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Grow Your Skills and Harvest Fun: Free Online Farm Games to Play Now
Whether you’re a seasoned farmer or simply have a green thumb, online farm games offer a delightful escape into the world of agriculture. These virtual farming experiences not only allow you to cultivate crops and raise livestock, but they also provide an opportunity to develop your strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. Best of all, many of these games are available for free. In this article, we will explore some of the best online farm games that you can play now without spending a dime.
The Joys of Virtual Farming
Virtual farming has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the rise of online gaming platforms. These games offer a unique blend of simulation and strategy, allowing players to experience the joys and challenges of running their own farm. From planting and harvesting crops to tending to animals and managing resources, these games provide an immersive experience that can be both relaxing and rewarding.
One of the main advantages of playing online farm games is the freedom they offer. Unlike real-life farming, where factors like weather conditions and market fluctuations can have a significant impact on your success, virtual farms allow you to control every aspect of your operation. This level of control allows players to experiment with different strategies and learn from their mistakes without any real-world consequences.
Top Free Online Farm Games
FarmVille 2: Country Escape – One of the most popular online farm games ever created, FarmVille 2 offers a charming farming experience with stunning graphics and engaging gameplay. Plant crops, raise animals, complete quests, and interact with friends in this social farming adventure.
Hay Day – With its colorful visuals and intuitive controls, Hay Day has become a favorite among mobile gamers. Grow crops, produce goods in your own factory, trade with neighbors, and participate in events to expand your farm into a bustling agricultural empire.
Family Farm Seaside – This family-friendly game allows players to create and customize their own farm by planting a variety of crops, raising animals, and crafting delicious recipes. With its vibrant graphics and extensive gameplay options, Family Farm Seaside offers hours of farming fun.
Township – Combining farming with city-building elements, Township offers a unique twist on the traditional farm game genre. Grow crops, process them in factories, sell goods to develop your town, and explore new territories to expand your empire.
Benefits of Playing Online Farm Games
Aside from the entertainment value they provide, online farm games offer several benefits that can enhance various skills and abilities. Firstly, these games promote time management skills as players must prioritize tasks such as planting seeds, feeding animals, and completing orders within specific time frames. By juggling multiple responsibilities simultaneously, players learn to make quick decisions under pressure.
Secondly, online farm games encourage strategic thinking. As players progress through the game, they must make informed choices about which crops to grow or animals to raise based on market demand and available resources. This strategic decision-making process helps develop problem-solving skills and fosters a sense of resourcefulness.
Lastly, online farm games often incorporate social elements that allow players to connect with friends or join communities. By interacting with other players in the game’s virtual world, gamers can learn from each other’s experiences and exchange tips or strategies. This social aspect not only adds depth to the gameplay but also cultivates teamwork and collaboration skills.
If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to spend your free time without breaking the bank, consider trying out some of these free online farm games. Not only will you get to experience the joys of virtual farming firsthand but you’ll also have an opportunity to develop valuable skills such as time management, strategic thinking, and teamwork.
Remember that while these games are designed for entertainment, they can also provide a valuable learning experience. So, grab your virtual pitchfork and get ready to sow the seeds of success in the world of online farm games.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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2016-17 Deer Harvest Estimates (PDF) 2015-16 Deer Harvest Estimates (PDF) Big Game Harvest Data back to 1915 Estimated Number of Hunters by Species Estimated Harvest by Species Estimated Harvest per 100 Hunter-days, by Species Estimated Hunter-days by Species Estimated Harvest of Furbearers Estimated Number of Hunters and Trappers of Furbearers Black Bear Age Harvest Data
Game Commission Releases Deer Harvest Report
GAME COMMISSION RELEASES DEER HARVEST REPORT Overall harvest largest since 2004-05 license year.
Pennsylvania hunters posted their highest overall deer harvest in 14 years when they took 374,690 deer during the state’s 2018-19 hunting seasons, which closed in January, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported today.
The 2018-19 deer harvest topped the previous year’s harvest of 367,159 by about 10 percent. The last time the total deer harvest exceeded this season’s total was in 2004-05.
After four years of successive annual increases in buck harvests, hunters posted a buck harvest of 147,750, which placed fourth overall since the start of antler restrictions in 2002. The 2018-19 buck harvest represents a 10 percent decline from the 2017-18 buck harvest of 163,750. The largest harvest in the antler-restrictions era – 165,416 – occurred in the first year.
