In perhaps a first since Native Americans dominated the landscape in the 1600s, bowhunters in Connecticut surpassed the success of gun owners.
The Courant published an article highlighting the shift in numbers as reported by the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection harvest totals.
At least 6,046 whitetail deer were shot with a bow or crossbow, with at least 4,340 falling by way of bullets. It’s a first for modern deer totals, but more than 2,000 more kills were not distinguished as bow or gun, since private landowners don’t need to report those details.
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Reasons for the change have been attributed to concerns about the population size and Lyme Disease-infested tick problems associated with the deer. Also, bowhunting’s popularity, especially crossbows, have likely contributed to the rise in arrows meeting game animals.
A state policy in favor of bowhunting, which gives them early access and a season that extends beyond firearm hunting, is also a major factor.
The change is so significant that Connecticut lawmakers are contemplating over allowing private land bowhunting on Sundays, a day that is currently off limits to hunting of any kind.
The expanded archery season was established in part because of the acknowledgement that bowhunters are able to safely harvest more deer in congested and semi-developed, more urban areas thanks to their close range weapon choice. The population numbers of deer living in close quarters to residential and suburban areas led to a need to decrease the herds.
The Courant has also created an interactive map that shows the deer hunting season harvests for different areas of the state.
What do you think about bowhunting surpassing firearm hunting in terms of deer harvested in Connecticut?