New York Deer News

Long Island deer cull deemed failure August 28, 2014 New York, Examiner 
... government sharpshooters hired to eliminate as many as 3,000 animals ... succeeded in killing just 192 does...  commented the Bureau’s executive director Joe Gergela, “It was a pilot project, but it wasn’t as successful as we hoped.”

Trumansburg,  T'burg Village Readies Deer Management Plan August 28, 2014 New York, ithaca.com
... If approved by the public at the September 8 hearing, a change in village law will allow limited bowhunting ... Hunting has been banned in the village since 1977.

DEC Finalizes Rule Changes to Implement New Crossbow Hunting Law August 27, 2014 New York, DEC News
     The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted final regulation changes to ensure that the crossbow is a legal implement for the fall 2014 hunting seasons, Commission Joe Martens announced today. These regulations are adopted under new state law which authorizes DEC to allow big game (deer and bear) and small game hunting with a crossbow under certain conditions...
     Crossbows may not be used for hunting any wildlife in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.  Crossbows may be used only by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.With landowner permission, crossbows may be discharged within 250 feet of a home, school building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use, or occupied factory or church...

... Shooting at night from the back of trucks and tree stands over bait, Wildlife Services killed 132 deer on the North Fork and 60 deer on the South Fork... challenges that hampered the cull, including bad weather, legal challenges and "direct interference from individuals opposed to this project." ...

... Granted $200,000 from New York State and another $25,000 from Southold Town to hire United States Department of Agriculture sharpshooters, the Long Island Farm Bureau launched a program ...  the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island and Hunters for Deer — unsuccessfully sued Southold Town for its decision to allocate funds to the cull... 192 deer actually killed ...

Lansing, Hearing Set for Change in Bowhunting August 24, 2014 New York, ithaca.com
... hunters involved in the deer management program note that the deer have gotten smarter and seem to be keeping away from the stands... The change in the bowhunting law reduces the distance from a dwelling that a bow may be used from 500 feet to 150. The prohibition does not apply to the property owner ...

Suffolk, Lawsuit brings unintended consequence to deer cull August 22, 2014 New York, Suffolk Times 
... a state Supreme Court judge issued a restraining order in March as part of a lawsuit over a controversial deer cull program organized through the Long Island Farm Bureau ... the injunction has prevented the government from handing out nuisance permits to farmers... Nuisance permits allow farmers to hunt on their own land outside the normal hunting season using tags...

State expands January deer hunting to weekends August 13, 2014 New York, Shelter Island Reporter 
... The new law is part of a three-bill package passed recently to enhance efforts to cull deer herds in greater numbers. The legislation was recommended by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and supported by East End town and village officials...



... The number of deer killed in Southold Town as part of the controversial federal cull that took place earlier this year was far outpaced by the town’s own hunting program, said Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell... the town’s hunting program was a success in killing 265 deer ...

All in on tick control: Multi-faceted approach discussed August 12, 2014 New York, Shelter Island Reporter 
...  the expected $100,000 coming from New York State for expansion of the 4-poster program — feeding stands that brush deer with a chemical that kills ticks — is in many ways a game changer. The funds give the town the money to expand the 4-poster program while allotting more funds to cull the herd... Dr. Bill Zitek, a retired veterinarian and former member of the Deer & Tick Committee, said the 4-posters are “a very functional method of reducing ticks.” ...

A bounty on Bambi? Really? July 25, 2014 New York, Finger Lakes Times
... I am opposed to the concept — which is getting a lot of statewide conversation among hunters — that the state government should authorize commercial hunting of whitetail deer to lower the overall deer population...  why not just expand the existing hunting seasons and/or change the number of deer that individual hunters are allowed to kill each season? ... 

... His idea was to construct a makeshift "corral" ... I jumped on one of them and grabbed his leg and wrapped him in the blanket ... When the fawns were put down on the ground, the pair went running up a path, in the direction of the does...

