2006 deer/bear harvests were mediocre

Hunters, especially deer, bear and turkey hunters, are often mesmerized by numbers – specifically, the harvest numbers of deer, bear or turkeys taken, from areas they hunt as well as those from areas they'd like to hunt. The same could probably be said of elk hunters out West. So, for all you hunters' edification, here's a bunch of harvest figures from last year's deer and bear seasons. Unfortunately, the DEC doesn't have the final 2006 turkey harvest figures available, but it advised me that those figures, along with the winter flock survey, survival/banding study, spring harvest, summer productivity and fall harvest, will be available later this month

During the 2006-07 deer hunting seasons, New York hunters harvested slightly more than 189,100 deer, including approximately 96,600 bucks and 92,500 antlerless deer. After three years of declining deer takes, results from this past season represent a slight increase from the 2005 deer harvest. The DEC said the slight increase was expected following management actions in 2004 and 2005 intended to rebuild and stabilize the deer population in many areas of the state, since many Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) were below desired levels.

Western and West-Central New York continues to lead the state in total deer harvest densities, with the top five counties being: Yates County (10.4 total deer per sq.miile), Genesee County (9.4 total deer/mi), Tompkins County (8.5 total deer/mi), Ontario County (8.3 total deer/mi), and Tioga County (8.1 total deer/mi). In comparison, Chenango County deer harvest density last fall was 3.0 total deer per sq. mile, or nearly a third less than the top counties.

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