New York Deer:  A mild 2015-16 winter increased populations into 2016, an estimated 900,000 deer pre-hunt.   An estimated 680,000 deer in 2015 post-hunt, 880,000 pre-hunt.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical New York deer hunting data and news archive.

New York Deer News

Southold Town hires new wildlife manager February 18, 2017 New York, Suffolk Times
... begun reviewing deer management plan ... will also head out into the field to monitor spots where issues with deer have been reported... will work with Stony Brook University students to conduct a count of the number of deer in the town ...

Act now to save white deer February 14, 2017 New York, Finger Lakes Times
... former Seneca Army Depot land and its ever dwindling herd of white deer. ... The once 200-plus herd of white deer has now dwindled to less than half, the lowest census ...  the inflated Army appraisal of the land will take a year or more of paperwork to rectify ...

Fayetteville, Neighborhood next to city of Syracuse to use federal sharpshooters to kill deer February 8, 2017 New York, Syracuse.com
... Federal sharpshooters are being hired to kill deer on selected properties in the Winkworth neighborhood ...  the county approved an estimated $16,000 for the USDA contract ...

Mamaroneck, Drones Fly Over Sound Shore To Hunt Down Accurate Deer Population Count February 8, 2017 New York, Mount Pleasant Daily Voice
... concerned about the overpopulation of deer in their   ...Williams said one wildlife biologist's "pellet count" method estimated there were 74 deer per quarter square mile which "translates to 1,800 deer in Mamaroneck! This was an absurd figure. . . The estimate only supports the belief that deer populations are inflated to encourage hunting activity." ...

  Staten Island a hunting ground for elusive deer poachers February 3, 2017 New York, SILive.com
... Staten Island has become a hunting ground for deer poachers, but only one has ever been caught... DEC encourages members of the public to report poachers by using DEC's toll-free 24 hour hotline 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267)  ... see a map of where dead deer have been found

Fayetteville, Sharpshooters ready to start second year of Fayetteville deer hunt January 23, 2017 New York, Syracuse.com
... The U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters started their preparations shortly before Christmas ... Village Clerk Lorrie Corsette reminded people that village parks are closed from dusk until dawn...

Hudson Valley Man Charged for 'humanely' Killing Deer Hit By Car January 17, 2017 New York, Hudson Valley Post
... The unnamed man admitted to shooting the deer with his .380 pistol to “humanely end its life,” ...

Avon loses protected Piebald Deer to car January 19, 2017 New York, News 10NBC
... A deer that hunters vowed not to shoot was killed by a passing car ... The piebald doe was seen many times ...

Beware of deer hunting this month in areas around Ithaca January 16, 2017 New York, 14850.com
... a deer management focus area “to enable intensive management of over-abundant deer populations” in areas around New York, including Ithaca and Tompkins County... 

  Deer stuck on Oneida Lake rescued by local fire crews January 15, 2017 New York, CNY Central
... Three men from the fire department arrived ... grab the deer using a rope in order to hoist the animal up ...

Double standard for dumping dead deer January 14, 2017 New York, SILive.com
... resident Tom Puma found the state's mass deer grave  ...  completely shocked and saddened ... The DEC told us that no laws or regulations were broken ... But it's illegal for private citizens ...

DEC officials don't support revising deer muzzleloader season January 10, 2017 New York, WatertownDailyTimes.com
... Legislator David W. Forsythe, R-Lisbon, has argued that the schedule should be reversed so doe can’t be harvested in December, when they are more likely to be pregnant with two or more deer. The switch would allow doe to be harvested during the fall muzzleloader season, when they are less likely to be pregnant...

Case exposes rift over caring for deer January 8, 2017 New York, Lexington Herald Leader
... Recent guidelines by New York state officials mandating limited intervention by wildlife "rehabilitators" stirred heated debate and a lawsuit even before last month's case of the white-tailed buck that became a celebrity for about two weeks when it appeared in Harlem's Jackie Robinson Park...

In New York: Somebody Really Shot And Killed A Deer, Then Threw It In The Trash! - January 6, 2017


Southold, Deer With Plastic Pumpkin Stuck On Head Rescued by Town January 6, 2017 New York , Patch
... deer swimming with a plastic pumpkin stuck on its head ...   "The irony is that our DPW chief, who's in charge of townwide deer reduction, was wrestling with the deer, to get the pumpkin off its head ...

