May 4, 2014

Harvest breakdown: 2013 deer, bear numbers in

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released the deer and bear harvest statistics for last autumn’s big-game hunting seasons.

Beginning with deer, New York’s 2013 whitetail harvest pretty much mirrored that of 2012 and remains above average compared to the previous five years.

The total take was 243,567 deer, which is just a 0.3 percent increase over the 2012 take of 242,957. The overall buck take of 114,716, however, was actually down 3.6 percent, but the antlerless take was up almost 4 percent.

Muzzleloading hunters took 14,970 deer (58.8 percent were antlerless) in 2013, which was a 7 percent decrease from the 2012 figure of 16,104. The bow take was 36,676, which represents a 1.3 percent increase from 2012. Thirty-two percent of the bow take were antlerless deer, which like the same number for muzzleloading, is about average.

Here in the Northern Zone, hunters took only 101 more bucks (19,538) than the 2012 harvest of 19,437. The overall 2013 Northern Zone whitetail harvest of 32,369 is up from that of 2012, which was 30,843.

Getting back to the buck harvest, the regular big-game season resulted in 14,268 bucks, down more than 500 from 2012. The bow (1,255) and muzzleloader (3,733) harvests, however, were both up slightly for Northern Zone bucks.

Locally, Clinton County hunters took 801 deer, of which 590 were bucks, compared to 844 deer and 587 bucks in 2012. Ellenburg wins the “most deer” award in the county with 121 deer and 91 bucks.

In Essex County, the harvest was 1,609 deer, including 1,116 bucks. Both numbers are higher than the 2012 totals of 1,467 deer and 1,061 bucks. 

The harvests for nearby counties include the following buck/total numbers: Franklin, 1,108/1,634; Hamilton, 1,000/1,179; and Warren, 608/860. The Adirondack region in general saw a greater buck harvest than the previous year.


The DEC’s black bear harvest report once again reflects a record take in the Southern Zone, where bear numbers are high and hunting opportunities continue to expand.

In fact, expansion of bear hunting to all of upstate New York is under proposal and, if implemented, will surely result in a continuing rise in the black bear harvest by hunters.

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