Although the total deer harvest was not impacted by downpours on the opening day of the firearms deer season, the buck harvest seemed to take a hit. About half of the firearms season’s overall buck harvest typically occurs on the season’s opening day, when hunter participation is usually at its highest.
Steady rain in most of the state persisted through the morning if not longer of the firearms season opener, making hunting for deer, as well as staying dry and warm while afield, more difficult. And when hunter participation drops on the best harvest day of any season, the harvest typically does, too.
“This year’s opening day antlered harvest was down significantly from last year’s harvest,” said Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer and Elk Section supervisor. “Although the rest of the firearms season’s daily harvests were similar to or above last year’s, they did not make up for the low opening day harvest.”
Except on Deer Management Assistance Program properties and in Wildlife Management Areas 2B, 5B and 5D, antlerless deer hunting doesn’t begin until the first Saturday of deer rifle season. That limits antlerless deer hunting to seven of the rifle season’s 12 days.
Still, hunters took plenty of antlerless deer, which was anticipated with a 2018-19 allocation of antlerless deer licenses that exceeded the previous license year’s.
The 2018-19 overall antlerless deer harvest was 226,940, which is about 10 percent larger than the 2017-18 harvest of 203,409.
Across the 23 WMUs used by the Game Commission to manage whitetails, the antlerless deer harvest decreased in only five units: WMUs 1A, 2B, 2H, 4B and 5D. The largest harvest increases – 48 percent – occurred in WMUs 2C and 3A.
On the antlered deer side of WMU-level harvests, the buck harvest dropped in all but six units: WMUs 2B, 2H, 3D, 4A, 5A and 5B. The largest declines were in WMU 2G, 23 percent; and WMU 4D, 22 percent.
The percentage of older bucks in the 2018-19 deer harvest remained amazingly high. About 64 percent of the bucks taken by hunters were at least 2½ years old. The remainder were 1½ years old.
“That almost two-thirds of the bucks taken last year in Pennsylvania were at least 2½ years old is a tribute to the science our deer managers use and the sacrifices a generation of hunters made in the Commonwealth,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “The bucks being taken every day in Pennsylvania’s deer seasons are living proof that this Commonwealth has never managed whitetails better.”
About 66 percent of the antlerless deer harvest was adult females; button-bucks comprised 17 percent and doe fawns made up 17 percent.
Bowhunters accounted for about a third of Pennsylvania’s 2018-19 overall deer harvest, taking 110,719 deer (54,350 bucks and 56,369 antlerless deer) with either bows or crossbows. But the buck harvest also was down in the 2018-19 archery seasons, by 13 percent. The previous license year, bowhunters took 62,830 bucks. Unseasonably warm weather and rain impacted many fall bowhunting days in 2018.
The muzzleloader harvest – 23,909 – was similar to the previous year’s harvest of 23,490. The 2018-19 muzzleloader harvest included 1,290 antlered bucks compared to 1,310 bucks in the 2017-18 seasons.
Agency staff currently is working to develop its 2019 antlerless deer license recommendations, which will be considered at the April 9 meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners.
In addition to harvest data, staff will be looking at deer health measures, forest regeneration and deer-human conflicts for each WMU as it assembles antlerless allocations, according to Matthew Schnupp, agency Bureau of Wildlife Management director.
Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2018-19 (with 2017-18 figures in parentheses) are as follows:
WMU 1A: 5,800 (6,300) antlered, 12,400 (12,600) antlerless; WMU 1B: 8,000 (8,300) antlered, 15,800 (13,000) antlerless; WMU 2A: 6,000 (6,100) antlered, 10,900 (10,900) antlerless; WMU 2B: 5,000 (4,500) antlered, 12,000 (14,000) antlerless; WMU 2C: 9,600 (9,800) antlered, 11,787 (7,972) antlerless; WMU 2D: 11,800 (14,700) antlered, 20,958 (17,391) antlerless; WMU 2E: 6,300 (6,900) antlered, 9,701 (6,669) antlerless; WMU 2F: 7,700 (9,500) antlered, 7,973 (7,202) antlerless; WMU 2G: 6,300 (8,200) antlered, 7,402 (5,501) antlerless; WMU 2H: 2,500 (1,700) antlered, 1,800 (1,900) antlerless; WMU 3A: 4,800 (5,400) antlered, 7,400 (5,000) antlerless; WMU 3B: 7,000 (8,900) antlered, 8,400 (7,000) antlerless; WMU 3C: 7,700 (8,700) antlered, 12,200 (11,900) antlerless; WMU 3D: 5,200 (4,700) antlered, 5,700 (4,200) antlerless; WMU 4A: 5,100 (4,800) antlered, 8,230 (7,672) antlerless; WMU 4B: 5,300 (5,600) antlered, 6,916 (7,108) antlerless; WMU 4C: 5,800 (6,800) antlered, 7,200 (6,500) antlerless; WMU 4D: 8,300 (10,600) antlered, 9,081 (8,417) antlerless; WMU 4E: 7,000 (8,200) antlered, 9,300 (8,700) antlerless; WMU 5A: 3,100 (2,900) antlered, 4,600 (3,801) antlerless; WMU 5B: 9,200 (9,000) antlered, 14,608 (12,800) antlerless; WMU 5C: 7,600 (8,800) antlered, 16,415 (15,600) antlerless; WMU 5D: 2,600 (3,300) antlered, 6,000 (7,500) antlerless; Unknown WMU: 50 (50) antlered, 169 (76) antlerless.
Season-specific 2018-19 deer harvest estimates (with 2017-18 harvest estimates in parentheses) are as follows:
WMU 1A: archery, 2,530 (2,710) antlered, 3,150 (3,320) antlerless; and muzzleloader, 70 (90) antlered, 1,150 (1,480) antlerless. WMU 1B: archery, 2,750 (3,370) antlered, 2,790 (2,730) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (30) antlered, 1,210 (970) antlerless. WMU 2A: archery, 2,050 (2,040) antlered, 2,040 (2,030) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (60) antlered, 960 (1,170) antlerless. WMU 2B: archery, 3,520 (3,060) antlered, 5,760 (6,490) antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 (40) antlered, 640 (1,010) antlerless. WMU 2C: archery, 3,400 (3,400) antlered, 2,378 (1,500) antlerless; muzzleloader, 100 (100) antlered, 1,315 (1,000) antlerless. WMU 2D: archery, 4,540 (5,720) antlered, 3,472 (2,800) antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 (80) antlered, 2,274 (2,100) antlerless. WMU 2E: archery, 1,950 (2,040) antlered, 1,601 (1,120) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (60) antlered, 1,205 (880) antlerless. WMU 2F: archery, 2,520 (3,110) antlered, 1,216 (1,340) antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 (90) antlered, 998 (1,060) antlerless. WMU 2G: archery, 1,430 (2,050) antlered, 1,341 (1,110) antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 (50) antlered, 1,060 (990) antlerless. WMU 2H: archery, 480 (390) antlered, 270 (320¬) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (10) antlered, 230 (280) antlerless. WMU 3A: archery, 1,180 (1,670) antlered, 1,320 (1,010) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (30) antlered, 780 (690) antlerless. WMU 3B: archery, 2,160 (3,030) antlered, 1,630 (1,560) antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 (70) antlered, 1,170 (1,040) antlerless. WMU 3C: archery, 1,940 (2,530) antlered, 1,820 (2,200) antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 (70) antlered, 1,280 (1,400) antlerless. WMU 3D: archery, 1,660 (1,550) antlered, 1,410 (1,230) antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 (50) antlered, 590 (570) antlerless. WMU 4A: archery, 820 (960) antlered, 1,338 (1,250) antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 (40) antlered, 991 (950) antlerless. WMU 4B: archery, 1,760 (2,060) antlered, 1,598 (1,760) antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 (40) antlered, 627 (740) antlerless. WMU 4C: archery, 2,350 (2,770) antlered, 1,900 (1,800) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (30) antlered, 800 (700) antlerless. WMU 4D: archery, 2,430 (3,020) antlered, 1,796 (1,920) antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 (80) antlered, 1,002 (1,080) antlerless. WMU 4E: archery, 2,550 (3,040) antlered, 1,890 (1,870) antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 (60) antlered, 1,010 (1,030) antlerless. WMU 5A: archery, 880 (870) antlered, 1,220 (1,060) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (30) antlered, 480 (440) antlerless. WMU 5B: archery, 4,640 (4,830) antlered, 5,401 (4,920) antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 (70) antlered, 1,365 (1,180) antlerless. WMU 5C: archery, 4,690 (5,800) antlered, 7,238 (6,890) antlerless; muzzleloader, 110 (100) antlered, 1,272 (1,210) antlerless. WMU 5D: archery, 2,080 (2,770) antlered, 3,790 (4,890) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (30) antlered, 210 (210) antlerless. Unknown WMU: archery, 40 (40) antlered, 0 (60) antlerless; muzzleloader, 0 (0) antlered, 0 (0) antlerless.
