Massachusetts Deer:  The deer population is estimated at about 95,000 in eary 2018, 100,000 in 2017, and 90,000 in 2015.  The population has been trending lower since 2002, but rebounded some in 2016.  About 50,000 deer in the 1990's.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Massachusetts deer hunting data and news archive

Massachusetts Deer News

The deer had been struck, and the driver brought it to the animal wildlife center in Weymouth for medical attention. - May 10, 2018 Massachusetts


Are these roads death traps for deer, bears, and other wildlife? April 6, 2018 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
... In Massachusetts, the estimated number of vehicle collisions with deer alone has ranged from about 7,500 to 10,750 annually in recent years ... “We’re going to see if there’s something on the ground where it warrants signage or some other measure,” ...

Middleboro, Selectmen unanimous in support for extending deer archery season March 21, 2018, Massachusetts, SouthCoastToday.com
... “Because Middleboro has five wildlife management areas, a lot of people come to Middleboro to hunt, they buy coffee, they buy donuts, they buy food, they buy outfitting — at Reedy’s Archery. It’s good for tourism, it’s good for the businesses in town, it’s good for the deer population ...

  Deer Freed After Spending Weeks With Chicken Feeder Stuck Around Neck March 12, 2018, Massachusetts, CBS Boston / WBZ
...  On Sunday night, they were finally able to track her down and stop her long enough to remove the feeder...

Extended archery deer hunting season proposed February 21, 2018 Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger
... State wildlife officials are considering a plan which would add two weeks to the archery hunting season for deer in the eastern part of the state...

Mass. has record deer harvest in 2017 February 5, 2018 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... Statewide, the deer herd is estimated at 95,000 and MassWildlife’s management goal is a deer density of 10 to 15 deer per square mile... the 2015 season saw a harvest decline, most likely related to warm weather that season and an abundance of food... [Marion Larson, chief of information and education at MassWildlife] ..,

State says 2017 deer harvest was the largest on record February 4, 2018 Massachusetts, Newcanaannewsonline
... State wildlife officials say last year's preliminary statewide deer harvest was 13,220 ...
... harvest was 13,220 ... about 3,600 more male deer taken than female...

State considers extended deer hunting season for archers February 2, 2018 Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard Times
... The current archery deer season in Massachusetts opens six weeks before Thanksgiving and closes the Saturday after the holiday. The proposed change would open the archery season in Wildlife Management Zones 10-14, eight weeks before Thanksgiving...

Deer overpopulation remains a contentious topic at BU January 2, 2018 New York, Press & Sun-Bulletin
... Six years ago BU was only a few days away from a deer cull during its winter break that would have killed 90 percent of the campus’ deer ... A lawsuit from a nearby Vestal resident and an animal-rights group led to a New York Supreme Court ruling in January 2012 that stopped the cull until the university prepared an environmental impact statement...Since then, there’s been no movement on the issue...

Despite dramatic rescue, deer dies after falling through ice in Wakefield December 28, 2017, Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
... A deer in Wakefield was euthanized after it fell through the ice and broke its leg on Crystal Lake, despite a dramatic rescue by first responders ... we put it on a sled and got it to shore ...

Blue Hills, Annual Blue Hills deer hunt kills 67 animals December 19, 2017 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
... Hunters killed 67 deer -- 10 by bow and arrow and 57 by shotgun -- in the third annual Blue Hills Reservation hunt authorized by the state ...  42 -- were females ...

First deer and a hunting partner for life December 4, 2017 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... If you think there are fewer deer around than there used to be just a few years ago, that might be because their numbers from Central Massachusetts west, according to Deer Project leader David Stainbrook, are right where there supposed to be — “in the desirable range of 6-18 per square mile.” ..,

Leyden mulls over proposed hunting restriction bylaw December 4, 2017 Massachusetts, The Recorder
... The proposed bylaw, placed on the Jan. 15 town meeting agenda, would require hunters to get written permission from landowners or government officials before firing a weapon on private or public land.  If approved, offenders would be fined $200 per violation ...

