Albany – DEC this fall is poised to dole out over 500,000 Deer
Management Permits, a figure that’s about 5 percent less than last
Wildlife biologist Jeremy Hurst said the “target issuance” of
503,900 is down from more than 528,000 last year, with some units
seeing an increase and others a decrease this season.
“I can’t point to any one particular reason why this year’s
target is slightly less than last years,” he said. “We have a lot
of variation throughout the state in terms of deer population
objectives and management direction to achieve those objectives. It
was really just a smattering of ups and downs this year.”
The total DMP allocation doesn’t include archery-only units 3S,
4J and 8C, suburban unit 3R or Long Island (WMU 1C). Those units
essentially issue DMPs to all applicants or are part of the state’s
bonus permit system.
The 5 percent decline in DMP numbers follows last year’s
13-percent jump. It was the first reduction in DMPs in the past
DEC sharply reduced DMP numbers in 2005 and 2006 on the heels of
back-to-back harsh winters that trimmed the deer herd. DEC
allocated nearly 700,000 DMPs statewide in 2002, 627,100 in 2003
and 520,890 in 2004.
The DMPs are the driving force behind the management of the
state’s whitetail numbers. And while over 500,000 seems like a lot
of permits, Hurst says that over 557,000 DMPs (including in the
bow-only and suburban areas where no target allocation is in place)
were distributed last year to get a harvest of 86,417 antlerless
“Success rates varied from one WMU to another, but ranged from 6
percent to a high of 30 percent,” he said. “Overall, the success
rate on DMPs was 15.5 percent.”
Additional antlerless deer are taken through muzzleloader and
archery hunting each season.
Typically, residents have a better chance than nonresidents of
drawing a DMP in most units, with nonresidents having no chance of
drawing a DMP in several units in the state.
In several units, notably in DEC regions 3 and 8, residents have
a high probability of securing two permits as DEC looks to keep
whitetail numbers in check.
In several WMUs that were targeted for an antler restriction
program that was ultimately abandoned by DEC, DMPs will be scarce
this fall, Hurst said. In one unit (3A) no tags will be available,
while preference points will be required to obtain a permit in
three other units (4G, 4O and 4S) that were considered for antler
Hurst said the lack of available DMPs in some of those units
“was one factor” in DEC’s decision to scrap the proposal.
“It was one of the key concerns among hunters who hunt primarily
for meat,”_Hurst said. “If we went to antler restriction
regulations and then had few DMPs available, we would have severly
restricted their ability to harvest a deer.”
Hurst also reminded hunters of several WMU boundary changes that
resulted in the elimination of several units and the
reconfiguration of others. Several units will see alterations that
could affect a hunters’ decision-making process in applying for a
“It will be important for some hunters to clarify the new WMU
boundaries before they apply for a DMP,” he said.
Among the key changes:
€ hunters in southern and eastern Chenango County and
northeastern Broome County accustomed to applying for DMPs in 7M
and 7S will see much of that area is now contained within the new
€ similarly, WMU 6K now extends into an area that formerly was
6G, so hunters will need to know which WMU their hunt location is
in prior to buying a license and applying for a DMP.
€ hunters in Washington County who used to apply for a DMP in
5K, 5N, or 5P will now need to select either 5S or 5T.
€ hunters in southwestern Otsego County who used to apply for a
DMP in 4N will now need to apply for WMU 4F.
€ WMU 6C has been extended south into the Black River Valley of
Lewis County, so hunters will now be able to apply for and use DMPs
in that unit.
Hunters can learn more about how DEC sets its Deer Management
Permit targets online at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/47743.html