For additional information on Pennsylvania’s 2018-19 deer harvest, please go to the agency’s website – www.pgc.pa.gov – and go to the “White-Tailed Deer” page, then select 2018-19 Deer Harvest Estimates.
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Hunters in Pennsylvania shot estimated 12% more deer in 2022-23 seasons than year earlier
Pennsylvania hunters had a successful year of deer hunting as they shot an estimated 12% more than in the previous hunting year.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported hunters killed an estimated 422,960 white-tailed deer during the 2022-23 seasons that ended in January. The buck harvest was estimated at 164,190 and the antlerless harvest at 258,770.
The combined total is a 12% increase over 2021-22’s estimated total, which was 376,810. The agency reports this year’s numbers are in line with recent trends. The number of bucks is 2% higher than the recent three-year average.
What is the status of the Pennsylvania deer population?
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section Supervisor David Stainbrook said in the report the three-year trend increase is noteworthy because the buck harvest is considered a good indicator of the overall deer population trend. He believes if the buck harvest is climbing, then the deer population likely is, too. If it’s dropping, the population probably mirrors that. If it’s stable, the population likely is stable as well, though if hunter numbers are declining, a stable antlered harvest trend might actually indicate an increasing population trend.
“The long-term buck harvest trend indicates Pennsylvania’s deer population is in a pretty good place right now,” Stainbrook said in a news release. “We see generally stable population trends in most of the state, near goal levels, and we are seeing more older bucks available for harvest.
“For five years running, about one of every four Pennsylvania hunters has tagged a buck, with two of every three bucks harvested being 2.5 years old or older,” he said.
When it comes to antlerless deer, 67% of those killed were adult females, while 17% were button bucks and 16% were doe fawns. Hunters filled roughly one of every four antlerless deer licenses.
All of those figures are reported as being in line with the long-term averages.
How did the Game Commission arrive at its deer harvest figures?
The agency reports the harvest estimates are based on more than 22,000 deer checked by Game Commission personnel and more than 135,000 harvest reports submitted by successful hunters. The majority of the deer (72%) were reported online, 20% were on report cards sent through the mail and 8% were reported by phone.
Similar to past years, the regular firearms deer season accounted for the greatest part of the harvest figures. Firearms hunters took 251,520 deer, with 87,190 of those being bucks and the remaining 164,340 being antlerless.
Bowhunters accounted for a little over a third of the total deer harvest, taking 145,640 whitetails (75,770 bucks and 69,870 antlerless deer) with either bows or crossbows.
The estimated muzzleloader harvest was 25,790 (1,230 bucks, 24,560 antlerless deer).
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What were the Pa. deer harvest numbers by WMU?
Total deer harvest estimates by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for 2022-23 (with 2021-22 figures in parentheses) are as follows:
- WMU 1A: 9,000 antlered (6,000), 13,800 antlerless (13,200).
- WMU 1B: 9,100 antlered (9,300), and 15,300 antlerless (12,600).
- WMU 2A: 8,700 antlered (6,800), and 11,000 antlerless (10,600).
- WMU 2B: 6,600 antlered (5,200), and 15,000 antlerless (12,100).
- WMU 2C: 10,000 antlered (9,300), and 16,600 antlerless (15,400).
- WMU 2D: 14,000 antlered (11,500), and 23,000 antlerless (19,900).
- WMU 2E: 6,700 antlered (5,900), and 10,600 antlerless (9,500).
- WMU 2F: 8,800 antlered (8,900), and 11,800 antlerless (10,200).
- WMU 2G: 6,400 antlered (6,200), and 5,100 antlerless (4,800).