Coyote population saturates Massachusetts December 1, 2017 Wicked Local Cambridge
... Once completely foreign to Massachusetts ... They started to colonize this state in the 1950s ...DNA profile is roughly 60 percent western coyote, 30 percent wolf and 10 percent dog ... Sources of food include ... the occasional, deer ..,

Hunters see fewer deer in areas hard-hit by gypsy moths December 1, 2017 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... of the four Quabbin zones being hunted this year, Prescott had the fewest doe permits, a means of building up the herd on the 11-mile long peninsula.  Some hunters at the checking station suggested that the state Department of Conservation and Recreation simply stop the Quabbin hunt for several years ...

Shotgun deer hunting season opens Monday November 25, 2017 Massachusetts, Berkshire Eagle
... MassWildlife estimates that there are more than 100,000 deer across the state...  if you harvest a deer during the first week of shotgun hunting season, you must bring it to a check station to allow biologists to collect important data needed for deer management..,

More deer killed on the roads than in the woods November 18, 2017 Massachusetts, Lowell Sun
... the deer population close to 100,000 ... on our roadways... It is estimated that 2500-plus animals will meet their demise in just a few short weeks known as the rut..,

Shotgun deer season about to open on the North Shore November 15, 2017 Massachusetts, Gloucester Daily Times
... Last year there were a total of 12,249 deer harvested state wide with 4,656 by bow, 4,920 by shotgun, and muzzle loaders taking 2,535.  Of that number there were 7,043 bucks, 4,194 does, and 1,012 button bucks harvested...

Expanded deer hunt approved in Blue Hills  September 8, 2017 Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger
... Now in it’s third year, the hunt will be limited to 75 bow hunters and 262 shotgun hunters.  In the first two years of the hunt, a total of 122 deer have been killed...

Third deer hunt in Blue Hills draws opposition August 23, 2017 Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger
... “Last year, we had a series of gunshots close to our house, ... All we need is one bad shot.” ... The lone speaker in favor of the hunt was Paul Johnson of the Plymouth County League of Sportsmen...

State to hold public meeting on Blue Hills deer hunt August 15, 2017 Massachusetts, Wicked Local Stoughton
... DCR and DFW have issued a single report outlining the logistics, operations, and harvest results of last year’s controlled hunt; the results of deer abundance surveying conducted earlier this year, and the proposed Deer Management Plan for 2017.  [More information ... The full report]

Blue Hills State Reservation Proposed 2017 Deer Management Plan August 9, 2017 Massachusetts, Mass. Department of Conservation a­nd Recreation
     At this public meeting, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFW) will provide an overview of outcomes from the 2016 Deer Management Program, review findings from deer abundance surveying conducted in early 2017, and provide information on the proposed Deer Management Plan for 2017...

 

... In WMZ 1-9, the deer numbers have been kept relatively stable over the past 30 years, but in the eastern zones, deer numbers have gone from very low (rare to see a deer in some areas), to quite abundant... WMZs 1-9 .... are exhibiting a balanced age structure...

The battle aqainst bloodsuckers begins July 23, 2017 Massachusetts, 
MetroWest Daily News
... despite the name “deer tick,” ticks rely relatively heavily on mice ... ticks will survive on any mammal.  “Deer get picked on because they named it the deer tick,” Weston Public Health Director Wendy Diotalevi said. “If you took out every deer in all of New England, that tick would survive because it would become the raccoon tick, or the bunny tick.” ... don’t expect hunting to put any noticeable dent in ... the associated Lyme disease cases...

Leave Baby Deer Alone, Wildlife Officials Warn May 23, 2017 Massachusetts, CBS Boston / WBZ
... It’s actually normal for mother does to leave their newborn deer alone for about six to eight hours at a time, biologists say. Their instinct is to remain motionless and let danger pass...

Bill would lift ban on Sunday hunting May 20, 2017 Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger
... t the bill would expand the authority of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to allow Sunday bow hunting as it sees fit... could be limited to only certain areas or it could be allowed statewide...

Lynn Woods Reservation is a 2,200-acre municipal forest park located in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts - April 30, 2017


...  tree at Look Park fell and left an escape route open in one of the enclosures that hold two deer...  even with the high-tech assistance of the drone’s all-seeing eye, the deer remained at large, their location unknown ...
      1 deer found, 1 remains on the loose from Look Memorial Park April 8, 2017 Massachusetts, WesternMassNews.com
... one of the deer returned to the park on Saturday but one is still missing ...
    Deer who made a break from Look Park are back home April 10, 2017 Massachusetts, WesternMassNews.com
... "One of the little deers was kissing the other ones through the fence because it wanted to get back inside because it was afraid of being out here," 

  Deer rescued from tight spot in Foxboro March 28, 2017 Massachusetts, The Sun Chronicle
... A deer that got stuck between two tight-spaced fences and landed upside down had to be rescued Monday by the Animal Rescue League of Boston...

2016 deer harvest appears strong February 5, 2017 Massachusetts, MassLive.com
... the preliminary statewide deer harvest for 2016 is 12,233... The harvest was likely low in 2015 due to unseasonably warm weather, lack of snow, and an abundance of food...

Preliminary deer hunt report, The bears are coming out of the woods January 21, 2917 Massachusetts, Lowell Sun
... The Massachusetts deer season is in the books and it looks like it was a better one than a year ago. The final number will be out in mid-February but it looks like some 11,000 whitetail were taken...

Deer crashes through window of Lowell store, released into wild January 14, 2017 Massachusetts, Lowell Sun
... officers from the Massachusetts Environmental Police who tranquilized the deer inside the store ... already en route to an undisclosed wooded area to be safely released back into the wild on Saturday night...

Coyotes are everywhere, but easily scared December 21, 2016 Massachusetts, Berkshire Eagle
... roughly 10,000 coyotes living in Massachusetts, according to figures provided by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife ... about 500,000 coyotes are killed every year by hunters in the U.S., but their population levels "remain pretty much the same."...

Blue Hills, Residents who oppose Blue Hills deer hunt deliver petition to Gov. Baker December 6, 2016 Massachusetts, Metro.us
... collected more than 1,000 signatures from residents and hikers at Blue Hills for the petition. They argue that estimates of the deer population are inaccurate...

A deer hunt has been allowed at the reservation, located near Boston, for the second time. - December 6, 2016 Massashusetts

Stop the Blue Hills deer hunts November 30, 2016 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
... Despite strong opposition from hikers, abutters, animal-protection and public-safety advocates, and even some hunters, DCR, after a process that scrimped on transparency and public input, pushed stubbornly ahead with its plan...DCR claimed deer were so abundant that up to 600 could be killed during the four-day hunt. What a surprise, then, when only 64 deer were felled...

Estimating the deer population in the Blue Hills - Massachusetts

     Blue Hills, Deer hunt opens at Blue Hills Reservation November 30, 2016 Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger
... Friends of the Blue Hills Deer lead organizer Cynthia Haigh said she believes that the hunt was organized by the Department of Conservation and Recreation to promote hunting for the department’s own benefit... Haigh said that the department dismissed other, non-lethal alternatives despite those alternatives being less expensive...

Residents, Town Officials Rescue Young Deer Mired In Mud November 23, 2016 Massachusetts, CapeNews.net
... A juvenile white-tailed deer that was trapped in the mud of Wild Harbor River is now running free ... The area is a quagmire for the unsuspecting traveler, allowing lightweight children to cross or play in the mud but sucking in heavier persons or animals...

Bedford residents react to a deer of many colors  November 21, 2016 Massachusetts, 
concord.wickedlocal.com
... thought the animal was cow, because it's almost all white, with a few spots. But after further observation, he concluded it was a deer ...

Archers ready for peak of the rut November 10, 2016 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... Today is the peak of the rut... about 8,000 other deer annually killed by vehicles on Massachusetts highways. That carnage is almost equal to our annual hunter harvest of about 10,000... 

