HAWLEY – There was no shortage of subject matter for sportsmen attending the Pennsylvania Game Commission Deer Management Open House last Sunday at PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.

Not surprisingly, of most interest was the recently released PGC estimated deer harvest for the 2009-10 hunting seasons. And, in all likelihood, that will be a major topic for sportsmen attending the agency's sixth, and final, DMOH, Saturday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the American Legion, 40 South Mahanoy St., Frackville.

According to information compiled by the PGC, hunters harvested an estimated 308,920 deer in the state's 2009-10 seasons, which is an eight percent decline from the previous seasons' harvest of 335,850. Hunters took 108,330 antlered deer in the 2009-10 seasons, down 11 percent from the previous license year's harvest of 122,410 but similar to the 2007-08 harvest of 109,200 – and harvested 200,590 antlerless deer in 2009-10, which is a six percent decline from the 213,440 antlerless deer taken in 2008-09 – which was a slight decline from 2007-08 with the antlerless deer harvest was 213,870.

Bureau of Wildlife Management director Cal DuBrock said personnel in his department are currently are working to develop 2010 antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the quarterly meeting of the PGC board of game commissioners to set seasons and bag limits, Monday and Tuesday, April 19 and 20. He said that in addition to harvest data, the staff will be looking at population trends, deer reproduction, forest regeneration, and deer-human conflict for each wildlife management unit.

Harvest estimates for 2009-10 seasons are based on 105,192 usable harvest report cards (41,251 antlered; 63,941 antlerless) returned by hunters to the PGC, which included 64,945 reported by mail and 40,247 reported by the new online harvest reporting system. Reporting rates are determined by cross-referencing these report cards with the data collected from the 24,839 deer (7,942 antlered; 16,897 antlerless) examined by agency personnel in the field and at processors.

Yearling bucks comprised 49 percent of the 2009-10 antlered harvest. Since 2003, the percent of yearling bucks in the annual harvest has varied between 49 and 56 percent. Button bucks represented 22 percent of the antlerless harvest, which is the same percentage from the 2008-09 harvest.

In the 2009-10 hunting seasons, crossbows were legal for the first time in statewide archery deer seasons for all hunters. In the 19 WMUs outside of the three urban areas of 2B, 5C and 5D where crossbows have been legal since 2004, the archery harvest increased 13 percent. The proportion of the archery harvest taken by crossbows in the 19 WMUs increased from 15 percent to 30 percent.

Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2009-10 (with 2008-09 figures in parentheses) are as follows:WMU 1A: 5,500 (5,400) antlered, 10,700 (12,600) antlerless; WMU 1B: 5,100 (7,500) antlered, 9,500 (13,400) antlerless; WMU 2A: 6,800 (6,700) antlered, 13,900 (15,300) antlerless; WMU 2B: 4,300 (4,000) antlered, 20,000 (15,300) antlerless; WMU 2C: 6,500 (7,500) antlered, 10,900 (12,800) antlerless; WMU 2D: 10,000 (9,500) antlered, 16,000 (15,600) antlerless; WMU 2E: 3,700 (5,000) antlered 5,300 (6,200) antlerless; WMU 2F: 5,200 (7,000) antlered, 6,600 (9,100) antlerless; WMU 2G: 5,200 (6,800) antlered, 4,200 (6,500) antlerless; WMU 3A: 3,300 (4,100) antlered, 6,000 (7,500) antlerless; WMU 3B: 4,900 (5,500) antlered, 9,100 (9,900) antlerless; WMU 3C: 6,200 (6,300) antlered, 7,100 (7,300) antlerless; WMU 3D: 3,100 (3,900) antlered, 6,300 (6,700) antlerless; WMU 4A: 3,700 (4,200) antlered, 7,400 (6,900) antlerless; WMU 4B: 4,000 (3,900) antlered, 4,100 (3,800) antlerless; WMU 4C: 4,700 (5,000) antlered, 7,200 (8,000) antlerless; WMU 4D: 5,000 (6,600) antlered, 7,200 (9,300) antlerless; WMU 4E: 4,100 (4,300) antlered, 6,300 (7,200) antlerless; WMU 5A: 2,200 (2,100) antlered, 4,200 (3,800) antlerless; WMU 5B: 6,000 (6,800) antlered, 11,300 (11,200) antlerless; WMU 5C: 7,600 (8,700) antlered, 23,200 (20,200) antlerless; WMU 5D: 1,100 (1,300) antlered, 3,900 (4,500) antlerless; and Unknown WMU: 130 (310) antlered, 190 (140) antlerless.

