Deer harvest numbers dip in North Carolina, but long-term trend still up
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The North Carolina deer harvest fell this past season, although experts say the long-term harvest trend remains up.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that all nine North Carolina districts reported declines, although the rates varied wildly, from 1.2 percent to 14.1 percent. State hunters reported 149,811 deer killed during the 2016-2017 hunting season, down 7.8 percent from the 2015-2016 season.
Jonathan Shaw, a wildlife biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, says the deer harvest experiences annual fluctuations because of weather, acorn crop and changes in hunter effort. He says the commission thus focuses on the long-term trend, which has been increasing.
Shaw says the statewide deer estimate is around 1 million. There are around 250,000 active deer hunters in the state.