... With no leads, Deerpark PD then put out a request on their Facebook page asking for the public's assistance with the case.  "Multiple credible tips came in to Facebook ... 

Staten Island deer vasectomies continuing through March January 3, 2017 New York, SILive.com
... So far 540 bucks have gotten vasectomies through the city's plan to cut down Staten Island's white-tailed herd. That's already more than the 527 male and female deer the city counted during the most recent arial survey of the herd last year ... For the plan to work, at least 90 percent of male deer on Staten Island have to get vasectomies...

Rehabilitators hope new DEC regs will be more lenient December 29, 2016 New York, The Altamont Enterprise
... The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued new rules at the beginning of this year for wildlife rehabilitators, drastically limiting their ability to care for injured adult white-tailed deer and placing some — less dramatic — restrictions on their ability to care for orphaned fawns...

... bitter winters from 2011-14 caused a decline in deer population, coupled with a warm winter in 2015 possibly leading to fewer hunters in the woods, has contributed to lower deer harvests ... “Almost all of the deaths of deer from the winters were fawns,” ...

This deer couldn't get to shelter in the middle of a snow storm. It was trapped for hours and likely overnight on a frozen pond in Buffalo, New York. More than 50 first responders including firefighters and an underwater recovery team braved the ice about 3 to 4 inches thick to rescue the poor thing whose legs were frozen from the cold. They used a rope for safety and pulled the deer ashore. - December 19, 2016 New York


Parks workers go rogue with secret deer ‘rescue’ missions December 19, 2016 New York, New York Post
... Animal-loving Parks Department workers have been secretly bucking protocol by relocating critters out of the Big Apple so they won’t suffer the same fate as a beloved, one-antlered deer that died in city custody ...
     Harlem, The saga of a single-antlered deer in Harlem just ended tragically December 16, 2016 New York, Washington Post
... at 12:55 p.m. that the state was “securing the safe transport of the deer to suitable habitat upstate.” ... “The city did not accept our offer until just before noon today, and while we were arriving on scene the deer died in the city’s possession.” ...
     Harlem Deer Caught in City-State Tussle Has Died December 16, 2016 New York, New York Times
... stress and the day and a half that the deer spent at a city animal shelter in East Harlem... the city and state issued competing and sometimes self-contradicting updates on the deer and what should be done with him... He was beloved, a holiday-season gift to a beleaguered city, a surrogate reindeer camped out just a block from St. Nicholas Avenue...
     De Blasio's deer death wish is granted December 16, 2016 New York, New York Post
... “The deer died in the city’s possession,” a rep for the state Department of Environmental Conservation tweeted. “We offered yesterday to take possession of the deer. The city didn’t accept our offer ­until just before noon [Friday].” ...
     City Officials: Harlem Deer Dies Due To Stress Of Being In Captivity December 16, 2016 New York, CBS Local
... The deer’s death came after the city said, despite its concerns, it would handing over the deer to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to be relocated upstate.” ...
...  "The State itself has said it is not safe to relocate deer - and so the only humane and safe recourse is to euthanize the deer, and that will happen in the morning."...
     Lis Smith piles on de Blasio for ‘history of murdering animals’ December 16, 2016 New York, New York Post
... The charges by Lis Smith come as the mayor’s office is locking horns with Gov. Cuomo over the fate of a single-antlered buck that was roaming around Harlem but is now in the city’s custody...
     Captured Harlem Deer Gets a Reprieve, Only to Face Death Hours Later December 15, 2016 New York, New York Times
... At 7 p.m., the East Harlem animal shelter where the buck had been taken said it had just received orders from the city to put the animal to death.  But at 8 p.m., Governor Cuomo’s office released a statement saying that “Governor Cuomo has directed DEC to offer assistance to the city to transport and find a new habitat for it immediately.” ...
  Death Sentence For Deer Spotted In Harlem December 15, 2016 New York, Gothamist
... A deer that had been living in Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem was captured by the police today after wandering onto the lawn outside a nearby housing complex ...  the deer will be humanely euthanized ...

