Annual Report 2007-2008 - 3

Maintain and improve populations for consumptive and non-consumptive recreational use and their many public values. As Pennsylvania’s wildlife management agency, the Game Commission is responsible for managing more than 465 species of wild birds and wild mammals found in the commonwealth. Due to limited funding sources, however, primary attention is necessarily limited to select game species and our most imperiled species. Work continued throughout the year to develop, complete and implement management plans for several species or species groups (e.g., grassland nesting birds). Many of these plans are posted on the PGC’s website Approximately 45 annual, operational field surveys are employed to assess population trends or characteristics of populations for about 40 species of big and small game, furbearers, migratory game birds, and endangered and threatened species found in the commonwealth. Hunter/trapper mail surveys were conducted to track the harvests and participation for 29 game and furbearing species, and harvest was monitored for deer and wild turkey through postal mail card reporting. In addition, check stations and/or field checks were used to catalog deer, bear, elk and bobcat harvests. Based on population and harvest trend assessments, game and furbearer species seasons and bag limits were established for the 2008-09 license year, providing recreational and taking opportunities on a sustainable basis. The 2007-08 Game Take and Furtaker surveys were completed in the spring of 2008. These annual surveys are used to estimate small game and furbearer harvests, numbers of hunters and trappers and days of effort. For participation and harvest information see the December issue of Game News or check out the agency’s website. During the last year, white-tailed deer research and management activities continued to focus on deer survival and antlered harvest rates in WMUs 2G and 4B. From June 2007 to July 2008, we recorded 83 mortalities of radio-collared deer. Hunting accounted for 63 percent of mortalities. Other mortality factors included deer-vehicle collisions, poaching, natural causes and capture-related deaths. An additional 269 deer were captured and fitted with radio-collars in these two WMUs between January and April 2008. At the end of April 2008, more than 350 radio-collared deer were being monitored on the two study areas. This research is being conducted in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State. During the 2007-08 season 33 PGC deer aging teams were deployed for seven days to collect sex, age and kill (SAK) data from a sample of harvested deer, with more than 25,000 deer examined. In addition, nearly 2,700 teeth were pulled from 2.5-year-old and older males to be aged using cementum annuli. This technique will provide a more accurate age structure of this sample of older adult bucks. SAK data was used to estimate deer harvests from the 2007-08 hunting seasons. Based on hunter harvest reports and SAK data, hunters harvested 323,070 deer in the 2007-08 seasons. Overall, this was an 11 percent decrease from the 2006-07 season harvest. Hunters took 109,200 antlered deer in the 2007-08 seasons, down 19 percent from the previous license year’s harvest of 135,290. Also, hunters harvested 213,870 antlerless deer in 2007-08, a five percent drop from the 226,270 antlerless deer taken in 2006-07. Yearling bucks comprised 56 percent of the 2007-08 antlered harvest, which is the same percentage posted in 2006-07. Button bucks and doe fawns were 24 percent JANUARY 2009 3

Annual Report 2007-2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Annual Report 2007-2008

Annual Report 2007-2008 - 1
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 2
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