Deer harvest numbers up so far, bear totals mixed

New York state hunters have been more successful in 2017 than last year through the first several weeks of big-game seasons, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in a news release.

Early reports from New York hunters through Dec. 3, show that hunters reported taking approximately 18 percent more deer in the Northern Zone and 14 percent more deer in the Southern Zone compared to the same period in 2016.

Through the third weekend of the Southern Zone regular big game season, hunters reported 69,550 deer in 2017, compared to 61,184 through the same period in 2016. Similarly for the Northern Zone, hunters have reported 11,349 deer in 2017, compared to 9,417 deer in 2016.

For bears, hunters have reported taking 814 bears so far in the Southern Zone, compared to 775 taken at this point in 2016, but harvest is lagging in the Northern Zone with only 291 bears reported in 2017, compared to 450 bears at this point in 2016.

A final tally of the seasons’ deer and bear harvests will be compiled and released early in 2018.

While hunters in the Southern Zone still have several more days of the regular firearms season remaining, the late bow and muzzleloading season for deer started in portions of the Northern Zone (Wildlife Management Units 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, and 6H) on Dec. 4, and will continue through Dec. 10. The late bow and muzzleloading season for deer and bear in the Southern Zone runs from Dec. 11 to Dec. 19. Also, deer hunting opportunities continue in Westchester County until Dec. 31, in Suffolk County until Jan. 31, and in the special Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County from Jan. 13-31.

— New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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