Avon looks to curb deer population December 12, 2016 New York, 13WHAM-TV
... using bait in three locations and archers ... From the communities I've worked with, Avon is quite unique in that there seems to be little opposition to no opposition ...


New York hunters report taking more deer than in 2015 December 11, 2016 Washington Times
... Statewide across all deer seasons, hunters have reported about 9 percent more deer than 2015... 

Trio of deer hang out in Harlem December 9, 2016 New York, fox5ny.com
... 
How this young buck and his two companions arrived in this park on this island in this nation's largest city and how long they planned to stay they declined to inform the community...
     Crowds Gather At Jackie Robinson Park For Glimpse Of Deer December 8, 2016 New York, CBS Local-12 hours ago
... “He’s beautiful and he’s not shy at all,” ...

DEC Invites Initial Feedback on Wildlife Regulations December 2, 2016 New York, DEC News
... DEC is inviting informal feedback regarding several issues:  (1) prohibiting feeding wild white-tailed deer;  (2) issuing permits for 4-Poster TickicideTM and 4-PosterTM deer treatment devices; (3) strengthening measures to protect New York deer from Chronic Wasting Disease ...

Manhattan, There's a one-antlered deer roaming around Manhattan December 2, 2016 New York, New York Post
... may have dashed over Hell Gate Bridge from The Bronx to Randall’s Island before swimming across a stretch of the East River. ... spotted in Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem ... 

Irondequoit man dealing with repercussion of deer herd thinning December 2, 2016 New York, rochesterfirst.com
... called police after seeing two bow hunters in his backyard last month. He was told they were working with police and not to worry. This didn't sit well with Libera, since he thinks of the deer as pets...

Asharoken mayor proposes limits on deer bow hunting  November 30, 2016 New Yrok Newsday
... proposing a law requiring that bow hunters stay 500 feet away from a neighbor’s house when shooting deer within the village ... follows a Nov. 13 incident in which a deer hit by a hunter’s arrow in the village ran away to die on the property of a neighbo ... who opposes hunting in the residential area...

6 hunters dead across New York state since deer opener November 29, 2016 New York, Olean Times Herald
... three hunters have been killed in accidental shootings since the state’s gun season for deer opened Nov. 19.  A fourth hunter died after falling out of a tree stand and two additional hunters have died as the result of medical emergencies in the field ...

DEC seeking input on possible hunting regulations November 28, 2016 New York, Poughkeepsie Journal
... One idea being looked at is clarifying and strengthening regulations that prohibit the feeding of wild white-tailed deer. That would include the regulations more explicitly defining bait or feed and clarifying that incidental feeding, such as the attraction of deer or moose to a birdfeeder ...

Staten Island, Big bucks no object for de Blasio's $3.3M deer vasectomy plan November 26, 2016 New York, Staten Island Advance
... For the plan to work, at least 90 percent of male deer on Staten Island have to get vasectomies.  Experts say about 40 percent of any deer population is male. So with 468 vasectomies already performed, that puts at least 700 in the herd... The city is paying White Buffalo $2 million this fiscal year for the effort...

Long Island town's deer hunting law causes division November 23, 2016 New York, Daily Star
... homeowner Cindy Gavel of Asharoken says on Nov. 13 she witnessed a deer with an arrow sticking out of its back leap over the fence surrounding her property before dying on her land...

Deer take tumbles in first days November 22, 2016 New York, Genesee County Express
... Deer harvests reported to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through opening weekend show a 13-percent drop compared to a year ago.  The 2016 opening weekend had 5,879 deer taken. The 2015 opening weekend saw 6,739 deer harvested...

DEC Invites Initial Feedback on Several Wildlife Regulations Being Considered November 22, 2016 New York, DEC News
... DEC invites informal feedback regarding several issues: (1) prohibiting feeding wild white-tailed deer, (2) issuing permits for 4-Poster TickicideTM and 4-PosterTM deer treatment devices, (3) strengthening measures to protect New York deer from Chronic Wasting Disease, (4) eliminating the special permit for hunting and trapping bobcats in the Harvest Expansion Area, and (5) closing the season for take of diamondback terrapin. These ideas are not formal proposals at this time, just options being considered as potential changes for 2017. Please see http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/104785.html to read the details of each issue and to provide feedback.