- WMU 2H: 2,200 antlered (2,500), and 1,800 antlerless (1,900).
- WMU 3A: 5,700 antlered (5,400), and 5,600 antlerless (5,400).
- WMU 3B: 7,300 antlered (6,700), and 8,900 antlerless (7,600).
- WMU 3C: 8,000 antlered (7,600), and 12,000 antlerless (9,400).
- WMU 3D: 5,500 antlered (4,700), and 7,400 antlerless (6,300).
- WMU 4A: 3,800 antlered (4,900), and 11,100 antlerless (10,300).
- WMU 4B: 4,800 antlered (3,500), and 8,400 antlerless (8,400).
- WMU 4C: 6,900 antlered (5,700), and 8,200 antlerless (6,400).
- WMU 4D: 7,900 antlered (7,200), and 12,200 antlerless (10,300).
- WMU 4E: 8,000 antlered (7,900), and 12,400 antlerless (11,800).
- WMU 5A: 3,100 antlered (3,100), and 7,400 antlerless (7,200).
- WMU 5B: 10,900 antlered (7,800), and 16,300 antlerless (17,100).
- WMU 5C: 7,200 antlered (6,600), and 16,700 antlerless (14,700).
- WMU 5D: 2,500 antlered (2,600), and 6,700 antlerless (6,300).
- Unknown WMU: 1,090 antlered (20), and 1,470 antlerless (90).
Deer harvest by seasons
Season-specific 2022-23 deer harvest estimates (with 2021-22 harvest estimates in parentheses) are as follows:
- WMU 1A: archery, 4,730 antlered (3,360) and 3,810 antlerless (3,590); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (40) and 1,390 antlerless (1,310).
- WMU 1B: archery, 3,970 antlered (4,550) and 2,950 antlerless (2,250); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (50) and 1,250 antlerless (950).
- WMU 2A: archery, 3,620 antlered (3,250) and 2,060 antlerless (2,330); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (50) and 1,240 antlerless (1,270).
- WMU 2B: archery, 4,830 antlered (3,950) and 6,750 antlerless (5,300); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (50) and 850 antlerless (700).
- WMU 2C: archery, 4,410 antlered (4,420) and 3,900 antlerless (3,530); and muzzleloader, 90 antlered (80) and 1,700 antlerless (1,270).
- WMU 2D: archery, 6,690 antlered (5,800) and 4,450 antlerless (4,010); and muzzleloader, 110 antlered (100) and 2,650 antlerless (1,890).
- WMU 2E: archery, 2,540 antlered (2,370) and 1,900 antlerless (1,690); and muzzleloader, 60 antlered (30) and 1,100 antlerless (910).
- WMU 2F: archery, 3,250 antlered (3,270) and 1,930 antlerless (1,350); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (30) and 1,470 antlerless (1,050).
- WMU 2G: archery, 2,070 antlered (1,950) and 950 antlerless (850); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (50) and 750 antlerless (650).
- WMU 2H: archery, 770 antlered (770) and 280 antlerless (280); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 320 antlerless (220).
- WMU 3A: archery, 2,070 antlered (1,980) and 1,030 antlerless (1,010); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (20) and 670 antlerless (590).
- WMU 3B: archery, 3,050 antlered (2,640) and 1,830 antlerless (1,430); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (60) and 1,070 antlerless (770).
- WMU 3C: archery, 2,870 antlered (2,770) and 2,170 antlerless (1,760); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 1,330 antlerless (840).
- WMU 3D: archery, 2,260 antlered (1,980) and 2,030 antlerless (1,500); and muzzleloader, 40 antlered (20) and 770 antlerless (500).
- WMU 4A: archery, 1,170 antlered (1,340) and 1,970 antlerless (1,570); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (60) and 1,130 antlerless (930).
- WMU 4B: archery, 2,070 antlered (1,670) and 2,100 antlerless (2,070); and muzzleloader, 30 antlered (30) and 800 antlerless (730).
- WMU 4C: archery, 3,450 antlered (2,870) and 2,170 antlerless (1,750); and muzzleloader, 50 antlered (30) and 830 antlerless (550).
- WMU 4D: archery, 3,020 antlered (2,780) and 2,840 antlerless (2,300); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (20) and 1,260 antlerless (1,000).
