Massachusetts Deer News

State considering measure to cull Blue Hills deer population July 27, 2014 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
...  local residents considered spraying deer’s necks for ticks with a USDA device that lures them with corn feed, but were told that the method would prove ineffective. [seesuccessful case studies of this approach] They discussed shipping the deer someplace else, but found the costs to be astronomical, and were advised that many deer do not survive such moves.  They even discussed forcibly giving the deer birth control, but such treatment would take multiple up-close dosages in a small time frame that proved nearly impossible. [see successful case studies for these approaches] ...

Milton, State considers plan to thin deer herd in Milton's Blue Hills July 21, 2014 Massachusetts, milton.wickedlocal.com 
... The Senate’s version of a $1.9 billion environmental bond bill includes Joyce’s provision to fund a program to cull the populations of hundreds of deer in the Blue Hills and on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  Joyce didn’t estimate how much the deer program would cost. It’s part of a $10 million portion for a range of spending...

Hingham to consider hunting regulations July 19, 2014 Massachusetts, Wicked Local Hingham
... The conservation commission will hold a public hearing Monday night [7 pm at Town Hall] on regulations that would reopen conservation areas to bow hunting. “We’re interested in hearing from everyone who has something to say on this,” ...

Joyce pushes for state to control deer in Blue Hills July 18, 2014 Massachusetts,  canton.wickedlocal.com 
... The legislation directs the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to develop and implement a plan to control deer populations in areas where they exceed 50 per square mile ... 

... The bill ... requiring state environmental officials to identify areas where deer overpopulation is harming forestation, water resources, or plant growth on state land and to develop a plan to cull deer herds by October, 2014...

Mother-kid couple of deer. Ipswich, MA - July 3, 2014



House vote revives Sunday hunting debate June 25, 2014 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
... The legislation would allow the state fisheries and wildlife director to permit deer hunting with a bow and arrow on Sundays from October through December, roughly during the archery season, which hits about the same time as peak foliage... Opponents say some nature enthusiasts plan outings for Sundays so they can avoid hunters...

Co-Infections Possible from Tick Bites June 24, 2014 Massachusetts,  Boston 
... New to this study, said co-author Felicia Keesing, is that the small mammals the ticks feed on also carry multiple infections... Ticks resort to feeding exclusively on small mammals when there aren’t larger animals, like raccoons or deer, to feast upon. ... scientists at Bard College, Sarah Lawrence College and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies...

Excellent season at Lake Ontario, Deer Hunting in Danger? June 23, 2014 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram & Gazette 
... The golden age of deer hunting may be coming to an end — at least in the Midwest. Global warming devastated hallowed whitetail destinations like Pike and Adams counties in Illinois last year. Drought concentrated deer at shrunken water sources, where dreadful diseases like blue tongue rapidly spread. The same scourge happened in eastern Montana ...

Antlerless deer permit allocations are steady this year June 21, 2014 Massachusetts, Berkshire Eagle
... Deer Project Leader David Stainbrook recommended few changes to the antlerless permit allocations for this year's deer hunting season ...  the deer density levels are at the desired levels or very close to them....

White-tailed Deer Harvests, 2013 Deer Season June 7, 2014 Massachusetts, Mass.gov
     Deer Project Leader, David Stainbrook, reports a total of 11,566 white-tailed deer harvested by licensed hunters during the combined 2013 hunting seasons.  By season, the total breaks down as follows: 6 deer taken during the special deer season for paraplegic sportsmen.  4,486 taken in the archery season. 4,609 taken during the shotgun season. 2,343 taken during the muzzleloading season. 122 deer harvested during the Quabbin Reservation hunt.  Link to full report.

Mass. House passes Sunday deer hunting bill June 5, 2014 Massachusetts,  MetroWest Daily News
... The House on Wednesday passed a bill partially lifting the state’s ban on Sunday hunting by allowing the use of bow and arrows during the last three months of year, which is deer hunting season....

... House Democrats are poised to bring forward legislation ... allowing the use of bow and arrows to hunt deer on Sundays during the last three months of year, which is deer hunting season... a 2007 survey done by Pacific Market Research that found 86 percent of Massachusetts residents would prefer to keep the ban in place...

