— Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners set the antlerless deer license allocations for this year’s hunting season.
The big news is that there will be many less licenses available for the coming season. The science behind this year’s allocation level is that the overall deer population will increase in just about every area of our state.
Pressure from legislators and hunters to grow Pennsylvania’s deer herd was not lost on the board members, so they actually set the allocations below what was recommended by game commission biologists.
The allocations in the greater Susquehanna Valley are a bit of a mixed bag. We have four key Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in our Valley and overall the allocations are down -- but in one unit the allocation is up. The unit that increased was 4B that is in the southernmost part of our Valley, including Perry and Juniata counties, where the number of licenses increased by 2,000 to 26,000.
The biggest decrease in licenses was in WMU 4E, that includes all of Northumberland and Montour counties and the eastern parts of Snyder and Union counties, where licenses dropped 5,000 to 21,000.
The other two WMUs, 4D and 4C dropped 2,000 licenses each.
WMU 4D includes the western ends of Snyder and Union counties and stretches west beyond Altoona. Sportsmen from this unit have been the best organized and seemed to speak with a single voice that the deer herd had been trimmed way too far.
As a reminder, after hunters purchase a general hunting license, they may apply for antlerless deer licenses as outlined in the 2014-15 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest. The digest is given to each hunter and will be available at the game commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us by mid-June.