The deer take in the Empire State for 2016 ended well for many hunters. The total number of whitetails harvested in NY was up overall, and in fact, the total take for bucks was even higher than the does.
Deer hunting regulars in the Northern Zone took some 24,674 deer, including 16,495 adult bucks. Southern Zone hunters harvested 188,387 deer, including a whopping 90,511 bucks.
The overall deer take for New York's hunting community was estimated to be around 106,055 antlerless deer and 107,006 bucks!
The seven and-a-half percent increase in buck harvest from 2015 shows a small amount of population growth. The antlerless harvest was up, marked by an increase of just under three percent.
Commissioner Basil Seggos said:
"It's clear that DEC's public education programs are yielding success, as more hunters are heeding our advice to 'let young bucks go to watch them grow' providing all hunters the opportunity to see and take larger, more mature bucks"
It's also notable that the estimated number of mature bucks taken, two and-a-half years old or more, was over 54,000!
Another great number: 65 percent of eligible junior hunters in the state participated in the annual youth hunt. Some 2,447 whitetails were tested for CWD in NY; none testing positive for the disease in Empire State.
The only down side reported by the DEC was the fact that over half of all deer hunters did not report their harvest as required by NYS law. Since the Department of Environmental Conservation uses these reports, along with Conservation Officer checks of official stations and deer processing facilities, knowing the total count has to remain an estimate.