Philadelphia, PA - How Many Deer Live in Pennsylvania? The Pennsylvania Game Commission is estimated to have around 1.5 million deer or 30 per square mile.
How Many Deers Are in PA?
White-tailed deer populations have greatly exceeded historical records, thanks to reintroduction programs and habitat expansion efforts, and are now among Pennsylvania's most beloved game animals.
Deer are an integral component of Pennsylvania's wildlife management strategy, playing an essential role in our ecosystem and providing food, shelter, and hunting opportunities while serving as a significant source of income for many Pennsylvanians. The number of deer had increased from about 8 to 10 per square mile when Native Americans settled the area to about 1.5 million today. About 30 deer per square mile.
But Pennsylvania's deer population has become increasingly unbalanced with its forest habitat, putting an incredible strain on its agriculture, forestry, and other natural resources.
Overpopulation impacts all ecosystems as deer feed on the food they find lying around, give birth, and kill trees, contributing to forest regeneration. A hungry deer can eat one ton of "browse," such as leaves, twigs, shoots, and seedlings essential for tree regeneration in mature woodlands.
In the early 1900s, when deer populations were almost extinct throughout the region, the state restocked its herd with wild deer from other states and instituted hunting regulations. It also enacted a law to protect does (female or "antlerless" deer) from being killed. When habitats were clear-cut and replanted with young woody growth, deer adapted well to the new conditions.