Hunting News

2018-19 deer harvest ranks second all-time highest

2018-19 deer harvest ranks second all-time highest

By Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Hunters in Delaware harvested 14,883 deer during the 2018-19 hunting season, the sixth year in a row that the state’s white-tailed deer harvest has exceeded 14,000 deer.

This season’s harvest ranked as the second highest in Delaware’s history, exceeded only by the 2017-18 harvest of 15,304 deer. Inclement weather limited the deer harvest during this past season’s opening weekend of the popular November deer shotgun season, which likely reduced the overall annual harvest.

The highest 2018-19 season harvest occurred in Sussex County, with 7,735 deer, followed by Kent County with 4,299 deer, New Castle County with 2,849 deer.

All Sundays during the various deer hunting seasons were open to deer hunting to provide additional hunting opportunities and to help manage the deer population, resulting in the harvest of 2,214 deer on the 23 Sundays from private lands and Division of Fish & Wildlife public wildlife areas.

Hunters harvested more does than bucks, for totals of 7,982 does (53.6 percent) and 6,901 bucks (46.4 percent). High doe harvest percentages are an important tool for properly managing the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population. Antlerless deer represented 69.7 percent of the total harvest.

Additional information will be made available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website following further analyses of harvest data by division biologists.

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