More Antlerless Deer Hunting Opportunties May Come in 2014

New York state wildlife managers could be considering more antlerless deer hunting opportunities in 2014 after numbers from the recently closed season showed hunters didn’t hit the goals in some targeted areas.

doeBiologists with the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation have been eyeing the state’s Southern Zone as an area of concern due to white-tailed deer population numbers. Hunters killed slightly more deer than the 2012 season.

But the overall number of deer killed in the Southern Zone was only about 1 percent higher, which wasn’t enough to hit the goals for population reduction in the zone.

The Southern Zone encompasses most of the state. The DEC tried to increase the number of special doe permits but hunters got only about half of those permits.

State officials say more antlerless deer will need to be killed in the next few years to try to meet population goals and reduce the risk of disease to the animals and humans, destruction of vegetation, and vehicle-animal crashes on roads.

— Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor