Massachusetts Deer News

Deer numbers in for Massachusetts February 7, 2016 Lowell Sun
... The Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife is reporting a statewide harvest of 10,042 deer for the 2015 season... The Quabbin hunt was not included in the statistics ... 
     A look at why deer harvest was down in 2015 February 6, 2016 Massachusetts, South Coast Today 
... This year’s total supports the continuing trend toward lower harvests in recent years ... In its report, MassWildlife attributes the above average temperatures ... Hunters I’ve spoken to, in addition to my own experience this past year, paint a somewhat different picture of why the deer harvest is low, the theory being is that the deer numbers were just plain down in most areas this past season...

Deer saved after falling in icy cranberry bog January 22, 2016 Massachuseetts, WCVB Boston
... After resting on the shoreline for several minutes, the deer fled into the woods with what appeared to be only minor injuries ...

Deer Freed After Being Kept as Illegal Pet in East Boston Home January 14, 2016 Massachusetts, Boston Magazine
... the homeowner in question has not been charged with any wrongdoing because of an opening in their backyard fence. Investigators believe the opening allowed the deer access to the wild at anytime...  relocation of the deer to an undisclosed state forest location ...

Blue Hills, As I See It: Science tackles deer problem January 9, 2016, Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Dr. Allen Rutberg
... our research group darted the first free-roaming deer with contraceptives on Fire Island, New York, in 1993 ... According to Mr. Blazis' column, the 50 percent deer-population reduction we accomplished in five years at our study site at Fripp Island, South Carolina, took too long and didn’t get the job done.... We did get the job done, in a reasonable amount of time: Five years is also the time that the state Department of Conservation and Recreation targets to accomplish a 50 percent deer-population reduction at Blue Hills using a 3-5 day shotgun hunt...

Lanesborough Fire dept rescue a deer that was stuck on Pontoosuc Lake in Lanesborogh MA The rescue took place off of Narragansett Ave. Two firefighter in rescue suit went out about 150 feet in to the lake and rescue the deer. When the deer got to shore it bolted back in the woods. - January 6, 2016


Mutilated bear, deer carcasses found along Connecticut River in Northampton December 22, 2015 Massachusetts, Mass Live The Republican
... MassachusettsEnvironmental Police are investigating after the carcasses of two deer and a black bear were found along the banks of theConnecticut River in the Northampton meadows ... the animals had been thrown over the steep riverbank ...

Blue Hills deer hunt was safe and effective, officials say December 15, 2015 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
... Protesters had questioned the accuracy of the state's population estimates, which are based on a 2013 survey, and some said last winter's harshness could have naturally reduced the deer population, rendering the hunt unnecessary.  “They have no way of knowing what the effect has been,” said Steve Rayshick ...

Blue Hills, What was the final number of deer killed in the four-day Blue Hills controlled hunt? December 9, 2015 Massachusetts, Mass Live The Republican
... A total of 64 deer were killed during a four-day hunt   ... The agency added: “... attempting to solve Lyme disease or reduce contraction rates is not a primary goal of DCR’s deer management plan for the Blue Hills...

Martha's Vineyard Airport runways closed for deer hunt Tuesday December 8, 2015 Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard Times
... 16 hunters dressed in blaze orange gathered at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport to take on the job of eliminating a small herd of deer within the confines of the airport perimeter fence that pose a hazard to aviation...

Blue Hills, To Reduce Deer Population, Hunters Return To The Blue Hills Reservation December 6, 2015 Massachusetts, WBUR 
... “I enjoy hunting,” Vacher says. “It’s really probably my favorite thing to do... I shot the first deer in this woods in 122 years ... I was the lucky first one.” ...“What you create is basically a cycle of culling [says Laura Hagen] ... 

Couple Films Deer Swimming Onto Nantucket Beach December 2, 2015 Massachusetts, CBSBoston 
... walking along Nantucket’s Tom Nevers Beach when they spied the deer swimming in the surf...

Blue Hills, 2 charged with disrupting Blue Hills deer hunt December 2, 2015 Massachusetts, My Fox Boston
...  They called their arrests a misunderstanding and said they were merely whistling so hunters would not mistake them for deer...

Blue Hills, How many deer were killed in the Blue Hills State Reservation controlled hunt on Tuesday? December 2, 2015 Massachusetts, Mass Live The Republican
... Fifteen deer were killed on Tuesday ... adds to the 26 that were killed on Monday, bringing the total to 41 deer ...

Blue Hills, 26 deer were killed on opening day of the Blue Hills hunt December 1, 2015 Massachusetts, Boston
... "This is like a once-in-a-lifetime thing in this state," Powling, a hunter who drove in from Dracut ... The protestors, however, said they don’t believe what state officials have told them. They said they think the deer count from 2013 was inflated and that the animals’ role in spreading Lyme disease has been exaggerated...

Blue Hills, 2 dozen deer killed on opening day of Blue Hills hunt November 30, 2015 Massachusetts, The Boston Globe
...  first deer hunt in the 122-year history of the state park was underway, and more than 80 shotgun-wielding woodsmen had converged on Blue Hills from across New England ... Animal rights activists also came ... in solemn protest of the hunt, which they described as a slaughter of innocent creatures...

