The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) was named QDMA’s Agency of the Year in an announcement made today at the QDMA 2018 National Convention. Ian Gregg, Chief of the PGC Game Management Division, accepted the award.
“A quick comparison to other states clearly shows how successful Pennsylvania’s deer management program is,” said Kip Adams, QDMA Director of Conservation. “The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s deer management plan and research program are based on science and public input and have consistently received high approval from the public and hunters in surveys.”
In presenting the award, Adams referred to statistics from QDMA’s own 2018 Whitetail Report, an annual checkup on the status of whitetails and deer hunting around North America. He highlighted the following:
Pennsylvania is one of only five in the U.S. to harvest more than 300,000 whitetails annually.
In 2016, the most recent season for which data from all whitetail states is available, Pennsylvania hunters harvested over three antlered bucks per square mile, the second highest buck harvest rate in the nation that year.
The 2016 season was the eighth year in a row that at least half of Pennsylvania’s antlered buck harvest was 2 1/2 years old or older.
Pennsylvania hunters also harvested more than four antlerless deer per square mile, the third highest antlerless harvest rate in the nation.
“PGC personnel annually collect harvest data from more than 25,000 deer, and biologists then develop management recommendations using scientific data and a defined and transparent process,” said Adams. “The strengths of the PGC’s deer plan and research program have been recognized in numerous ways, including a recent peer reviewed article in which PGC’s plan tied with three other species management plans for the top spot out of 667 plans reviewed from throughout North America.”
A study by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation found that the PGC has “one of the most progressive deer management programs in the country. It is one of a few states that has a written deer management plan, sets quantitative goals, includes a goal related to habitat health, and uses actual measures of vegetation data to inform deer management decisions.”
In addition, QDMA recognized the PGC’s substantial support for an active research program in collaboration with the USGS Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State University. The program has produced 10 graduate-level research projects and 19 published research articles in the last 18 years.
Congratulations to the Pennsylvania Game Commission on their successful deer management programs and efforts to engage and involve Pennsylvania hunters in the planning and management process.