Deer kill down from last year; buck harvest up
With the Zone 2 and 3A deer seasons closed, and the Zone 1 season still open through Sunday, firearms hunters have killed a total of 134,107 deer so far this season.
That’s about 6 percent less than they had taken at the same time last year.
Through earlier this week, the buck kill in the 100 series of permit areas was about the same as last year, while the doe harvest was down about 28 percent.
In the 200 series of permit areas, the buck harvest was up about 10 percent from last year, while the doe harvest was down about 21 percent.
The buck harvest also has been strong in the 300 series of permit areas, where hunters have to pass on the vast majority of yearling bucks. For the 3A season, the buck harvest was up 8 percent, while the doe harvest was down 15 percent. The number of hunters in the 3A season also increased by about 900 from last year.
There are antler-point restrictions in place in the southeast, of course, that require hunters to pass on any buck that doesn’t have at least four antler points on one side. While there’s likely still opposition to them, the reaction this year – moreso than the first two years – seems to be overwhelmingly positive.