Blue Hills, Animal activists try to stop Blue Hills deer hunt November 30, 2015 Massachusetts, Boston Herald
... Retired environmental scientist Helen Rayshick of Barre, one of the Friends of the Blue Hills Deer who took part in yesterday’s protest, said the woodland creatures are so accustomed to people, the state’s “controlled” hunt today, tomorrow and again next week will be more “like a canned hunt ... they’re going to decimate the deer, collapse the population.” ...

Deer hunters take aim from now to Dec. 31 November 29, 2015 Massachusets, Lowell Sun
... Mass Wildlife has been buying land almost every month and that opens up hunting opportunities ... There are now over 100,000 acres of Wildlife Management Land and another 150,000 acres of DCR land that is open to sportsmen... 

Wild land does have value November 26, 2015 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... Our Habitat Management Program is offering $300,000 in grants to support improvement of habitat for game and species of greatest conservation needs. Priority will be given to proposals that help state-threatened and state-endangered species, or expand public recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing and trapping...

Blue Hills, Preventing a Blue Hills massacre November 25, 2015 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... Wildlife officials seem to view the deer as so much trash to be cleared from the Blue Hills trails. But deer are not trash. They are conscious, feeling beings, individuals possessing emotions, memories, and preferences... authors of the state’s euphemistically named "Deer Management Plan" dismiss nonviolent alternatives as "expensive and complex." In other words, the lives of deer just aren’t worth the bother...

Two-week shotgun season for deer begins Monday November 24, 2015 Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard Times
... Hunting is prohibited within 500 feet of any occupied dwelling or building without the authorization of the occupant or owner, and 150 feet from hard-surfaced roadways. Hunters must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange on the back, chest, and head...

Supporters, foes lock horns on Sunday hunting ban November 21, 2015 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... Opponents of Sunday hunting, citing the benefits of one day a week in the woods without a chance encounter with a hunter, vow to redouble efforts to keep the ban in place.  Hunters maintain they have a right to benefit from the thousands of acres of wildlife habitat managed by MassWildlife ...

Blue Hills, Opposition groups unite to protest Blue Hills deer hunt November 20, 2015 Massachusetts, Canton Citizen
... The opponents, who are calling themselves the Friends of Blue Hills Deer, have held public demonstrations at the steps of the State House as well as at the entrance to the reservation in Canton near Blue Hill River Road, displaying signs with messages such as “Stop the Slaughter” and “Contraceptives not Cruelty.” ...

Fewer deer spotted this season November 16, 2015 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... There’s much local speculation about this year’s deer population.
Numerous hunters are telling me they’re spending many days afield without a single sighting. They’re also complaining that they’re capturing fewer deer on their trail cameras... Doherty claims deer numbers have been steadily going down despite MassWildlife’s perennial large harvest numbers...

Should Massachusetts moose roam free? November 11, 2015 MassLive.com
... DeStefano, who is based at UMass Amherst, estimated that Massachusetts has between 1,000 and 2,000 moose... the greatest concentrations of moose are in northern Worcester County and the southern Berkshires, although they are present throughout much of central and Western Massachusetts...

Blue Hills, Friends of Blue Hills Deer demonstrate in Canton November 7, 2015 Massachusetts, Enterprise News
... Geri Matteson of Quincy hikes an average of 11 miles through the Blue Hills State Reservation four times a week, but has yet to see a deer this year... “There hasn’t been hunting in the area for a century, so why is it a problem now?”...

Demonstrators gathered in Canton Saturday to protest the decision to allow a deer hunt in the Blue Hills Reservation. November 8, 2015 Massachusetts


Blue Hills, Foes of Blue Hills deer hunt to hold rally on Saturday November 6, 2015 Massachusetts, milton.wickedlocal.com
... The group cites concern for the deer, public safety fears, questions about the validity of studies backing the hunt, misleading information about Lyme disease and deer and inadequate consideration of alternatives to hunting...

Deer hunting season underway in Massachusetts October 24, 2015 Milford Daily News 
... estimated 85,000 to 95,000 deer today. Growth came largely in central and western Massachusetts ...  the wildlife management zone that encompasses Framingham – stretching east to Boston and north to New Hampshire – saw some of the heaviest hunting activity last year ...

Braintree developing plan for deer hunt October 23, 2015 Massachusetts, WCVB
... “Our goal is to develop a comprehensive proposal to cull or thin the current deer herd,”  ... the deer population is estimated at between 15 to 25 per square mile, and they are eating up vegetation so quickly that it can’t be replaced... [a U.S. Forest Service study estimates optimal deer density for forest regeneration at 15 to 28 deer per square mile, reducing deer populations to low levels allows too much underbrush to develop]

Massachusetts Data:  More than 95,000 deer in the state in 2014 and 2015 according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife although there was a hard 2014-15 winter.  Some hunters attribute the trend in lower deer harvests since 2002 to fewer deer altough the state has attributed some of the decline to weather conditions during hunting season. 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
     Moose, between 1,000 and 2,000 in 2015, concentrated in northern Worcester County and the southern Berkshires. No moose hunting
Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game 
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