From Mirror staff and wire reports
A shortened antlerless season didn't reduce the estimated deer harvest in the west central Pennsylvania, figures from the Pennsylvania Game Commission show.
Hunters took an estimated 316,240 deer statewide during the 2010-11 deer seasons, up 2 percent from a little less than 309,000 a year earlier. Figures released Tuesday indicate hunters harvested about 14,000 more antlered deer but 7,000 fewer antlerless deer in 2010-11.
Game Commission Director Carl Roe says the antlered deer harvest is slightly above average since 2005.
The Game Commission had reduced the antlerless seasons in some of its wildlife management units from 12 to seven days in an effort to increase the deer population in those areas.
But in WMU 2E, which includes parts of Clearfield, Indiana, Cambria and Jefferson counties, about 700 more antlerless deer were harvested during the most recent hunting seasons compared to the prior year, despite the change in season length.
The commission said this year's antlerless harvest was 6,000, compared to 5,300 the previous year. The number of antlered deer harvested also grew to 4,200 in 2010-11, compared to 3,700 the previous year.
The antlerless deer harvest fell in other wildlife management units in the region.
This included one in WMU 4A, which still had a two-week combined buck and doe season. WMU 4A includes southeastern Blair County, and parts of Huntingdon, Bedford and Fulton counties. The antlerless deer harvest fell by 1,000 to 6,400 in the most recent hunting season, while the antlered deer harvest grew to 3,800 or 100 more than the previous year.
Hunters in WMU 4D, which includes Central and northern Blair County and parts of Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, Union, Snyder, Juniata, Mifflin and Huntingdon counties, harvested 11,800 deer.
Officials said that was 400 fewer than the prevous year, despite an increase of 1,300 to a total of 6,300 in the number of antlered deer taken. The antlerless deer harvest fell by 1,700 to 5,500 in the most recent seasons.
An increase of 2,000 antlered deer taken in WMU 2C, which includes southwestern Blair County and parts of Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties, accounted for a larger overall harvest in the most recent seasons.
Game Commission estimates say hunters took 8,500 antlered and 9,600 antlerless deer in the most recent seasons, compared with 6,500 antlered and 10,900 antlerless deer a year earlier.
Roe says the commission had shortened the antlerless deer seasons this year, so a smaller harvest was expected.
Nearly 50,000 hunters used the new online reporting tool that's used by the commission to estimate the harvest.