Hingham, Responders free deer from metal fence April 7, 2014 Massachusetts, NECN 
... Authorities say the deer immediately ran away after being freed....

Weston, Update on deer hunting season in Weston April 4, 2014 Massachusetts, Wicked Local Weston
...  a total of 20 deer (13 does and seven bucks) killed on town conservation lands by 26 licensed bow and arrow hunters... Twenty-two additional deer were reported as harvested from private lands ...

Coyotes taking toll on area deer population March 31, 2014 Massachusetts, Telegram.com
... Hungry coyotes (we'd do better to call them coy-wolves) ... With so many reports of coyote predation this winter, it will be interesting to see how our white-tails rebound during the fawning season, when the largest number of deer are usually killed by the coy-wolves...

MassWildlife survey details state's hunting habits March 17, 2014 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram & Gazette 
...  In Central Mass.' Zone 9, hunters reported seeing an average of about nine deer during the entire archery season, seven during shotgun and six during primitive firearms... Zone 14 hunters in Nantucket averaged 17 sightings during archery, 19 during shotgun and 22 during primitive...

Sick deer part of herd feeding in yard March 17, 2013 Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune 
... one deer had what appeared to be a huge growth dangling from its face ... If the deer is suffering from fibromatosis, then according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is likely to survive ...

Maintaining animal populations can be complicated March 14, 2014 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... It's questionable whether wolf packs could sustain themselves here on relatively smaller whitetail deer — even if there were sufficiently vast habitat for them... Coyotes, which kill most of their deer here during the fawning season, can also be very successful when snow conditions impede deer ...

Upton, an antler search 'deer' to their hearts March 1, 2014 Massachusetts, Wicked Local 
...  Two local groups will search for newly shed deer antlers later this month to spur an appreciation of nature.  The event, called a "shed hunt," will be run by the Friends of the Upton State Forest and the town's Open Space Committee. Open to the public, the hunt is scheduled for March 30...

Help the Deer, Manage Your Dog February 15, 2014 Massachusetts, Athol Daily News, Sportsman's Corner
... The biggest thing you can do at this time is keep your dog from running loose. Most of us living in the North Quabbin region have whitetail deer close to our homes. A dog will instinctively chase deer and although the dog may not catch the deer any expenditure of energy reserves could be detrimental to a deer surviving.  ...

Deer harvest increases in 2013 February 14, 2014 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... harvest of 11,413 was 4 percent higher than in 2012. The archery kill actually was up 15 percent from last year.... Most of the state now has ideal numbers of deer... Cape Cod's Zone 12 had a total harvest of only 225 deer. Extreme development, lack of good cover and nutrition, as well as a killing grid of roadways there keeps the herd small. 

February 12 - 1935: The day the deer hunt ended February 12, 2014 Massachusetts, Cape Cod Today 
... On this day in 1935 as reported by the Fitchburg Sentinel ... Hunters' guns, which have re-echoed throughout this quiet island since daybreak yesterday in what Nantucketers described as the slaughter of tame deer, were silenced by gubernatorial edict at noon today and the tabulation of the slain herd was begun by game wardens...

Preliminary results are in for recent deer season February 8, 2014 Massachusetts, BerkshireEagle.com
... Although preliminary, this figure is up 4 percent from last year's total harvest. The harvest figures for the previous four years, beginning with 2009, were as follows: 10,381, 10,699, 11,081 and 10,938... A complete harvest summary will be posted on the DFW website shortly ...


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Massachusetts Data: Between 85,000 and 95,000 deer in the state according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.  Deer have 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.  About 8500 coyotes in the state.
    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

- Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game News

Other useful links:
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation 
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
- Weston Deer Friends
Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game

Deer Management Strategy: White-tailed deer are managed in Massachusetts as a valuable natural resource. As such, MassWildlife sets deer density goals below human tolerance limits. If deer densities exceed human tolerance, people tend to label deer as pests. This attitude is contrary to MassWildlife's mission of wildlife conservation. 


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