Pennsylvania using GPS to track deer during rifle hunting season

Author: , Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published: Dec 02 2013 05:36:15 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 02 2013 06:36:23 PM EST

Thousands of hunters across Pennsylvania put on their camouflage and bright orange apparel and headed into the woods for the opening day of rifle deer season.

"Oh, I love hunting," said Henry Kreiser, a hunter from Grantville.

But one of the casualties of hunting is the chance you will not bag a deer that day. So, hunters told us they revisit areas where they have killed one before.

"I have been hunting here for years. When I lived in Reading I hunted here," said Luther Kerns, a hunter from Minersville.

"When I first started hunting here like 40 years ago, there was a lot of deer here. Now, the more licenses they sell, too many deer are getting killed off," said Scott Lorah, a hunter from Fleetwood.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission decided to put GPS tracking systems on deer in central Pennsylvania, near Bald Eagle State Forest, Susquehanna State Forest and Rothrock State Forest.

"We can really see where those deer are, where they are moving, how that changes over the time of the day and throughout the season because hunters going into that area are going to have an impact on that movement," said Cheryl Trewella, Pa. Game Commission information and education supervisor.

With the new trackers, Trewella said they can see where the deer are every 20 minutes. In addition to studying deer movements, they want hunters to participate, as well.

"It helps us study not only deer movements, but their survival, their harvest rates. Another part of the study is hunter satisfaction, what their experience is like, what they are seeing," said Trewella.

If you plan to hunt in one of those three state forests over the next two weeks, visit the Pa. Game Commission website, register and you can take a survey at the end of the season.