...  just feet away from the busy Staten Island Expressway service road ... I've never seen the doe." ... Female fawns may stay with their mother for two years, males usually leave after a year," ...

Fawns are born into a dangerous world July 13, 2014 New York, Wellsville Daily Reporter
,,. Coyotes potentially caused up to 63 percent of mortalities in white-tailed deer fawns in an Alabama population (Saalfeld and Ditchkoff 2007) and 80 percent of mortalities in a South Carolina population ...  The long-held and cherished image of the big-racked buck that rules a harem and has exclusive breeding rights, due to his superior fighting equipment and size has been shown not to be the case ...

Tompkins County bowhunters dissatisfied with state's deer focus areas July 11, 2014 New York, Syracuse Post-Standard 
... we disagree with the assertion that killing off deer in outlying rural areas will have a significant impact on the deer in suburbia, where hunting is not possible. Those suburban areas offer high-quality food and cover. Deer will live and reproduce there in numbers as long as that food and cover exist ,,,

DEC announces proposed rule changes to implement new crossbow hunting law July 6, 2014 New York, Plattsburgh Press Republican
... DEC is now accepting public comment on proposed regulation changes so crossbows may be a legal implement for the fall 2014 hunting seasons...  through July 21... Register and on DEC’s website ... a general summary of the law ...

Bucks getting older; here is how you can tell July 5, 2014 New York, Observer-Dispatch 
... the Department of Environmental Conservation said that 48 percent of the 114,716 bucks killed last year were 2.5 years old or older.  That is a record percentage, up from 33 in 2000 and 28 in the early 1990s... A few Wildlife Management Units in southeastern New York have antler restrictions – a buck has to have antlers of three inches or more on at least one side to be taken – and there are some Quality Deer Management efforts ...

Shelter Island Deer & Tick Committee seeks vision July 3, 2014 New York, Shelter Island Reporter
... when Shelter Island participated in the Cornell University-Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-poster program and deployed 60 units, it effectively reduced the tick infestation. But ticks have increased since the town had fewer than 20 units deployed during the last two years. Returning to 60 units is a major part of the solution ...

Rochester, Deer carcasses dot highways July 3, 2014 New York, Democrat and Chronicle
...  it's because young deer are increasingly braving Rochester highways as they search for new territory.  While the deer population in Rochester, which consists only of white-tailed deer, hasn't shown signs of dramatic increase, this is the time of year when does chase their one-year-old sons away from their familiar territory to make room for more offspring ...

East Hampton, Sterilizing does seen as positive alternative to LI deer cull July 2, 2014 New York, Examiner 
... The town is now in negotiations with White Buffalo Inc. a non-profit group in Connecticut to perform the spaying operations, which they say can be completed in just 10-12 minutes per doe, making it possible to sterilize between 15-20 animals per night... 
... officials used hydraulic rescue tools to separate the rods which the deer was stuck between... Three legs were broken severely ... The deer was transported to the Blue Heron Park Nature Center by Park rangers ...

East Hampton, Plan to surgically sterilize female deer OKd in East Hampton June 30, 2014 New York, Newsday
... The village board budgeted $30,000 for the experimental program, but the society said that is not enough and is seeking to raise $100,000 more in donations by the end of the summer. The cost of the program is estimated to be $1,000 per deer... Does tend to travel within a relatively small "home range," so it's possible to sterilize all the does in an area without many outside ones moving in ...
DEC Announces Proposed Rule Changes To Implement New Crossbow Hunting Law, Public Comments Accepted Through July 21  New York, DEC
     With new state legislation authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to allow taking of big game (deer and bear) or small game by the use of a crossbow at certain times and places in New York, DEC is now accepting public comment ... Specifically, the law changes authorize DEC to: Allow the take of deer and bear by the use of a crossbow during a limited portion of the early bowhunting seasons ... The new law prohibits all hunting with crossbows in Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties or in the archery-only portions of Albany and Monroe counties, and DEC's proposed rule reflects these restrictions.
      Details of the proposed rule can be viewed in the June 4, 2014 publication of the New York State Register and on DEC's website under Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources Proposed, Emergency and recently adopted regulations . For a general summary of the law, see DEC's information on crossbow hunting . DEC's position on crossbow use for deer hunting is provided in Appendix 5 of the NYS Deer Management Plan (2.45 MB, PDF).

