F. Dale Lolley Column

Deer harvest appears down in area

Nothing official but deer harvest appears down in area

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The two-week firearms deer season ended Saturday and, though there’s been nothing official, it appears the deer kill, at least locally, is down.


The official numbers won’t be out for a while, but judging from the hunters and deer processors I spoke with – and the overall lack of shots I heard while hunting – leads me to my belief.


I don’t think it was unexpected, though.


After all, the Pennsylvania Game Commission did decrease the number of antlerless permits available to hunters in Wildlife Management Unit 2-A, which includes all of Greene County and most of Washington County.


That’s a sure sign the commission believes the deer herd in WMU 2-A is smaller than previous years.


The commission also adjusted its late firearms season so hunters with a license in WMU 2-B, which includes the northeast corner of Washington County, can now only take deer in Allegheny County during the season, which runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 25.


That change does not affect the flintlock muzzleloader or late archery seasons that run from Dec. 26 through Jan. 11 statewide and continues Jan. 13 through Jan. 25 in WMU 2B.


• Hunters in West Virginia killed more than 56,000 bucks during the two-week rifle season that ended Dec. 7.


Jackson County led the state with 1,914 bucks killed. Ritchie County was second with 1,909, followed by Roane County with 1,878, Preston County with 1,753 and Lewis County with 1,685.


• The high school rifle season began a couple of weeks ago and McGuffey and Washington are off to solid 2-0 starts in Section 1.


The Prexies are off to a 3-1 overall start, which is surprising for a team that, just a couple of seasons ago, struggled to win three matches all season.


Washington’s lone loss came to Trinity, which shot an outstanding 800-65X, in a nonsection match. The Hillers shoot in Section 2, where Woodland Hills appears to be the early favorite.


Trinity is off to a 2-1 start, though the Hillers’ match score against Washington tied Woodland Hills for the top score of the week. Woodland Hills shot 800-65X in a win over Upper St. Clair.


Waynesburg won the first battle of Greene County this week, topping West Greene, 793-56X-747-22X.


• There’s brewing controversy in Ohio, where 18 more state wildlife officers were referred for possible criminal prosecution after a follow-up investigation into illegal hunting while on duty uncovered additional cases.


The investigation came after two other officers were found to have been hunting while on duty. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it immediately would place 17 officers on administrative duty and remove their law enforcement powers pending an investigation. The 18th officer, who was a supervisor, has retired.


Outdoors Editor F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter.com.


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