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DEC announces 2018-19 deer harvest

Photo contributed

ECO James Davey (left) and retired Columbia County Sheriff, Jim Bertram, and Digger O'dell (right), flank youth turkey hunters and their parents at the safety talk held in advance of Youth Turkey Season


April 14, 2019 05:00 am Updated: April 14, 2019 05:43 am

DEC just announced the deer harvest estimates for the 2018-2019 season. According to the report, NY deer hunters killed 12 percent more deer than in the previous year. An estimated 227,787 deer were harvested during the 2018-19 hunting seasons. 

“The estimated deer take included 114,402 antlerless deer and 113,385 antlered bucks. Statewide, this represents a 20-percent increase in antlerless harvest and a five-percent increase in buck harvest from the last season. Hunters took 28,642 deer in the Northern Zone and 199,145 deer in the Southern Zone.”

DEC touts nearly 60 percent of the adult buck harvest were 2.5 years old or older. They report hunters killed an estimated 66,697 older bucks which sets a record for “…the percentage and total number of older bucks in the harvest.”  

Biologists say that’s a 40 percent increase from a decade ago, and a 30 percent increase when compare to the buck take of the 1990s. Officials attribute the increase in the take in the 2.5-year-old buck year class to hunters voluntarily passing up younger bucks in conjunction with mandatory antler restrictions in some Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). 

58.8 percent is the statewide calculated estimate of the portion of the adult buck harvest that was 2.5 years or older. 

If you exclude WMUs with mandatory antler restrictions, that number falls to 54.5 percent of the adult bucks harvested being older bucks. With 2.5-year-old bucks representing 54.5 percent of the total buck take outside antler restriction units, DEC boasts that still represents the “…greatest (such) percentage on record.” DEC is crediting changing trends in buck hunting in NY and taking some credit through their “Let Young Bucks Go and Watch them Grow” initiative.

To get detailed information about your local deer take, go to DEC’s website at When you visit the site, you can search for and view the full Deer Harvest Summary report (PDF).  

It provides tables, charts, and maps detailing the deer harvest around the state with information on regional trends and breakdown of the take by county, town and WMU and much more. Past harvest summaries are also available on DEC’s website.

Striper Update
River Basin Sport Shop, Catskill:
Tom Gentalen reports lots of schoolie stripers caught with a few up to 35 and 38 inches being reported caught on blood worms or herring. Reports are even large nightcrawlers are working when some fishermen ran out of bloodworms.

Hudson River Bait, Rensselear: Kevin Ryan reports similar results with juvenile stripers being landed using blood worms, sand worms, and herring.
Anglers Marine, Hudson: Kevin reports herring are beginning to show up and fisherman are reporting small stripers being caught locally.

RJ’s Archery & Tackle, Coxsackie: Jason is getting reports of herring trickling in the Coxsackie stretch of the river as well.

News and Notes

Reminder: The 2018 Youth Turkey Season starts one half hour before sunrise and ends at noon, both on Saturday April 20th and on Easter Sunday, April 21. 

Ham Shoot: The Federation of Polish Sportsmen’s Club - April 14: The Federation of Polish Sportsmen’s Club at 400 Newman Road in Hudson is hosting its annual “all shotgun” ham shoot Sunday, April 14 beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, call the club at 518-828-0375.

Hunter Ed Class Coming to Norton Hill Wildlife Club

Bill Burger of the Norton Hill Wildlife Club advised they are hosting a hunter education class at their clubhouse on Big Woods Road on Friday April 26 from 6-9 p.m., finishing on Saturday April 27 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pre-registration and “homework” are required. Go to and search for Hunter Education Classes, then register under the Greene County Course listings for Norton Hill’s event.

Save the Date: The Northern Catskills Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is holding its annual NWTF Banquet on May 14th at Anthony’s Banquet Hall in Leeds.  

Field & Stream Outdoor Education Series

Turkey Calling Seminar – April 25 from 6-8 p.m.

Brian Rush of “Rush Custom Callers” and Andrew Noble of the Schoharie Ridge Runners Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will demonstrate turkey calling techniques and tips in time for the coming season. After the presentation there will be a kid’s turkey calling contest! 
Fly Fishing in Streams & Ponds – April 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Learn the basics of fly fishing in lakes and ponds with the professionals of Capitol District 
Flyfishers. Let past president, Paul Sinicki, convince you one of the best and most fun ways to learn how to attract, hook, and land fish using a fly rod is to start with panfish and bass.  

All classes will be held at the Field & Stream store at 579 Troy Schenectady Road in Latham. All you have to do is show up on the scheduled date and time. There is no cost to attend these classes.

Have a wonderful Easter and Passover, and Happy Hunting & Fishing until next time.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.  

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