Harrisburg, Pa. — Pennsylvania deer hunters bagged 389,431 whitetails last season, the highest total in 15 years, according to figures from the state’s Game Commission.

The 2019-20 deer harvest topped the previous year’s harvest of 374,690 by about 4 percent and was the highest tally since the 2004-05 season, when 409,320 deer were taken.

Statistics showed the buck kill was up by 10 percent, at 163,240

The antlerless take was 226,191, which includes 10,461 taken with chronic wasting disease Deer Management Assistance Program permits. That total was virtually on par with the 2018-19 tally of 226,940.

Wildlife Management Unit 3A, which includes a slice of northwestern Bradford County, saw a 19 percent jump in its buck harvest.

WMUs which include portions of Bradford County and their 2019-20 estimated harvest statistics (with 2018-19 figures in parentheses) were:

• WMU 3A: 5,700 (4,800) bucks, 5,700 (7,400) antlerless;

• WMU 3B: 7,600 (7,000) bucks, 10,300 (8,400) antlerless;

• WMU 3C: 9,400 (7,700) bucks, 12,800 (12,200) antlerless.

Season-specific 2019-20 deer harvest estimates (with 2018-19 harvest estimates in parentheses) for Bradford County units were:

• WMU 3A: archery, 2,080 (1,180) bucks, 1,400 (1,320) antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 (20) bucks, 800 (780) antlerless[

• WMU 3B: archery, 3,160 (2,160) bucks, 2,590 (1,630) antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 (40) bucks, 1,710 (1,170) antlerless;

• WMU 3C: archery, 3,370 (1,940) bucks, 2,860 (1,820) antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 (60) bucks, 1,740 (1,280) antlerless.

About 66 percent of the bucks taken by hunters were at least 2½ years old. The remainder were 1½ years old that had antlers that met the state’s regulatory requirements.

“Pennsylvania deer hunters consistently continue to take 2½-year and older bucks over younger antlered bucks – by a two-to-one margin – in the Commonwealth,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “If you hunted deer before antler restrictions, you know how significant this is. Most of us have waited a lifetime for deer hunting like Pennsylvania has today.”

About 69 percent of the antlerless deer harvest was comprised of adult females; button-bucks accounted for another 16 percent and doe fawns made up 15 percent.

Bowhunters, including crossbow toters, accounted for about a third of Pennsylvania’s 2019-20 overall deer harvest, taking 145,908 deer (74,190 bucks and 71,718 antlerless deer). Those figures were sharply higher than 2018-19, which had an archery buck harvest of 54,350 and an antlerless take of 56,369. Game Commission officials said unseasonably warm weather and rain impacted many fall bowhunting days in 2018.

The 2019-20 muzzleloader harvest – 29,604 – was up from the previous year’s harvest of 23,909. The 2019-20 muzzleloader harvest included 1,260 antlered bucks, compared to 1,290 bucks in 2018-19.