- WMU 4E: archery, 3,610 antlered (3,630) and 2,800 antlerless (2,730); and muzzleloader, 90 antlered (70) and 1,100 antlerless (970).
- WMU 5A: archery, 1,390 antlered (1,380) and 2,460 antlerless (2,200); and muzzleloader, 10 antlered (20) and 540 antlerless (600).
- WMU 5B: archery, 6,730 antlered (5,040) and 6,600 antlerless (7,280); and muzzleloader, 70 antlered (60) and 1,400 antlerless (1,320).
- WMU 5C: archery, 5,020 antlered (4,730) and 8,040 antlerless (6,890); and muzzleloader, 80 antlered (70) and 760 antlerless (810).
- WMU 5D: archery, 2,080 antlered (2,800) and 4,760 antlerless (4,390); and muzzleloader, 20 antlered (120) and 140 antlerless (210).
- Unknown WMU: archery, 100 antlered (0) and 90 antlerless (10); and muzzleloader, 0 antlered (0) and 0 antlerless (40).
Brian Whipkey is the outdoors columnist for USA TODAY Network sites in Pennsylvania. Contact him at [email protected] and sign up for our weekly Go Outdoors PA newsletter email on this website's homepage under your login name. Follow him on Facebook @whipkeyoutdoors ,Twitter @whipkeyoutdoors and Instagram at whipkeyoutdoors.
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Pennsylvania game commission gives recommendations for successful deer harvest.
In this Dec. 2, 2009 photo, a deer is shown at Valley Forge National Park, in Valley Forge, Pa. The National Park Service has called off a planned deer hunt at Valley Forge National Historical Park this winter. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Over the long term, hunters in Pennsylvania take, on a per-square-mile basis, more deer than their counterparts almost anywhere in the country, according to a news release from the state Game Commission.
According to the National Deer Association and the game commission news release, buck harvests over the decade averaged 3.2 per square mile, right in keeping with last year’s take.
“Of course, the buck harvest per square mile varies between individual Wildlife Management Units, with some producing more than others,” the news release said. “WMU 2D, for example, produced 4.9 bucks per square mile each season over the last three, on average. That was tops in Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania’s antlerless deer harvest, meanwhile, broken down on a per-square-mile-basis, also annually ranks among the best in the U.S.
“Success in harvesting deer starts with scouting and knowing the land,” said David Stainbrook, deer and elk management section supervisor for the Game Commission, according to the news release. “But patience and putting in time are important, too. Persistence matters, as one additional day hunting can make the difference between a successful season and an unsuccessful one.”
“Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season draws more than 600,000 hunters to Penn’s Woods every year and it’s not hard to see why,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans, according to the news release. “A productive deer herd that, thanks to antler point restrictions, includes a high proportion of adult bucks, spread out across the Commonwealth, together with a season that’s as user friendly as any we’ve offered, set the stage for an exciting time. I can’t wait.”
The game commission recommends hunting where the foods “favored by wildlife are most abundant and you just might get to fill a tag,” the news release said.
Hard mast — specifically acorns — are very sporadic this year. Paul Weiss, chief of the Game Commission’s forestry division, said multiple regions of the state report poor acorn crops this fall, something that can be blamed on consecutive years of heavy spongy moth defoliation coupled with drought conditions in 2022.
There are still pockets of moderate red oak acorn production, Weiss said, especially on State Game Lands sprayed to control spongy moths during the past two years. Since red oak acorns take two years to mature, stands that were sprayed last year are producing acorns now even if they were damaged this past spring. White and chestnut oak acorn crops are also down compared to last year in areas not impacted by spongy moths. Hunters will have to search a bit to find those places where they’re most plentiful, the news release said.
Hickory nuts, the game commission says, are fairly consistent this year. Weiss said there are pretty good crabapple, hawthorn, and grape crops in most places, if not in the same abundance as 2021.
In all cases, deer generally make a mess wherever they eat, so it shouldn’t be hard to determine whether they’re using an area. When setting up a hunting stand, use the prevailing wind to your advantage. It should blow from where you expect to see deer to your location. Finally, wear clothing appropriate for the weather and sit tight.
Hunters are permitted to harvest one antlered deer with a valid general hunting license, which costs $20.97 for adult residents and $101.97 for adult nonresidents.
