Prior to this year’s regular SZ deer season there seemed to be an unusually high report of antlered bucks being sighted, as well as rutting sign they’d made (rubs, scrapes, etc.), and the preliminary reporting of opening weekend by successful hunters seems to verify that there’s a higher than usual density of antlered bucks in many areas.
According to the DEC DFWMR reporting office: “It was a windy start to the regular firearms deer season in much of the Southern Zone, but hunters appear to have managed well. Harvest reports from the opening weekend are up about 5 percent compared to opening weekend in 2009.
This first Saturday and Sunday of the Southern Zone regular deer season is an important time for deer hunters and deer harvest. In a 2007 survey (www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/hdrudeer07.pdf), roughly 85 percent of New York deer hunters indicated that they participated in the Southern Zone regular season. Of these hunters, about 93 percent hunted on opening day, including 5 percent who only hunted on opening day. Hunters averaged just under 7 hours afield on opening day but dropped back to an average of less than 6 hours per day during the rest of the regular season.”
In 2009, deer harvest during the opening weekend accounted for nearly 50 percent of the Southern Zone regular season buck take; almost 40 percent of the Southern Zone regular season total deer take; slightly more than 25 percent of the Southern Zone deer take during all seasons; and more than 20 percent of the statewide deer take during all seasons.