The first shotgun deer season wraps up today and cold weather and a smaller deer population have apparently made it harder for hunters to be successful. Hunters reported taking nearly 61,000 deer thus far, which is about 10% below last year.
Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Baskins says that matches up with field reports. “From what I’ve heard from officers over the weekend, the harvest is down, which is what we expected, what hunters have been telling us so far this season is that they’re seeing significantly less deer out where they are hunting than what they have in past years,” according to Baskins.
The D.N.R. has made efforts to bring the deer population down by offering licenses for hunters to take more does in areas where the numbers have been higher. Baskins says the efforts appear to be paying off.
Baskins says all of the survey work shows that deer populations are down for most of the state, although there are still some pockets that need to be worked on. The second shotgun season opens this Saturday, December 10th and will run through the 18th.
The D.N.R. recommends that hunters work with landowners to see if the deer population is at a desirable level in order to ensure the best chance of being successful.