Hunters took 133,860 antlered deer in the 2012-13 seasons, an increase of about five percent from the previous license year’s harvest of 127,540. Also, hunters harvested 209,250 antlerless deer in 2012-13, which is a slight increase over the 208,660 antlerless deer taken in 2011-12.
“This year’s antlered deer harvest is slightly above the average harvest since 2005, when agency efforts began to stabilize deer populations in most of the state,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “The age structure of the antlered deer harvest was 49 percent 1.5 year-old-bucks and 51 percent 2.5-year-old and older bucks.
“The antlerless hunter success rate remained at about 25 percent for licenses issued. This is on average with harvest success for recent years. The age structure of this year’s antlerless deer harvest was 61 percent adult females, 22 percent button bucks, and 18 percent doe fawns. The rates are similar to long-term averages.”
Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2013-14 antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the April meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners. Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, said that in addition to harvest data, the staff will be looking at deer health measures, forest regeneration and deer-human conflicts for each WMU.