Staten Island, More deer on Staten Island must get vasectomies than expected November 19, 2016 New York, New York Post
... has sterilized 450 bucks ... there are more than 2,250 deer in that area ... “You would have to get 90 to 95 percent of them for this to work,” White Buffalo’s Anthony DeNicola admitted to The Post last spring, due to the animals’ polyamorous habits...

At one time, whitetail deer eliminated from Western New York November 19, 2016 New York, Olean Times Herald
...  the last recorded deer sightings in the western Southern Tier region was in 1881 near Independence, Allegany County... [“History of the White-Tailed Deer in New York,” written in 1956 by C.W. Severinghaus and C.P. Brown] ... By 1910, while still rare, deer began to appear again in Western New York ...

Staten Island, Deer with city vasectomy found dead in Mount Loretto forest November 18, 2016 New York, SILive.com
... The same buck was seen stumbling around the forest that morning...  Deer number 360 was one of 13 male and female deer that have died after being tagged through the vasectomy program, and nearly all were hit by cars... 

Big-game season opens Saturday in New York November 17, 2016 Olean Times Herald
... “New York hunters should anticipate seeing a few more deer this hunting season compared to last year,” according to Jeremy Hurst, DEC big-game biologist. “Many of these deer will be young animals, as conditions were excellent for overwinter fawn survival and production this spring...

Big-game season opens Saturday in New York November 17, 2016 New York, Olean Times Herald
...“New York hunters should anticipate seeing a few more deer this hunting season compared to last year,” according to Jeremy Hurst, DEC big-game biologist. “Many of these deer will be young animals, as conditions were excellent for overwinter fawn survival and production this spring...

Have a safe and productive hunting season November 17, 2016 New York, Oneonta Daily Star
... about 900,000 deer in New York ... Last year, an estimated 80,000 deer-vehicle collisions happened in New York state ... 

Regular Firearms Season for Deer and Bear Begins November 19 November 14, 2016 New York, NYDNR News
... The Southern Zone regular season is New York's most popular hunting season, with about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters participating. Harvests during this season account for nearly 60 percent of the total annual statewide deer take and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest...  DEC is encouraging all hunters across the state to pass up shots at young, small-antlered bucks. In a multi-year study conducted with Cornell University, more than 7,000 hunters surveyed across the state reported wanting more opportunities for taking mature bucks without mandatory restrictions on antler size....

NY deer hunters urged to voluntarily let young bucks go this fall November 10, 2016 New York, NewYorkUpstate.com
... The rationale is that older buck are more challenging to hunt, yield more meat and bigger racks – and "create more rubs and scrapes and vocalize more – all things that enhance the deer hunting experience," ...

... Head of the Harbor Village trustees will move forward with a plan to control the overabundant village deer population with a birth control drug...

... They were eating her beloved hostas ... Now, the deer here look longingly at her lush backyard through a six-foot mesh barrier that has restored her landscape and sense of well-being.  “It cost $5,000, but it was a good investment,” ...

