From New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
-- Hunters harvested approximately 220,000 deer in the 2007 season, a 16 percent increase over the previous season, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis recently announced.
The 2007 harvest included 104,451 bucks and 114,690 antlerless deer. The buck harvest grew by 8 percent over 2006 (96,569) and 17 percent over 2005 (89,015), suggesting that deer populations in many portions of New York are continuing to grow slowly.
With the population increase, DEC has increased the number of Deer Management Permits (DMPs) issued in the last two years. DMPs are issued for harvest of antlerless deer only, and their availability varies among the 92 wildlife management units (WMUs) across the state, depending on the status of the deer population in each unit. As a result of the increase in DMPs issued, the 2007 antlerless take increased 24 percent from 2006 (92,539) and 26 percent over 2005 (91,199).
In 2007, muzzleloader hunting once again gained in popularity with more than 232,000 hunters buying muzzleloader licenses and a total take of more than 17,207 deer. This is the highest muzzleloader take on record.
The muzzleloader take increased by 8 percent over the year before (15,746) and 11 percent over two years ago (15,232).
New York's bowhunters also increased their take: 31,060 compared to 29,455 the previous year and 26,431 two years ago. Bowhunters play a critical role in deer management on Long Island and in the bowhunting-only areas near the cities of Albany and Rochester and in Westchester County. In these areas, bowhunters took over 4,800 deer, approximately 66 percent of which were antlerless deer.
Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permits rose just above 10,100 deer, increasing only slightly from 2006. DMAP permits are issued for focused removal of antlerless deer on specific properties and are important for reducing deer-related damage or for meeting land-management or other deer-management goals.
Western New York continues to lead the State in total deer-harvest densities. The top five counties for 2007 were Yates (12.8 total deer per square mile), Allegany (10.3), Wyoming (9.7), Ontario (9.7) and Genesee (9.6).
Chronic Wasting Disease
Efforts continued with CWD surveillance through sampling of hunter killed deer statewide and mandatory deer checks in the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area. Despite testing approximately 7,470 deer (including more than 1,400 deer from the CWD Containment Area), no cases were detected. CWD is a rare neurological disease that affects the brains of deer, elk and moose, causing the animals to become emaciated, lose body functions and eventually die.
CWD surveillance began in New York in 2002, with increased efforts since 2005 after the disease was detected in five captive and two wild deer in Oneida County. Since 2002, over 26,250 samples have been collected throughout the state, including almost 5,300 samples from the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area, and no additional cases have been detected.