Will Pennsylvania's aggressive deer management practice deter the future of the hunting population? The article, "Not All Hunters Help Manage Deer Herd", written by Vern Ross and published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on December 18, 2005, details the need for the management of the Pennsylvania deer population by controlling the numbers of the female deer (called a doe). Three questions are raised in the article, one concerning the number of hunters that are required for the Pennsylvania Game Commission to accomplish its' game management goals of controlling the deer population. The second is need to manage the deer population by controlling the number of doe and will a controlled smaller herd affect the number of hunters in the future.
The number of hunters in Pennsylvania is approximately 900,000 of which only half, about 450,000, purchase (antler less) doe licenses. The game commission's view is that the hunters that do not purchase doe tags do not contribute to the management of the deer herd.
Since they are not buying doe tags they are hunting antlered deer (buck) only and are not contributing to the preferred style of management.
The critics of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's management techniques argue that reducing the doe population will affect both the overall deer population and the number of hunters. These critics also suggest that hunters want to see deer when they hunt and if they do not, the hunting population will decline. This decline in hunters will have a serious affect on the states ability to manage the deer herds.
Research by Responsive Management, a consulting company for natural resources, conducted surveys in numerous states including Pennsylvania has "determined that the availability of game has little influence on the personal decision to hunt. Instead, the research found that the constraints on free time,