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Massachusetts releases 2011 deer harvest numbers

From Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

-- Deer Project Leader David Stainbrook reports a total of 11,154 white-tailed deer harvested by licensed hunters during combined 2011 seasons.

By season, the total breaks down to 8 deer taken during the special deer season for paraplegic sportsmen; 3,765 taken in the archery season; 5,349 taken during the shotgun season; 1,959 taken during the primitive arms season; and 37 deer harvested during the Quabbin Reservation hunt.

Deer populations are managed according to deer density goals established to maintain healthy deer populations in balance with the environment. Goals are set at levels that balance deer hunting and viewing opportunities with levels which minimize impacts on property damage, public health issues, and safety.

Deer densities throughout the western and central parts of the state and some areas in the east with lands accessible to hunters are at or near deer management goals. High deer populations are still found in suburban areas in eastern Massachusetts where hunter access is limited, but recent trends in towns opening lands to archery hunting have shown promise for reducing deer numbers in these areas.

New hunters of all ages are reminded that it is never too early to think about taking a Basic Hunter Education Course.

The Basic Hunter Education Course is mandatory for first time hunters or hunting license buyers in Massachusetts.  All courses are free of charge offerings. More courses will be listed as volunteers set up the schedule.  Note that students must attend all dates listed. Course enrollment opens two months in advance.

Below is the current schedule of Basic Hunter Education Course at Massachusetts.

"Many people don’t think about enrolling in a course until September," says Susan Langlois, hunter education administrator. "Unfortunately, most courses have either begun or are fully enrolled and the opportunity to hunt during the fall may disappear."

Langlois said courses are scheduled through much of the calendar year, including the summer, but most are offered in the spring and early fall.

First-time license buyers in Massachusetts are required to show proof that they have taken a basic hunter education course in order to purchase a hunting or sporting license.

Basic courses are available from January through October. The course calendar is periodically updated at www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/education/hed/hed_basic_listing.htm

To be notified when a course is scheduled open, provide name and contact information at www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/education/hed/hed_find_course.htm.

Students who successfully pass the course receive a Certificate of Completion that is accepted for purchasing a Massachusetts hunting or sporting license and for Massachusetts residents 15 years old and over to apply for a firearms license with their local police departments.

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