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Environment & Energy

Slight Uptick to PA Deer Harvest Last Hunting Season

Hunters killed roughly 343,110 deer in Pennsylvania during the 2012-2013 season, according to the state's Game Commission, a yearly increase of about 2 percent.

That includes roughly 133,860 antlered deer and 209,250 antlerless deer, both increases over the previous season.

Joe Neville, director of information and education for the Game Commission, said the numbers are on track with his agency's annual goal of harvesting about one-third of the state's population of roughly one million deer.

Neville said some hunters have criticized the Game Commission's estimates of deer harvest numbers in the past, but he said the agency wouldn't have to extrapolate if hunters would report deer kills as state law requires.

"Only about 30 percent of successful hunters report their harvest," Neville said. "People complain about the numbers and fail to be part of the solution. The burden of that is on the hunters themselves."

Many hunters still aren't reporting despite new online options from the Game Commission.

The Game Commission doesn't usually doesn't take hunters to court for failing to report, Neville said, because it's difficult to prove that the hunter didn't at least try to report.

In April, the Game Commission will meet to tweak the length of the 2013-2014 season and the number of antlered and antlerless tags to be issued for the upcoming deer hunting season.

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