herd would actually increase with the proper buck/doe ratio and a smaller overall herd. That would have worked fine except they decided to go too far with the doe kill coupled with the fact they just guessed that the BB kill would go down without having any facts to support it. If the AR restriction part was working we should be seeing a significant increase in the number of archery records(115" and over) and an increase in bucks both archery and gun 140" and over as compared to Pre AR/HR. In addition, the average score of the bucks taken should be increasing due to more feed (remember the less starving deer, the more feed, the bigger racks theory). What has actually happened is there are fewer 115" and above bucks showing up in archery, fewer 140" and above bucks showing up in rifle, and the average score of the bucks over 140" regardless of how taken is virtually the same both before and after HR/AR. Not to mention the 85,000 fewer bucks we now have to harvest. Rather hard to see the silver lining in those numbers no matter how hard you try to twist them. That is unless you are a non-hunter of course.
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    DanesDad
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/25 23:22:18 (permalink)
    s-10, do you believe we are high grading them?
    #28
    S-10
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/26 07:53:34 (permalink)
    What we are doing fits the definition of high grading. There is some research that suggests that by the fourth year with good feed some scrubs will catch up to the ones that started out at 8 points at 1-1/2. The problem is that since in Pa. they hardly ever reach 4-1/2 even if that is true it doesn't do us any good.
    #29
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    RE: 2008-2009 harvest 2009/03/26 08:15:41 (permalink)
    #30
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