Last week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation published the harvest numbers from the 2018 deer hunting seasons.
Both the overall statewide harvest and that of the Northern Zone were both up from 2017.
Statewide, 227,787 whitetails were taken by hunters in 2018, up 12-percent from 203,427 in 2017.
The buck (adult male) harvest was up about 9.5 percent as 113,385 bucks were taken last year compared to 107,804 in 2017.
The Northern Zone figures mirrored the overall harvest, and then some.
The overall harvest of 28,642 in 2018 is about 12.5 percent higher than 25,235 in 2017.
The buck harvest, however, was only up about 6.5 percent going from 18,074 in 2017 to 19,041.
The Northern Zone antlerless deer harvest of 9,601 last year rose from 7,277 in 2017.
Locally, Clinton County hunters did well last season, taking 1,002 bucks and a total of 1,330 whitetails. That’s up from 685 and 851 in 2017.
Altona, Mooers and Saranac all had triple-digit harvest figures of both bucks and does, which wasn’t the case for any Clinton County town in 2017.
In Essex County, which is entirely in the Adirondacks, both the buck and doe harvests were up slightly. Essex County hunters took 1,213 bucks.
Franklin County hunters took 1,281 bucks, which was also a slight increase.
Numbers in Hamilton and Warren Counties were also up slightly. St. Lawrence County, however, saw a slight decrease in their harvest.
A few other numbers of note to share include a nearly 8 percent drop in the statewide crossbow harvest, which was 10,829, and a 9.6 percent increase in the youth deer hunt figures, which accounted for 1,025 deer.
Six hundred and six of those were bucks.
One could go on and on in analyzing the numbers. Take a look at the recently issued report at http://www.dec.ny.gov.
DEC has been touting the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).
More than 600 students from 32 New York schools participated in the statewide tournament held last month in Syracuse.
These included students from Tupper Lake, Schroon Lake and also Johnsburg down in Warren County.
The winners have the opportunity to head to the Nationals being held in Louisville, Kentucky, in May.
Congratulations are in order to Dawson Dezalia of Schroon Lake Central School, a tenth grader who finished third overall out of 291 boys.
Jacob Hafner, an 11th grader, finished ninth overall, while Kayla Cirigliano, also a high school junior, finished 13th overall out of 251 girls in the state tournament.
Scott Patton, a seventh grader from Johnsburg Central School finished 64th overall, and seventh among 37 other seventh graders.
Ava Cuttaia, a junior from Tupper Lake, placed 19th amongst high school girls.
Again, congrats to these kids and all who participated in this program. That includes the students, their coaches and the school districts and communities who support them.
Like the New York State High School Clay Target League that continues to grow, it’s great to see programs like NASP involving youth in shooting sports where they learn discipline and self-confidence.
This will be a fantastic experience for the kids who are heading to the nationals. Not only from around here, but from all over the country.
More than 4 million students participate nationally in this program, which has grown by 20 percent in New York just since last year. All because of a stick and a string.
Full results of the state tournament can be found here: nasptournaments.org.
STILL TALKING ICE FISHING
What an ice fishing season it was and once again, especially for the Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club’s annual fishing tournament held the first week of March.
More than 400 anglers took part and brought some dandy fish to the scales from this multi-tiered fishery.
The tournament is so popular that even U.S. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik dropped in on Saturday’s events.
Among the lunkers caught was Dawson Miletich’s first place northern pike that tipped the scales at 21.86 pounds and measured 43 inches.
With the ice on its way out, it’s time now for area sportsmen to turn their interest to trout and turkeys.
Dan Ladd is the author of “Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks,” outdoors editor for the Glens Falls Chronicle, columnist for Outdoors Magazine and contributor to New York Outdoor News. Contact him at www.ADKhunter.com.