Hunters in New York State harvested an estimated 213,061 deer during the 2016-17 hunting seasons, an estimated five percent increase over 2015-16 levels, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.
The 2016 deer take included 106,055 antlerless deer and 107,006 antlered bucks. Statewide, this represents a 7.5-percent increase in buck harvest from 2015, reflecting modest population growth following the losses experienced during the harsh winter of 2014-15. Antlerless harvest was similar to 2015 (a 2.6-percent increase), as managers sought increased antlerless harvests in certain parts of the state and reduced harvests in others.
DEC’s 2016 Deer Harvest Summary report (PDF 3.75 MB) provides a suite of tables, charts, and maps detailing the statewide deer harvest. .
Regionally, hunters in the Northern Zone took 24,674 deer, including 16,495 adult bucks. In the Southern Zone, hunters took 188,387 deer, including 90,511 adult bucks.
Last year, DEC kicked off a campaign to encourage hunters to voluntarily pass up shots at young bucks in an effort to grow the population of larger bucks across the state. In areas where hunters had the freedom to choose what type of buck to take, nearly half of the adult bucks taken this past year were 2.5 years or older. Yearling bucks were plentiful, a result of strong survival rates through the 2015-16 winter, yet many hunters voluntarily chose restraint.
DEC also confirmed that bucks of all ages across the state were in good condition, with larger antlers, more mass, and fewer spike-antlered bucks.