The DEC reports that 2007 was a successful season.
According to a report issued this week by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the 200 statewide deer harvest showed a 16-percent increase over last year’s harvest.
Yates County had the state’s highest deer-harvest density, with 12.8 deer taken per square mile during the season. It also had the state’s second highest buck-harvest density, with 4.3 bucks taken per square mile, up from 3.9 in 2006.
Ontario County had the state’s fourth highest deer-harvest density, with 9.7 deer taken per square mile. Ontario had a buck-harvest density of 3.5 per square mile during the season, up from 3.3 in 2006.
Wayne County saw a buck-harvest density of 2.9 per square mile, up from 2.5 in 2006.
Statewide harvest numbers increased across all categories in 2007— including bucks, antlerless females and young males, takes by muzzleloaders and takes by bow hunting. Meanwhile, injuries caused by hunting were down significantly and hit a new record low of 14. Those incidents included five fatalities.
After testing almost 7,500 deer, DEC researchers found no cases of Chronic Wasting Disease, a neurological affliction that had been detected in 2005 in five captive and two wild deer in Oneida County.
Statewide, the 2007 harvest totaled about 220,000 deer, including 104,451 bucks and 114,690 antlerless deer. Muzzleloader hunting yielded the highest statewide take on record.
Buck takes grew by 8 percent over 2006 and 17 percent over 2005 — a trend that biologists believe suggests that deer populations in many portions of the state are growing.
Contact Hilary Smith at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 343 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.