Compared to the numbers from 2014, New York hunters harvested about 15 percent fewer deer in 2015.
The mild weather and fewer deer management permits are pointed to as potential reasons, as reported by the Democrat & Chronicle. This spells bad news for the Rochester and Finger Lakes region as the deer populations there remain robust.
“The Department of Environmental Conservation has released its final whitetail deer harvest estimate. It shows that 202,973 deer were taken statewide during the 2015-16 season compared with 238,672 the year prior,” as the Democrat & Chronicle stated.
Statewide, there was a decline of 8.3 percent of bucks with legal antler sizes and a 20.5 percent decline of anterless deer, including female deer and fawns.
There’s no reason for alarm, however, as the DEC believes this drop was coming due in large part to the number of deer that survived the fierce 2014-205 winter in the state. Additionally, the deer management permit numbers were cut by 7 percent in order to meet a population target.