To take an antlerless deer, a hunter must possess either a valid antlerless deer license or valid Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permit, according to the news release. A mentored hunter under the age of 7 cannot apply for their own antlerless license or DMAP permit but can harvest an antlerless deer if an antlerless license or DMAP permit is transferred to them by a mentor at the time of harvest.
Antlerless deer licenses can be used anywhere within the Wildlife Management Unit for which they’re issued.
A DMAP permit can be used only on the specific property for which it is issued.
Some DMAP permits might remain available on private and public properties throughout the state. Visit the Game Commission’s website to learn more about where they are available.
Mentored hunting permits, meanwhile, are available to hunters of all ages. Mentored hunters ages 7 and older receive an antlered deer harvest tag with their permit. Those under 7 must receive deer harvest tags from their mentors. A mentor can transfer an antlered deer harvest tag and an antlerless license and/or DMAP permit to a mentored hunter under 7.
Mentored hunters ages 7 and older can apply for one antlerless deer license, the news release said. They can also apply for DMAP permits, following the same regulations as adults.
Mentored hunting permit fees are $2.97 for residents and nonresidents under 12; $6.97 for residents 12 to 16; $41.97 for nonresidents 12 to 16; $20.97 for residents 17 and older; and $101.97 for nonresidents 17 and older.
Hunters 12 or older who are certified through the Game Commission’s Hunter-Trapper Education program qualify to purchase general hunting licenses, which provide more privileges. Certified hunters 12 to 16 can obtain junior licenses, the least expensive of which cost $6.97 for residents and $41.97 for nonresidents.
Those holding senior lifetime licenses are reminded they must obtain a new antlered deer harvest tag each year, free of charge, to participate in the season.
General hunting licenses can be purchased online, but as the season nears, hunters might find it better to purchase licenses in person, the news release said. Hunters can carry a digital version of their general license afield, but still need their paper harvest tags. Deer licenses purchased online are mailed, meaning those harvest tags might not arrive in time if purchased too close to the start of the season.
Hunters are reminded the field possession of expired licenses or tags, or another hunter’s licenses or tags, is unlawful.
Deer season regulations
Rules regarding the number of points a legal buck must have on one antler vary by wildlife management unit, according to the news release. For a complete breakdown of antler restrictions, WMU boundaries and other regulations, check the 2022-23 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is provided to hunters when they purchase their licenses and is also available online at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov.
Deer hunters everywhere statewide are required to wear at all times a minimum of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on their head, chest and back combined, visible from 360 degrees, during the firearms deer season. An orange hat and vest will satisfy the mandate.
Nonhunters who might be afield during deer season and other hunting seasons should also wear orange. On state game lands between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, nonhunters are legally required to meet the 250-square-inch fluorescent orange requirement.
Hunters who harvest a deer are required to affix a valid tag to the ear — not an antler — before the deer is moved, the news release said. The tag must be completed with a ballpoint pen and notched or cut with the correct date of harvest. Hunters must report the harvest to the Game Commission within 10 days. Harvests can be reported online at www.huntfish.pa.gov, by calling 1-800-838-4431 or by mailing in the postage-paid cards that are provided in the digest.
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Deer harvest in 2021-22 seasons fell 13% from previous year, Pa. Game Commission says
- Updated: Mar. 24, 2022, 5:54 p.m. |
- Published: Mar. 24, 2022, 1:29 p.m.
A hunter pushing a cart loaded with the deer he harvested on State Game Lands 110 passes a couple other hunters just heading into the woods for the morning. (Marcus Schneck | [email protected])
- Marcus Schneck | [email protected]
Hunters killed an estimated 376,810 white-tailed deer in the 2021-22 seasons, down sharply from the previous hunting-license year, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
That total fell about 13 percent from the 435,180 deer killed in 2020-21, when hunters recorded the largest deer harvest in 16 years. But it was similar to the estimated statewide deer harvests in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
Since 1993 Pennsylvania hunters have harvested more than 400,000 deer in a license year 10 times. Twice during that period, deer harvests exceeded 500,000, first in 2000 and then again in 2002, when the state’s record overall deer harvest of 517,529 was set.
The large drop in harvest numbers is not cause for concern, according to commission Deer and Elk Section Supervisor David Stainbrook.
The 2020-21 season was above average, and the 2021-22 season is back on track with previous years.
