Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 19

Deer harvest estimates and the importance of hunters
By Christopher Rosenberry, PGC Supervisory Deer and Elk Biologist; PGC Deer Biologists Jeannine Fleegle and Bret Wallingford

D

EER HARVEST estimates are the most important – and most controversial – numbers in deer management. After capturing and marking thousands of deer in the last decade, we know that hunting is the leading cause of mortality. For this reason, reliable deer harvest estimates are a critical part of the deer management program. And, the Game Commission relies on hunters to provide the accurate data needed. Controversy is the deer harvest estimate’s constant companion, but nobody is more critical of our harvest estimates than us. As biologists, we are taught to think critically about the data we collect. Are there biases that need to be eliminated? How do results compare with other data? Is there a better way to do it? We are constantly looking for the best methods to collect and analyze our harvest data. How do other states do it? Unfortunately, there is no single best method for determining deer harvests. A quick review of neighboring states shows that a variety of methods are used to calculate deer harvests. Some states use simple counting methods such as number of deer reported. For many of those states, the reporting rate is either assumed to never change or it is ignored. In other words, the reported harvest is referred to as the ‘minimum harvest’ or ‘legal harvest’ (because not reporting makes the harvest illegal). Other states use more complex methods. These methods may involve survey-

ing hunters or calculating reporting rates. The advantage of these methods is that they provide an estimate of the entire harvest – not just a ‘minimum’ or ‘legal’ harvest. Here in Pennsylvania, we use more ways to collect deer harvest data than other states (Table 1). Hunters can now report their harvests using postage-paid report cards, the Internet, or telephone. We also calculate a reporting rate to estimate a total harvest. Then, we compare this estimate to results from an annual hunter survey. Pennsylvania, like many of our neighboring states, does not use check stations. In fact, states such as Delaware, Maryland and Ohio have eliminated their check stations in favor of telephone or online harvest reporting. Are harvest estimates reliable? The reliability of deer harvest estimates depends on the data collected. Every hunting season, teams made up of biologists, foresters and other Game Commission personnel travel throughout the state, collecting data on more than 20,000 harvested deer. To ensure accurate data collection, we constantly train and test these teams. We also use new technologies, such as bar code readers, to minimize human error. Once data are collected, appropriate methods are used to estimate the
19

DECEMBER  2011 



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011
History of the Whitetail
Contents
In Those Days
Flintin’ With the Flatlander
Late Season Duck Hunting
The Perfect Opening Day
A Moment for Redemption
Deer Harvest Estimates
Beware the Pogonip
Habitat for Hunter Access Cooperato
The Cadet
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Annual Index
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - In Those Days
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Flintin’ With the Flatlander
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Late Season Duck Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Perfect Opening Day
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - A Moment for Redemption
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Deer Harvest Estimates
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Beware the Pogonip
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Habitat for Hunter Access Cooperato
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Cadet
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Annual Index
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - bb1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - bb2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_202004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_202003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_202002
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_202001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pa_huntingdigest1516
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pa_huntingdigest1415
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201105
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201101
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201005
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201002
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/annualreport2008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200809
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com