New York Data Hunting data.  A mild 2015-16 winter increased deer populations into 2016, about 900,000 pre-hunt.  Drought in 2016 for western New York.  Deer forecast for 2016.  Significant population declines in 2014 and 2015 after harsh winters.  About 680,000 deer in 2015 post-hunt, 880,000 pre-hunt.  Antlerless permits, reduced by  20 to 30 percent in parts of the state to grow the herd.  The 2015 deer harvest fell by 15 percent.  About 750,000 deer in 2014 post-hunt, 1,000,000 pre-hunt. The 2014 harvest fell by about 2 percent.  Estimated post-hunt population of 800,000 deer in the state in 2013, pre-hunt 1,050,000.  A little over a million deer in 2004.  Increasing coyote predation.  Relatively stable population with some good forest managment, logging, and habitat projects.  Population density is mixed with some areas down such as the Adirondacks due to mature forests and in some areas due to coyote predation.  
     In 2015, the DEC curtailed the harvest of antlerless deer in portions of Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Franklin counties to increase the population, and increase the harvest of antlerless deer in  all or portions of Suffolk, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Westchester, Albany, Niagara, Erie, Wyoming, Orleans, Genesee, Monroe, Livingston, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Seneca and Cayuga counties to reduce the population.  A total of 626,389 permits were issue in 2015, down 45,393 from 2014.  Two harsh winters in 2013-14 and 2014-15 reduced deer populations in the north and central regions.  The graph below comes from the New York deer hunting forecast for 2016.  "Statewide, we are anticipating deer harvests to be slightly lower in 2015 than in 2014, largely due to some deer mortality this past winter and resulting reductions in antlerless permits in parts of the state."  In 2015, the harvest fell by about 15 percent; 47 percent of the bucks were yearlings.
    In 2014 deer populations were above goals in 35 percent of the state so the DEC encouraged hunters to take does in central and western New York.  In much of the state, deer are below target populations.  A mild 2011 - 2012 winter resulted in a greater survival rate for fawns and an abundance of apples and nuts in 2013 provided food for many types of wildlife.
 From 550,00 to 500,000 hunters take about 220,000 deer per year, about 25 percent on opening day. The state has increased antlerless harvests to reduce the population, but the harvest still favors bucks over does so a population increase is not unexpected.  
     Chronic wasting disease was last reported in the state in 2005.  It was apparently brought to New York after a taxidermist disposed of infected tissue from a trophy head brought from out of state.
     In 2014, bucks accounted for 45.5% of the harvest.  In 2014, 52 percent of the bucks in areas without antler restrictions were 1.5 years old compared to 48 percent statewide.  In 2013, 48 percent of the herd was 2.5 years or older, up from 28 percent in 2000.  48 percent of the bucks killed in 2013 were 2.5 years or older, up from about 28 percent in the 1990's.  Antler restrictions have been imposed in some areas, Quality Deer Management and other factors have influenced hunter decisions to help normalize herd demographics. About $35 million in license sales and federal excise taxes on guns and ammunition.  
     Deer were nearly exterminated from New York by the 1860s, reappearing around 1910.  The last recorded deer sightings in the western Southern Tier region was in 1881 near Independence, Allegany County.  The deer popultion rose to an estimated 450,000 in 1978 and 800,000 in 1988.  Harsh winters in 1948-49 and 1983-84 killed a large percentage of the deer herd, reportedly 80 percent in some areas.  The winter of 1978-79 was also severe.
     Suburbs provide ideal deer habitat where deer thrive and have caused conflicts in areas such as Long Island and Cayuga Heights where deer management strategies are a matter of public controversy.  Although deer were native to Staten Island, they were hunted to extinction by the early 1900's.  The press often makes an issue of the population growth, citing percentage increases from the very low numbers in recent history. Since 1990 that state has used a citizen task force to manage the deer in each management area.
     Moose About 800, mostly in the woods near the Adirondacks. 
     Bears  About 2,500 brown bears
Report Sick Deer:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking the public to report any instances of deer appearing sick or acting abnormally. Report sightings to its office in Ray Brook by calling 518-897-1200. Or report it to your nearest DEC regional wildlife office (www.dec.ny.gov/about/50230.html).
Other useful links:
-  New York Department of Environmental Conservation.   General Mission:    DMP Quota Setting   - Google map of Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)   - Public Input on Hunting Regulations    - Citizen Science: Wildlife Observation Data Collection 
-  Cornell University Integrated Deer Research and Management Study: The goal is to reduce deer associated complaints using fertility control research, fencing, and repellents.
CayugaDeer,org information about deer management in the city of Cayuga Heights.
Senecawhitedeer.org proposes a tourist facility at the former Depot that would feature not only the white deer, but the fascinating military history of the site and the other wildlife “beyond the fence.”      -  Animal Defenders of Westchester
East Hampton Group for Wildlife: promotes respect for all species of wildlife and explores humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. 

The history of white-tailed deer in New York is tied closely to the patterns of human land use and development. In their 1956 document, History of the White-tailed Deer in New York (3.8Mb PDF), former DEC biologists C.W. Severinghaus and C.P. Brown describe the distribution and abundance of deer in New York in pre-Colonial times and from the Colonial Period through the mid-1950s. 

Late Winter Deer shot in Mendon Ponds Park