Take a look at the deer hunting season numbers for all the states who have tallied their totals so far for the end of the 2015-16 deer hunting seasons.
Deer hunting season numbers are starting to trickle in across the country as hunting seasons begin to come to a final close. Numbers aren’t available for every state yet, but several have been reporting final numbers and close estimates of what those numbers will be.
Take a look at how successful hunters were around the country with the deer hunting season numbers found below. Has your state tallied their total yet?
The final total for the 2015-16 Arkansas deer hunting season comes in at 211,657 total deer harvested. That number is divided between 90,531 antlered deer, 13,933 button bucks, and 107,193 does harvested. Those numbers are a small increase from the previous year when a total of 208,075 deer were taken by Arkansas hunters. Both years found hunters taking does the most frequently which indicates that people from Arkansas enjoy their venison and will harvest a doe to fill their freezers.
Although the number will not jump off the page, Connecticut hunters had a relatively successful deer hunting season in 2015-16 with a total harvest of 8,007 deer. Considering that the state is only 698 square miles, that comes out to about 11.4 deer harvested per square mile. That is a pretty dense deer population. Archery proved to be the most popular way to hunt deer in Connecticut this past season with 4,288 of the total harvest being taken that way. The rest of the harvest was split up between shotgun and muzzleloader kills with 3,380 of the former and only 339 of the latter.
The state of Illinois also saw an increase in the total number of deer harvested during the 2015-16 hunting season. The total reported harvest comes in at 155,131 for this past season. The previous season’s total was 145,720.
The 2015-16 Indiana deer hunting season officially ended on January 31, 2016 with the deer reduction season wrapping up where it was open. The total number of deer harvested as of February 1, 2016 is 124,747.
Kentucky had a wildly successful 2015-16 deer hunting season. In fact, the state’s hunters set a record for the highest deer harvest total in the state’s long history. The predicted final number for the record breaking season is 154,500 deer. That will crush the two-year old record set in 2013 of 144,409 deer harvested by over 10,000 deer. Good habitat, favorable hunting weather, and a poor mast crop that kept deer on the move are all reasons for the successful season. Kentucky hunters harvested 84,921 bucks and 69,428 does.
Hunters in Maryland enjoy a two-week long deer hunting season each year and harvested 31,390 deer during it this past season. Hunters harvested more than double the amount of antlerless deer compared to antlered which has been a focus of Maryland’s deer herd management program. The state’s junior hunting season saw a brief increase from the previous season. Fewer Sika deer were harvested this past season when compared to 2014 with 390 antlered and 581 antlerless deer, compared to 471 antlered and 670 antlerless in 2014.
Out of all the states that have reported their deer hunting season numbers so far, Missouri had the most total deer harvested. Hunters in The Show Me State harvested a total of 279,401 deer during the 2015-16 hunting season. Even that lofty number is well below the state’s record of 321,989 deer that were harvested in 2006. However, it was still an increase from the previous season because of more favorable hunting conditions with 21,060 more deer being taken. One of the strangest hunting stories of the year came out of Missouri when a hunter killed what turned out to be an antlered doe with an impressive 22-point rack.
The state of Nebraska is on track to see an approximate increase in deer harvest of 11 percent during the 2015-16 season compared to the previous season. An even bigger increase in the amount of mule deer harvested occurred over the previous year with hunters taking 1,200 more than 2014. The total number of deer harvested in Nebraska as of December 8, 2015 was nearing 50,000 total. The final total is estimated by state officials to be around 57,000 deer.
New Hampshire: 10,912
As of the last available reported numbers from December 17, 2015, New Hampshire has seen a decrease in the total number of deer harvested from the previous year. Hunters harvested 10,912 deer in The Granite State during the 2015-16 season compared to 11,396 the season prior. Despite the decrease, that total number is still very impressive for a state that measures only 382 square miles. That comes out to 28.6 deer harvested per square mile!
Ohio: 186,332 (as of Feb. 3)
Ohio, an increasingly popular destination for deer hunting, had another successful season in 2015-16. In fact, it’s still going on. Hunters even managed to harvest more deer than state biologists wanted to see. The total number of deer harvested so far this season is 186,332 as of Feb. 3. A total of 82,537 of that number were taken with archery equipment. Check back after Feb. 7 for the total numbers.
The final harvest in the Volunteer State for the 2015-16 deer hunting season was considered to be average by state biologists. A total of 167,234 deer were harvested in Tennessee this past season. That is up slightly from the previous year. A total of 78,752 antlered and 88,482 antlerless deer harvested were reported. The state’s deer herd has stabilized around 950,000 deer and is considered to be healthy and not likely to dramatically increase in the near future. Tennessee hunters won’t be short of opportunity to harvest deer in upcoming seasons.
The 366-square-mile state of Vermont saw a total of 12,710 deer harvested during the 2015-16 deer hunting seasons. Vermont hunters saw success across the entire array of hunting seasons in the state, taking 3,398 deer in archery season, 1,277 in youth season, 6,592 in rifle season, and 1,443 in muzzleloader season. A total of 8,294 bucks were taken by hunters which almost perfectly aligns with the three year state average of bucks harvested.
West Virginia: 138,493
West Virginia saw a very impressive 32% jump in the total number of deer harvested during the 2015-16 season compared to 2014. A bumper crop of mast in 2014 made it so deer didn’t have to travel far to stay fed. However, the mast crop in this previous season was much worse and that led to hunters seeing, and harvesting, way more deer. That big increase still didn’t result in a new state record, but a total of 138,493 deer harvested is still a good sign for hunters moving forward.
Although final numbers are not in quite yet for Wisconsin, the preliminary totals are pointing towards a very successful deer hunting season. With the currently available data, Wisconsin hunters have harvested at least 224,298 deer. The archery and crossbow seasons saw hunters harvest 52,987 and 34,059 deer respectively. The opening weekend of the deer gun season was very impressive with a total of 119,495 deer harvested.
The 2015-16 deer hunting seasons across the country were generally quite successful. It will be interesting to see how the states that have not yet reported final numbers did when all is said and done.
Now that last year’s seasons are mostly over, it is already time to turn an eye towards next season. However, there are still a lot of other outdoor pursuits to keep hunters busy until then.