PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) – Pennsylvania hunters took 422,960 white-tailed deer during the 2022-23 season.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says that number is a 12% increase from the previous season after a drop in harvests. In 2020-21 more than 435,000 deer were harvested.

A majority of the deer taken last year were antlerless (258,770) compared to bucks (164,90), according to the Game Commission. A majority of antlerless deer (67%) were adult doe with 17% button buck, and 16% doe fawns.

“The long-term buck harvest trend indicates Pennsylvania’s deer population is in a pretty good place right now,” Game Commission Deer and Elk Section Supervisor David Stainbrook said. “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 two-and-a-half years old or older.”

Firearm hunters took 251,520 deer with 87,190 being bucks and the rest being antlerless. Bowhunters accounted for a little over a third of the total deer harvest and 25,790 deer were taken by muzzleloaders.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the harvest numbers reflect well not only on the agency’s deer management program but on the opportunities the state’s deer hunters have now and figure to have going into the future.

“We’ve been saying for a while now that this is a great time to be a Pennsylvania deer hunter,” Burhans said. “These harvest figures are the proof of that.”