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Deer season forecast announced

August 16, 2019 01:00 pm Updated: August 16, 2019 01:22 pm

DEC recently announced the forecast for the upcoming 2019-2020 deer season. 

Biologist’s, “…expect the statewide buck harvest to be similar to 2018 and antlerless harvest to increase slightly.” The 2018 “Bowhunter Sighting Log,” one of many tools DEC uses to gauge numbers of deer on the landscape, “suggest a growing population, with an average of 7.4 deer seen per 10 hours and 3 antlerless deer seen per antlered deer.” 

They point out the generally mild 2018-19 winter experienced statewide, resulted in “strong winter survival.” 

The early green-up experienced this spring helps deer survival tremendously since that is a critical period for deer coming off a winter that offers less than optimal forage selection. The early wet spring and continued wet weather in early summer this year led to lush, ample forage throughout which is in stark contrast to the near drought conditions experienced last year during the same period.

DEC touts their “Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow” campaign “…is shifting our buck harvest toward older, larger animals. In fact, nearly 60% of the adult bucks harvested last fall were 2.5 years or older, setting a record for the greatest percentage and total number of older bucks in the harvest.”

Deer season in New York spans four months in vastly different habitat types depending upon what region of the state you hunt. For greater detail on the forecast closer to home, local DEC biologists provided the following information for those who hunt in Region 4:

“Region 4, occupying the central-eastern area of New York, includes 9 counties and covers almost 4 million acres. It borders Massachusetts and Vermont in the east and Pennsylvania in the southwest. The region is comprised of forests, agricultural lands, residential, and urban areas. 

The varying deer populations throughout the region reflect this mixture of habitat type, and overall hunting opportunities abound. The 2018 deer season produced generally desirable results compared to the previous season. 
Buck harvests increased in twelve of the region’s eighteen Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), and seven of those increases were over 15%. Twelve of the WMUs are at or close to our population objective and will issue the same number of Deer Management Permits (DMPs) as last year. 

Three of the units with antler restrictions (4O, 4P and 4W) had a modest increase in buck harvest and will provide more opportunities to receive a DMP this year. None of our units will issue fewer DMPs than last year. Unit Summaries for the 2019 Season The annual buck harvest is used as a gauge of population size and its relationship to the desired population level. 

The Buck Take Objective (BTO) for a WMU is the number of antlered bucks expected to be harvested per square mile when the WMU’s deer population is at the desired level as determined by a Citizen Task Force. In future years, a public survey and habitat assessment will be used to form a population management plan. 

Management decisions will be made within WMU Aggregates as opposed to individual WMUs.”

Happy Hunting, Trapping, & Fishing until next time.

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

News and Notes

Barbara Brandon reports the 25th Annual Columbia Greene Friends of NRA Banquet was a success. Nearly 200 guests attended with special guests Sheriff Dave Bartlett, Sheriff Greg Seeley, and Assemblyman Chris Tague on hand to contribute to the success of the event.

NY Bowhunters Youth Camp August 24 and 25

The local chapter of NY Bowhunters is offering their free Bowhunters Youth Camp scheduled for August 24 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday August 25 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Kids aged 11 through 16 are invited to attend. It will be held at the Earlton Fish & Game Club at 56 Potic Creek Road in Earlton. 

All attendees earn their NYS Bowhunter Safety Certificate. The staff includes a former collegiate archery coach, and the program features woodsmanship, tree stand use and safety, land navigation, blood trailing, knot tying, plus much more. 

Equipment will be provided, or you can bring your own. Lunch will be provided both days. All expenses are covered by the volunteers of NY Bowhunters. You must pre-register as slots are limited. Contact NYB Region 4 Representative, Ed Gorch at 518-634-7139, or via email at oldbowman48@gmail.com to register or for more information.

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