Early doe season promising for Pennsylvania hunters
By Bob Frye
Published: Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, 10:36 p.m.
Well, why should this be any different?
Pennsylvania has had a rainy year, with the precipitation falling between June and August enough to rank the summer as one of the wettest on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
Now here we go again.
Hunters with muzzleloaders can chase antlerless deer through Saturday, and junior and senior hunters with rifles can chase them Thursday through Saturday. In all cases, they'll have to deal with at least the threat of rain.
The National Weather Service forecast for the greater Pittsburgh area calls for a chance of showers every day this week except perhaps Friday.
If hunters can keep their powder dry, though, more than a few will bring home an antlerless deer.
Hunters statewide took 16,179 antlerless deer during the October firearms deer seasons last year, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission harvest estimates. That was up from 14,964 the year before and 13,754 the year before that.
Muzzleloader hunters — who can use flintlocks or inlines — took about 60 percent of those deer each year. The rest were taken in almost equal measure by the oldest and youngest hunters in the woods.
“In regard to the October rifle season, there appears to us to be a pretty even split between junior and senior harvests,” said Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau.
Those does are part of an antlerless harvest unlike any other in the Northeast. According to information from the Quality Deer Management Association, hunters shot more does in Pennsylvania than any other state in the region in 2011, and more than all but two other states in the country that year. Georgia led the nation, followed by Texas, then Pennsylvania, with Alabama and Michigan close behind.
The state also ranked fourth nationally in antlerless deer shot per square mile, according to the association. Maryland was tops in the country, killing 6.3 does per square mile, followed by Delaware at 4.9, Georgia at 4.8, Pennsylvania at 4.5 and Alabama at 4.0.
“These are astounding harvest rates, and these states are shooting more antlerless deer per square mile than some areas have for a standing crop of bucks, does and fawns combined,” reads the association's “Whitetail Report 2013.”
So put on your best weather-proof gear and get hunting.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.