Monday, December 31, 2018

DEC: Hunters Killed More Deer in 2018

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that New York State white-tailed deer hunters have been reporting more success in 2018 than last year through the end of the regular big game season.

Through December 16, hunters reported taking approximately 14 percent more deer in the Northern Zone and 11 percent more deer in the Southern Zone, compared to the same period in 2017. Reports from the Southern Zone and Northern Zone are up more than 26 percent and 33 percent from 2016 numbers, respectively, indicating an increase in harvest over the past three hunting seasons.

Through the final weekend of the Southern Zone late bow and muzzleloader season, hunters reported 94,515 deer in 2018, compared to 85,288 and 75,073 through the same period in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Similarly, in the Northern Zone, hunters have reported 14,458 deer in 2018, compared to 12,687 in 2017, and 10,894 in 2016.

Change in bear harvest varies by region this year. Hunters have reported taking 670 bears in the Southern Zone, compared to 884 at this point last year and 863 in 2016. In contrast, harvest reports increased in the Northern Zone, with 396 bears reported in 2018, compared to 302 bears at this point in 2017 and 464 bears in 2016.

A final tally of the seasons’ deer and bear harvests will be released early next year. The 2017 deer harvest numbers are in the graph below. 2017 deer hunting summary

Most of the state’s big game hunting seasons have ended (the bowhunting season continues in Westchester County until December 31, a special firearms season in Suffolk County runs January 6-31, 2019, and the Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County runs January 12 to January 31, 2019.

Photo: A 14-year-old hunter with the first deer believed to have been taken with an air rifle in the United States in 2008.

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11 Responses

  1. Brian Joseph says:

    Very confusing as the numbers from the article (around 100k deer taken) don’t match the chart (around 200k taken) for 2017.

    • John Warren says:

      That’s because the chart is from 2017 (as it says at the top) and these are preliminary numbers for 2018, so no chart yet.

  2. Luke says:

    Whoa! Caption under the accompanying photo states “photo of deer hunted with air rifle in 2008.” From the DEC. You can hunt deer with an air rifle?

    • Justin Farrell says:

      That’s how Ralphy fended off Black Bart and his creeping marauders. ?

    • Boreas says:

      FWIW, apparently Lewis and Clark took one of these on their expedition. I don’t believe it was the weapon of choice when they started running into grizzlies…

    • John Warren says:

      DEC has been pushing air rifle hunting and lowering the age of hunting to 12 – I’m not sure either of those regulations have actually been approved. The caption however was confusing, so I’ve changed it. It wasn’t taken in New York, but is considered the first deer taken with an air gun in the U.S.

      • Dan says:

        Hi John:
        Air rifles have come a long way and are viable hunting implements, especially for young hunters just learning.

        Unfortunately, legislation to lower the big game hunting age from 14 to 12 has stalled in New York, along with an expanded crossbow hunting bill. New York is one of just a few states that don’t have either of these amenities for hunters. Yet, statistics show that young hunters, fresh out of Hunter Ed, are among the safest out there. For now, they can only hunt small game, including turkeys, at which they do very well during the state’s youth hunt.