About 22 percent of hunters took an antlered deer, he noted. That’s right in line with the previous four-year average and better than in years past.
“When corrected by the number of hunters, success rates are higher today than in the past, even with antler-point restrictions,” Stainbrook said. “That our hunters are able to replicate that level of harvest speaks to just how sustainable our deer population is here in Pennsylvania.”
He said the harvest also points to how antlerless allocations – and not length of seasons – drive deer harvests. The 2021 firearms deer season featured two weeks of concurrent buck and doe hunting for the first time statewide in more than a decade, yet with the number of antlerless tags available down compared to the year before, the overall harvest was lower.
- How does Pennsylvania rank in deer harvests nationally?
In addition, many of the bucks harvested were older. Sixty-two percent of antlered deer taken by hunters were 2.5 years old or older. Only 38 percent were 1.5 years old.
That’s an almost complete reversal of how things were even two decades ago.
“Pennsylvania is routinely producing some really impressive deer, on both public and private ground,” said commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said. “We see that in the entries coming into our Big Game Records Program, in the photos smiling hunters share, and in the deer we see when our staff visits deer processors to collect harvest data.
“We couldn’t have any of that without a well-managed deer herd and cooperation on the part of our hunters.”
In addition, 25 percent of antlerless tags issued resulted in a deer harvest by a hunter this past season, which is consistent with other recent years.
About 69 percent were adult females, 16 percent button bucks and 15 percent doe fawns. All those figures are consistent with long-term averages.
Bowhunters again last year accounted for a bit more than a third of the total deer harvest, taking 130,650 whitetails (68,580 bucks and 62,070 antlerless deer). The 2020-21 archery harvest was 160,480 deer (80,130 bucks and 80,350 antlerless deer).
The estimated muzzleloader harvest was 21,060 (1,020 bucks, 20,040 antlerless deer). The 2020-21 muzzleloader harvest was 28,260 (1,140 bucks, 27,120 antlerless deer).
- Quarter of Pennsylvania deer hunters took bucks in 2020-21, says PA Game Commission
Deer harvest estimates by wildlife management unit for 2021-22 (with 2020-21 figures in parentheses) are as follows:
WMU 1A, 6,000 antlered (9,000), 13,200 antlerless (18,000); WMU 1B, 9,300 antlered (11,700), and 12,600 antlerless (17,800); WMU 2A, 6,800 antlered (8,100), and 10,600 antlerless (11,800); WMU 2B, 5,200 antlered (6,200), and 12,100 antlerless (15,000). WMU 2C, 9,300 antlered (8,400), and 15,400 antlerless (15,700); WMU 2D: 11,500 antlered (12,000), and 19,900 antlerless (18,700); WMU 2E, 5,900 antlered (6,500), and 9,500 antlerless (11,300); WMU 2F, 8,900 antlered (10,700), and 10,200 antlerless (10,000); WMU 2G, 6,200 antlered (7,500), and 4,800 antlerless (6,800); WMU 2H, 2,500 antlered (2,900), and 1,900 antlerless (1,600).
WMU 3A, 5,400 antlered (7,000), and 5,400 antlerless (6,700); WMU 3B, 6,700 antlered (9,100), and 7,600 antlerless (8,500); WMU 3C, 7,600 antlered (10,800), and 9,400 antlerless (14,500); WMU 3D, 4,700 antlered (6,200), and 6,300 antlerless (6,400); WMU 4A, 4,900 antlered (5,200), and 10,300 antlerless (10,800); WMU 4B, 3,500 antlered (5,000), and 8,400 antlerless (10,800); WMU 4C, 5,700 antlered (7,000), and 6,400 antlerless (8,100); WMU 4D, 7,200 antlered (9,100), and 10,300 antlerless (12,300); WMU 4E, 7,900 antlered (8,600), and 11,800 antlerless (11,200).
WMU 5A, 3,100 antlered (3,500), and 7,200 antlerless (6,100); WMU 5B: 7,800 antlered (9,600), and 17,100 antlerless (16,400); WMU 5C, 6,600 antlered (8,400), and 14,700 antlerless (15,200); WMU 5D, 2,600 antlered (2,200), and 6,300 antlerless (6,500); and unknown WMU, 20 antlered (80), and 90 antlerless (200).
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