It’s deer season. And between Thanksgiving and the New Year, over 225,000 deer are harvested in Pennsylvania. That’s usually when the reports of tagged deer start rolling in. This year hunters have reported 109 tagged deer harvested with 62 of them from gun season. 

Most are not noteworthy, but some catch our eye. One of those calls came on Monday. Someone reported a Doe 6174. We haven’t seen her in over a decade! She was caught in WMU 4B in February of 2007 as an adult and fitted with a collar. That would make her at least 14.5 years old. Impressive for sure but she isn’t the only deer we’ve had live into her teens.

In 2014, we had a report of a doe in 2G that was 13.5 years old and in 2015, 2 more reported in WMU 2D that were at least 13.5 and 14.5 years old. We have yet to break the 15-year-old mark but it’s coming.

According to the hunter who harvested our latest alumni, she was healthy and in good shape. And after 12 years of sporting a collar, her neck was not worse for wear. Which is something we always like to hear. 

We’ve done our best to give advice to help hunters be successful but with us routinely getting reports of tagged deer with double digit ages, it’s obvious that deer still hold most of the cards. I mean they do have the home field advantage. 

There is no timeline on when hunters need to report a tagged deer to us so we may be catching up with a few more old friends this holiday season. 

-Jeannine Fleegle
Wildlife Biologist
PGC Deer and Elk Section

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