"Although we do not use season-specific harvest data for management purposes, we recognize the public is interested in these harvest estimates," DuBrock said. "For that reason only, we provide estimated deer harvest breakdowns for firearms, archery and muzzleloader seasons, but we only use total deer harvest estimates when making recommendations for each WMU."

Season-specific deer harvest estimates are as follows: WMU 1A: firearms, 3,300 antlered, 7,700 antlerless; archery, 2,130 antlered, 1,780 antlerless; and muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 1,220 antlerless; WMU 1B: firearms, 3,500 antlered, 7,800 antlerless; archery, 1,580 antlered, 1,100 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 600 antlerless; WMU 2A: firearms, 5,000 antlered, 11,000 antlerless; archery, 1,770 antlered, 1,390 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 1,510 antlerless; WMU 2B: firearms, 1,700 antlered, 10,600 antlerless; archery, 2,530 antlered, 7,930 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 1,470 antlerless; WMU 2C: firearms, 4,500 antlered, 8,600 antlerless; archery, 1,230 antlered, 1,120 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,070 antlerless; WMU 2D: firearms, 6,600 antlered, 11,800 antlerless; archery, 3,320 antlered, 2,050 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 2,150 antlerless; WMU 2E: firearms, 2,700 antlered, 4,200 antlerless; archery, 970 antlered, 560 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 540 antlerless; WMU 2F: firearms, 4,200 antlered, 5,500 antlerless; archery, 980 antlered, 520 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 580 antlerless; WMU 2G: firearms, 4,400 antlered, 2,800 antlerless; archery, 760 antlered, 600 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 800 antlerless; WMU 3A: firearms, 2,700 antlered, 4,800 antlerless; archery, 590 antlered, 530 antlerless; muzzleloader, 10 antlered, 670 antlerless; WMU 3B: firearms, 3,700 antlered, 6,900 antlerless; archery, 1,160 antlered, 970 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 1,230 antlerless; WMU 3C: firearms, 5,100 antlered, 5,200 antlerless; archery, 1,060 antlered, 810 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 1,090 antlerless; WMU 3D: firearms, 2,200 antlered, 4,500 antlerless; archery, 1,050 antlered, 910 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 750 antlerless; WMU 4A: firearms, 3,200 antlered, 5,900 antlerless; archery, 450 antlered, 630 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 870 antlerless; WMU 4B: firearms, 2,900 antlered, 2,800 antlerless; archery, 1,080 antlered, 700 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 600 antlerless; WMU 4C: firearms, 3,200 antlered, 5,200 antlerless; archery, 1,470 antlered, 1,140 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 860 antlerless; WMU 4D: firearms, 3,800 antlered, 5,600 antlerless; archery, 1,150 antlered, 880 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 720 antlerless; WMU 4E: firearms, 2,900 antlered, 4,800 antlerless; archery, 1,170 antlered, 820 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 680 antlerless; WMU 5A: firearms, 1,600 antlered, 3,000 antlerless; archery, 580 antlered, 670 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 530 antlerless; WMU 5B: firearms, 3,100 antlered, 7,000 antlerless; archery, 2,840 antlered, 3,000 antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 1,300 antlerless; WMU 5C: firearms, 3,300 antlered, 12,700 antlerless; archery, 4,190 antlered, 8,920 antlerless; muzzleloader, 110 antlered, 1,580 antlerless; WMU 5D: firearms, 300 antlered, 1,200 antlerless; archery, 780 antlered, 2,620 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 80 antlerless; and Unknown WMU: firearms, 0 antlered, 170 antlerless; archery, 130 antlered, 20 antlerless; muzzleloader, 0 antlered, 0 antlerless.

An explanation of the PGC deer harvest estimating procedure is on the agency Web site at www.pgc.state.pa.us [1]. To access, click on the "White-Tailed Deer" icon in the center of the homepage, scroll down and select "Deer Research" and click on "Reporting rate variability and precision of white-tailed deer harvest estimates in Pennsylvania."