A look at the National Deer Association’s 2021 Deer Report

PHOTO PROVIDED Mike Wolf is pictured with an antlerless deer he harvested.

HARRISBURG — No state harvested more deer per square mile than Pennsylvania during the 2019-20 hunting season, 8.7. Pennsylvania was one of only three states to harvest more than 300,000 deer in total. These are just two of many insights shared by the National Deer Association (NDA) in their recently released 2021 Deer Report, a comprehensive update on the status of deer populations and deer hunting in the United States.

In addition, the percentage of mature bucks, those 2 Ç or older, in the harvest set a record, at 66%. That means only a third of the antlered bucks harvested in the 2019/20 season were 1¢ years of age. According to Kip Adams, NDA’s Chief Conservation Officer, “Pennsylvania deer hunters now shoot far more bucks that are at least 2 ¢ years old than 1¢ years. This is very different from hunting seasons in the past.”

Pennsylvania 2019/20 Deer Season Quick Facts

–1 of 3 states (Texas and Michigan) to harvest greater than 300,000 deer annually (163,240 antlered bucks and 226,191 antlerless deer)

–Sustainably harvested 8.7 deer per square mile (Tied for first with Delaware)

–Harvested 3.6 antlered bucks per square mile (Only Michigan harvested more, 3.7)

–Harvested 5.1 antlerless deer per square mile (Only Delaware harvested more, 6.2)

–Greater than 50% of antlered buck harvest was 2.5 years old or older for the 11th year in a row

–66% of harvested antlered bucks were 2.5 years old or older, a new record

–37% of harvested deer were taken during the archery season

The new Deer Report covers data from the 2019-20 hunting season, the most recent season with complete harvest data available from all major deer states. After 12 years of preparing this report, the NDA has expanded the scope beyond whitetails to include mule and black-tailed deer as well as whitetail subspecies like Coues and Key deer. A special section of the 2021 report contains information and harvest statistics on these other deer species.

Complete state-by-state estimates of total buck harvest, buck age structure, and many other harvest parameters are available in the full Deer Report, which also includes a look at numerous other critical issues for deer hunting. All NDA Deer Reports are available for free download from their website at: https://www.deerassociation.com/about/deer-reports/

Kip Adams, NDA’s Chief Conservation Officer, provided an update from the National Deer Association’s 2021 Deer Report, taking a closer look at Pennsylvania’s deer harvest trends. Below is a link to his presentation, entitled How Pennsylvania’s Deer Harvest Compares to Neighboring States and the Nation.



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