Monday is key date for hunters

It’s hot out today, and sitting in a tree stand doing your best to keep your toes from freezing is far from most of our minds. But if you want to put some extra meat in your freezer this year, you’d better pay attention.

Pennsylvania’s doe licenses go on sale Monday. Some units will sell out quickly.

Each spring, the Game Commission determines what it believes is the optimal antlerless deer harvest. It looks at last year’s harvest data. It reviews biologist reports. And contrary to popular belief, it takes input from hunters.

It then sets a license quota for each of the state’s 22 wildlife management units. Across the commonwealth, it allocated 779,500 antlerless licenses – a decrease of 59,500 from last year.

If you want to bag a doe in many parts of the state, you’d better get your application in the mail soon.

One of the most popular units in the state, which includes Potter, Clinton and Tioga counties, had its allocation cut significantly. Last year, 28,000 tags were sold. This year, just 22,000 are available.

Those tags are likely to sell out quickly. Once they’re gone, doe hunters are out of luck. They will have to try their luck in a different unit or take advantage of a program that is under utilized in the state.

Pennsylvania’s Deer Management Assistance Program helps landowners keep problematic deer herds under control. The program is fairly simple, but it does take some extra effort by the hunter (which may explain why it is under utilized).