May 5, 2013

Big-game news, stats: most 2012 numbers up

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation took a little more time than usual to release the harvest statistics from the 2012 deer season. But, they’re out there now along with the bear harvest numbers released in March.

Both sets of data come with some very informative reports and I encourage you to visit DEC’s website at for a solid look at them.

For now, here’s a glance.

New York deer hunters harvested approximately 242,957 whitetails last season, up 6 percent from the 2011 harvest of 228,359.

In the northern zone, 30,843 deer were taken with 19,437 of them being bucks. Both numbers are greater than the 2011 harvest that totaled 26,814 total with 15,899 bucks. The regular season accounted for 14,793 total deer with archers taking 2,033 and muzzleloading hunters taking 8,190.

More than 5,800 were taken in areas where antlerless deer (DMP) and deer management assistance (DMAP, nuisance) permits are issued.

Down in the southern tier, there were 209,459 total deer taken with 98,571 being bucks. More than 97,000 southern zone deer were tagged with antlerless deer or deer management assistance permits; 70,845 whitetails were taken during the regular season.

While these numbers are up from 2011, the archery take of 33,171 and the muzzleloading take of 7,914 were both slightly lower than the previous year.

Statewide, crossbow hunters took 438 deer compared to 491 in 2011 and the first ever youth deer hunt accounted for 1,411 deer.

Locally, Clinton County hunters took 844 whitetails, including 587 bucks. The most productive town in the county was Clinton with 118 deer including 86 bucks. The Essex County harvest totaled 1,467 (1,061 bucks) with Keene leading the harvest with 166 deer, including 115 bucks. Other nearby county harvests include: Franklin, 1,634/1,108; Hamilton, 1,022/867; and Warren, 831/642.

The statewide harvest of 1,337 black bears ranks third overall, lagging only behind the 2003 harvest of 1,864 and that of 2009 when 1,409 bears were taken.

The harvest for 2012 was slightly above 2011, which was 1,258. After a dismal 2011 harvest of only 275 black bears, things got back to normal in the Adirondack range where 606 bears were taken. That’s slightly above the five-year average of 547 and the historical average of 515.

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