SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A state hunting regulatory commission has proposed steep cuts to the number of licenses and tags available for many of South Dakota’s deer hunting seasons to counter a shrinking herd caused by harsh winters, disease and habitat loss.<<<Read More>>>
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, on Friday, released their deer harvest data which showed a 15% increase, which on first glance appears to be the result of an increase in “Any-Deer Permits” issued prior to the season. (the data has yet to be published on the MDIFW website.)
Below is a table prepared by my in-house statistician that shows information for 2013, some of it preliminary, and how that data compares with previous years.
After I have had a chance to thoroughly examine the harvest data, I will, more than likely, file a report on my findings.
Augusta, Maine – Hunters during the 2013 deer season killed 24,795 deer, an increase of 15% over the 2012 harvest of 21,552 deer. The 2013 harvest is the third consecutive year the deer harvest has increased, reflective of a deer population that has grown since the back-to-back severe winters of 2008 and 2009.
“I commend IFW for its management of the deer herd, and I congratulate hunters who participated in one of our state’s most popular sporting pursuits,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Deer hunting is not only a time-honored tradition, but it attracts economic activity from hunters throughout Maine and those from other states.”
The deer kill increased in almost every Wildlife Management District in the state, and the adult buck harvest once again increased over the previous season with hunters taking 16,765 bucks, which was an increase of 8% over the 2012 buck kill of 15,475.
Holding true to the harvest patterns seen in 2013, Maine’s youth hunters also saw an increase in harvest numbers, climbing from 570 deer in 2012 to 781 in 2013, representing an increase of 37%. Their harvest consisted of a total of 335 adult bucks, 280 adult does and 166 fawns. Once again, youth hunters were allowed to harvest antlerless deer without needing an Any-deer Permit in WMDs where permits were issued.
As the deer population continued to rebound, in 2013 IFW issued approximately 36% more permits than were issued in 2012. This resulted in an increase in the adult doe harvest of 5,307 animals, approximately 24% more than the 4,287 harvest in 2012. In 2013, IFW issued Any Deer permits in Wildlife Management Districts 3 and 6, representing the first antlerless deer harvests in those districts since 2000 and 2007, respectively. The allocation of permits to these WMDs resulted in a total adult doe harvest of 17 individuals from WMD 3, and 64 from WMD 6. It also was the first time since 2007 that Any Deer permits were issued in WMD 7 where the doe harvest was 34.
“The increase in the number of successful hunters last season reflects a growing deer population in much of the state,” said IFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock, “However, with the long, cold winter we experienced, it is prudent that we move forward thoughtfully in 2014 concerning the number of Any Deer permits issued.”
To help alleviate the impacts of deer nuisance issues in and around urban areas where bans on the use of firearms exist, the Department provides additional deer population management via deer harvests during an Expanded Archery season. Generally spanning a period greater than 70 days, this season allows hunters, whom have the appropriate license(s) and tags, to harvest one additional buck and potentially an unlimited number of does from within an identified Expanded Archery zone. The 2013 Expanded Archery season experienced an increase in harvest over the 2012 season by 13% from 987 deer to 1,122 deer.
This past winter marked the first in four years with above-average winter severity throughout the state, the first since 2009. As a result of the winter, IFW wildlife biologists have recommended decreasing the number of Any Deer permits throughout the state.
Hal Blood recalls how he used to snowmobile at the north end of Moosehead Lake and see deer by the thousands. Now he sees only a few hundred.
And where Blood, a registered Maine Guide, ice fishes on state conservation land near Jackman at the northwestern corner of Maine, the deer are simply gone, he said.
“I used to see deer lying up in the ridges. That whole Moose River valley 25 years ago was unbelievable. But there aren’t any deer there any more,” Blood said.<<<Read More>>>
“And a recent poll in New Jersey asked the question: Would you favor the commercial hunting of deer in New Jersey? While 51% said no, a surprising 45% answered yes.
While this idea has been out there for a couple of years, most people doubted whether a state government would be willing to step up and try it.
But in March New Jersey Republican Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande said she will be introducing a bill that directs the state Division of Fish and Wildlife to develop and establish requirements for the commercial harvesting of deer. “This will be controversial but the Wall Street Journal had an article that said 85 percent of the venison sold in restaurants and at meat counters is imported from farms in New Zealand. It’s insane we’re importing it from New Zealand. Meanwhile, we’re overrun with deer… I hold my breath every time I get on the road. Instances of Lyme disease are a major problem.’’”<<<Read More>>>
I’ve written some about this before, in dispelling the lie often bandied around by the schilling Media that hunting is about trophies. In a recent survey of hunters in Massachusetts, 86% of hunters responding in a survey said they pursued whitetail deer, “for the delicious meat afforded them.”<<<Read More>>>
“Abundant apples, acorns and beechnuts that were available to deer last fall may have resulted in deer being more dispersed than in some previous years. However, cold temperatures and snow in the November rifle season likely increased the ability of hunters to find, see and take deer.”<<<Read More>>>
You may have seen this before….or at least some version of it. I’m not going to go searching, but I think I recall having posted a video perhaps 6 or more years ago showing a similar event.