Pennsylvania: Highest Deer Harvest in 15 Years

Contact: Brent Miller, Northeastern States Senior Director and States Program Administrator

On March 19, a report distributed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission highlighted the State’s annual deer harvest results, but what was announced was astounding. The Keystone State’s deer yield for the 2019-2020 season came in at 389,431 – a 4% increase since the previous year and the highest take in 15 years. In particular, the buck harvest increased by 10%, accounting for 163,240 of the deer taken.

Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and women have had significant cause for celebration over the past 12 months; learning of their successful deer season further compliments the already passed Sunday hunting law, which was signed by Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) Member Governor Tom Wolf back in November of 2019. Prior to the enactment of this Caucus-driven bill – S. 147 – Pennsylvania’s hunting community was subjected to an archaic, three-centuries old prohibition on Sunday hunting for game species.

S. 147 authorizes one day of deer hunting on a Sunday during the archery season, one day of deer hunting during the firearm season, and one day to be left to the discretion of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Leading up to the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners’ first quarterly meeting of 2020, the Board proposed to permit Sunday deer hunting with archery equipment on November 15, Sunday deer hunting with firearms on November 29, and Sunday bear hunting with firearms on November 22. By repealing this blue law, Pennsylvania is likely to see an increase in license sales, a stimulation in the state’s economy, and an increase in the private property rights of landowners. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States and States Program Administrator, working alongside the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, has worked to advance Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania for nearly a decade and supported the many efforts that led to this bill’s passage.

The announcement of such a successful deer harvest in Pennsylvania only further sets the stage for what is shaping up to be a remarkable and historic 2020 deer season for the State. CSF will continue to work alongside the Caucus to ensure that Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and women are able to fully enjoy some of our nation’s most time-honored traditions. 

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