Blue Hills, Protesters in Canton condemn second Blue Hills deer hunt November 6, 2016 Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger
... Members of Friends of the Blue Hills Deer said there is insufficient scientific evidence to substantiate the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s assertion that deer overpopulation is damaging the forest.... the cost to taxpayers for the killing of one deer is more than $2,300...

Coyotes are nearby October 30, 2016 Massachusetts, Wicked Local Westborough
... [coyotes] traveled eastward via the wilds of Canada, moving from Michigan and Minnesota through the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and crossing the frozen St. Lawrence River. Coyotes arrived in New York in the 1920s and 1930s, in Vermont in the 1940s, and in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 1950s. By the 1980s, coyotes were living throughout Massachusetts...

Sheriff's deputy lassoes deer swimming off Falmouth October 28, 2016 Massachusetts, capecodtimes.com
... A Barnstable County sheriff’s deputy was able to lasso a deer and pull it to safety from deep water off Falmouth Heights Beach ...

Blue Hills, Deer management program approved for this fall October 9, 2016 Massachusetts, SouthCoastToday.com
... We are disappointed that the DCR is moving forward with this hunt, especially given the numerous concerns by residents and others about safety, as well as questions about the flaws in the deer population data upon which this decision is being based. Running last year's hunt cost the state and municipalities at least $2,300 per deer ...
     Blue Hills, Hunters Will Get to Kill Deer in the Blue Hills Reservation Again This Year October 7, 2016 Boston Magazine
... Last year’s hunt was the reservation’s first since 1893... Friends of the Blue Hills Deer, a group that opposed the decision to allow hunting in the forest, has again been arguing against killing the animals, and has also been posting to its Facebook page about the series of scandals involving the state’s office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, of which the DCR is a part...
... Similar to last year’s controlled hunt, only licensed shotgun hunters selected through a random lottery will participate in the controlled hunt...  public access will not be restricted during the deer management hunt ...

Survey Shows Strong Support for Culling Island Deer Herd September 15, 2016 Massachuseetts, The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News
... according to a newly-released community survey in which 79 per cent of respondents said they would support a significant reduction of the Island’s deer herd to address the problem... “I answered ‘yes’ but with the caveat that a very carefully vetted analysis be done by qualified scientists as to the number of deer which could be safely culled so as to not permanently degrade the viability of deer on the Island,” wrote one respondent...

Fawn Rescued After Falling 25 Feet Into Treatment Plant Pit September 9, 2016 Massachusetts, CBSBoston
... Authorities got into the pit and were able to corral the deer, throw a tarp over it, and hoist it out of the pit... bounded away ...


Massachusetts Data:  An estimate of about 95,000 deer in early 2018 and 100,000 deer in 2017, up from about 90,000 deer (85,000 to 95,000) in 2015.  Population growth in the central and western regions.   A hard 2014-15 winter reduced survival.   Some hunters attribute the trend in lower deer harvests since 2002 to fewer deer although the state has attributed some of the decline to weather conditions during hunting season. Deer had been on the decline in the western part of the state and the WDFW issued fewer antlerless deer permits in 2013 with about the same number issues for 2014.   From 30 to 50 percent of the fawns die each year, 20 to 35 percent killed by predators.  Coyotes take about 25 percent of all fawns.  
    Overall, deer numbers are near target levels - below target in the West, but above target in the East near the New York border and east to Ashby and Westminster.  Deer numbers are very low in Cape Cod as a result of extensive development, lack of good habitat and nutrition, and deer-vehicle collisions.  Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket have higher deer densities. Hunting Statistics
     The deer population that had reached a low of 5,000 around the year 1900, rebounded to 10,000 to 15,000 by 1908.  Hunters registered for the first time in 1909.  About 50,000 deer in the 1990's.

     Moose, between 1,000 and 2,000 in 2015, concentrated in northern Worcester County and the southern Berkshires. No moose hunting
     Coyotes, about 8,500 are not native, arrived in the 1950s.

Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game 
- Weston Deer Friends


State Police clear Nantasket Beach because of a deer swimming nearby. May 29, 2016