From the New York Department of Environmental Conservation
-- Hunters harvested just over 230,000 deer during New York's 2010 hunting season, an increase of nearly 3 percent from 2009.
The Junior Big-Game License was popular once again, with over 16,000 junior hunters taking advantage of the opportunity to hunt big game, harvesting approximately 4,900 deer.
The 2010 harvest included approximately 123,100 antlerless adult females and fawns, and just under 107,000 adult bucks. Deer harvests in the Northern Zone were comparable to 2009 with 16,100 adult bucks taken, a number essentially unchanged, and the antlerless take of 12,500 deer increasing 3 percent.
In the Southern Zone, excluding Long Island, adult buck take of approximately 89,900 deer increased nearly 6 percent while antlerless take of approximately 108,600 deer increased only about 2 percent.
Across the state, hunters took a slightly higher proportion of 2.5 year old and older bucks than in previous years, continuing a trend that has developed over the past decade. This past year, about 45 percent of harvested bucks were 2.5 years or older, compared to only 33 percent in 2000.
Deer harvest data is gathered from harvest reports required by all successful hunters, and staff examination of harvested deer at check stations and meat processors. Statewide harvest estimates are made by cross-referencing the two data sources. Though an average of only 45 percent of successful hunters have reported their harvest each year since 2005, statewide harvest estimates remain statistically accurate to within plus or minus 2 percent.
During the 2010 deer season, the DEC tested 1,780 hunter-harvested deer for Chronic Wasting Disease and found no CWD infected deer. With no CWD detections since 2005, last summer, DEC decommissioned the CWD containment area and no longer required mandatory checking of harvested deer in that area.
The Department continues development of a deer management plan based on input collected during a series of public meetings in 2009, a recent statewide survey of deer hunters, and assessments from deer biologists and regional wildlife managers. The plan provides a blueprint for deer management for the next five years, including a number of reforms to strengthen the program. DEC anticipates that the plan will be available for public review and comment later this spring.
Deer populations and harvest vary widely across the state. The 2010 and previous year's deer harvest by county, town and Wildlife Management Unit are available online at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/42232.html.