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NY adopts 5 year deer management plan

From New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation

-- New York has adopted a five-year deer management plan, which has been revised based on public comment on a previous draft version. The plan can be seen online at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7211.html.

The new deer management plan provides strategic direction and focuses on efforts where they can best meet the biological and social demands associated with deer.  It emphasizes the importance of hunting for deer management, and creates opportunities for young deer hunters.

The plan describes six primary goals that encompass the current priorities for deer management and the values and issues expressed by the public. These include:

* Manage deer populations at levels that are appropriate for human and ecological concerns;
* Promote and enhance deer hunting as an important recreational activity, tradition and population management tool
* Reduce negative impacts caused by deer
* Foster public understanding and communication about deer ecology, deer management, economic aspects and recreational opportunities
* Manage deer to promote healthy and sustainable forests and enhance habitat conservation efforts to benefit deer and other species
* Ensure the necessary resources are available to support sound management of white-tailed deer in New York.

Public comment on the draft plan was carefully reviewed, and several notable changes were made in the adopted plan:

* Changing to a 5-year cycle for evaluating deer population objectives;
* Removal of the proposal to discontinue either-sex and antlerless-only tags;
* Implement a youth deer hunting opportunity
* Special antlerless-only season for muzzleloader hunters will only occur as the third phase of a multiphase process, only in WMUs which require additional doe harvest.

Strategies to implement the deer plan begin immediately.  DEC expects to begin rulemaking to implement a number of hunting-related aspects of this plan prior to the 2012-13 hunting seasons, including establishing a youth deer hunt; starting the Southern Zone bow season Oct. l; allowing DMPs to be used during the bow and early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone; and expanding mandatory antler restrictions into 7 WMUs in southeastern New York.

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