DMP tags boosted by 12 percent statewide

Albany — DEC has increased the statewide Deer Management Permit allocation by about 12 percent for the 2012-13 season, the second consecutive double-digit jump.

DEC wildlife biologist Jeremy Hurst said the total allocation for 2012 will be 535,850 among wildlife management units where a “target” DMP number has been established.

“We’re seeing signs of population growth in some areas, so the modest increase in DMPs in those areas is (needed) simply to keep pace,” Hurst said. “That’s true for much of southeastern New York in areas where deer populations are at or slightly below objective levels.”

Hurst added, however, that large portions of the Lake Plains and Finger Lakes regions of central and western New York have deer populations that are above DEC “objective” levels. “In most of this region, we are targeting similar or slightly higher DMP issuance to maintain substantial harvest pressure on antlerless deer, with the continued goal of reducing these deer populations,” he said.

Hurst said DEC biologists were anticipating “some growth in deer numbers” in many areas on the heels of a mild winter last year and previous antlerless harvest tallies.

“Even in units where deer numbers are low we’re seeing some growth,” he said.

Deer Management Permits, which allow for the harvest of antlerless deer – either does or button bucks – are the chief tool used by the state in managing its deer herd. Permit allocations are determined by a number of factors, including the previous year’s kill and success rates of hunters using DMPs, which can vary from one unit to the next.

The success rate on DMPs statewide stood at 16.4 percent last year, ranging from a high of 39 percent in WMU 4H, a small Albany County unit, to a low of 5.1 percent in WMU 3P in Orange County.

New York hunters last year killed 87,439 deer on DMP tags, down from 89,855 in 2010 despite last year’s 10 percent hike in DMP allocation. Hurst said last year’s success rate fell from 18 percent in 2010 to 16 percent.

There were some alterations to the 2012 allocations:

  • in WMU 3M, which had a target allocation of 36,600 last season, no target figure was set. Hurst said that wasn’t necessary given the number of available permits again this year.
  • WMU 4S, located in Greene County, had no permits available last season. This season, however, 700 DMPs will be available.
  • WMU 6A in St. Lawrence County had DMP availability last season, but will not this year. Hurst said the muzzleloader season harvest accounts for a significant number of antlerless deer and as a result no DMPs will be offered in that unit this year.

Resident New York hunters generally have better odds of being successful in drawing a DMP, while nonresidents, in some units, have no chance. But in other units where plenty of tags are available, out-of-state hunters may actually have odds equal to those of resident hunters.

The deadline to apply for DMPs is Oct. 1.

Categories: Hunting News, Hunting Top Story, Whitetail Deer

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