Snowstorms may limit deer hunting

New York deer hunters are always hoping for snow. But it’s
doubtful they’re happy with 2 to 4 feet of the white stuff, which
is what many whitetail chasers in central and western New York saw
during the latter portion of the Southern Zone’s regular firearms
deer season.

It’s the kind of weather event that could seriously impact hunter
success – perhaps not during the regular season, since the
lake-effect pummeling came later in the season at a time when fewer
deer are harvested, but during the Southern Zone’s late
muzzleloader offering (Dec. 13-21).

You can bet DEC wildlife biologists will be taking a close look at
the impact of the heavy snowfall, which approached 4 feet in
Syracuse and surrounding areas, and also piled up in western New
York where they’re used to lake-effect dumpings, albeit maybe not
during the deer season. Ironically, the snowfall came primarily in
the Southern Zone and not in much of the Adirondacks, where deer
hunters dealt with another season in which tracking snow was
largely absent. In fact, as I write this there’s none of the white
stuff on the ground here in Elizabethtown (Essex County), while a
hunting buddy attending college in Syracuse (SUNY-ESF) watched it
snow for 100 straight hours earlier this month.

Another potential offshoot of the massive snow totals could be a
fish-in-a-barrel scenario in which deer yard up during the hunting
season and are easily – too easily – available to the late
muzzleloader crowd. DEC will have a grasp on that, or should have,
from field reports and harvest reporting activity through the
DECALS system.

Categories: New York – Steve Piatt

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