Mid-May fawns point to late October rut June 23, 2014 New York, Wellsville Daily Reporter 
... it appears to be a good thing that whitetails drop their fawns at close to the same time because predators are overwhelmed with all the fawns.  If fawns were born in a trickle, say at a steady pace through a six-week or two month period, predators would key on them and put a severe dent in the whitetail population.  Instead, whitetails overwhelm predators such as coyotes and black bears by dropping all their fawns at virtually the same time ...

Shelter Island, Brain storming a deer management forum June 16, 2014 New York, Shelter Island Reporter 
... “We are still quick to offer hunting as a solution without clearly assessing how it needs to be managed to be successful,” said Anthony DeNicola of Connecticut-based White Buffalo, a leading nonprofit company in deer management... “Just letting hunters do their thing in a non-organized way with little coordination effort is not the way to go about it,” Mr. Blossey said...

Seneca, New York's Herd of White Deer Could Lose Protections June 9, 2014 Outdoor Life Magazine 
     Believed to be the nation's largest white deer herd, these Seneca County deer have thrived on the fenced-in, 7,000-acre land plot since 1949... The towns of Varick and Romulus are already discussing plans to build a road through the middle of the property, which would expand possibilities for residential and commercial construction...

Are the white deer at the former Seneca Army Depot doomed? June 6, 2014 New York, Syracuse Post-Standard 
...  the property will likely be "sliced and diced" as new zoning being currently discussed by the towns of Varick and Romulus ... There are no intentions, though, to maintain the fence, and no plans for the unique all-white, white-tailed deer that number roughly 200. It's the largest herd of its kind in the world ...For more on the white deer herd at the depot, see senecawhitedeer.org. ...

... The depot, which was hurriedly built back in 1941 as World War II loomed, was fenced in for security reasons. And within that 24 miles of fenced in land were several dozen, regular brown-colored white-tailed deer and numerous other wildlife...  1949, when the depot's commander, Col. Franklin Kemble, was first alerted of their presence and gave orders not to shoot them...

... While fawns are able to walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still. During this period a fawn is also usually left alone by the adult female (doe) except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been orphaned or abandoned, which is very rare...

Greenwich woman shot mechanical deer decoy June 5, 2014 New York, Glens Falls Post-Star
... A Greenwich woman who shot a mechanical deer decoy last November as part of a poaching sting has been fined $250 and lost her hunting privileges...

Resist the urge to help an 'abandoned' fawn May 20, 2014 New York, The Daily News Online 
... Many people do not understand that does intentionally leave their fawns to protect them. Whether a fawn is in a front yard, back yard, field, doorstep, park, playground ... The mother deer does not stay with her fawn because she does not want to alert predators to her baby’s location...  be concerned when a fawn that is wandering around crying out...

World's Smallest Deer Born at Queens Zoo May 16, 2014 NBC 4 New York
... Pudu are an exceptionally unique deer species; they bark when they sense danger, and although they're only about 12 to 14 inches tall, they can jump high and run fast...

Suffolk, Proposal pulled to permit Nassau bowhunters on Suffolk land May 12, 2014 New York, Suffolk Times 
... Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) pulled a bill he had sponsored personally after it was clear to him that the proposal had nothing but opposition from area hunters — and little support from those who suggested it in the first place... Mr. Barbato, who said he’s been hunting in the county for the past 27 years, said earlier this week that there is enough competition as it is in the Suffolk parks system to get a hunting spot ...

Northern Zone hunters yield increase in deer take for 2013 May 11, 2014 New York, Watertown Daily Times 
... Northern Zone hunters took 19,538 adult males in 2013... Adult bucks accounted for 60.4 percent of the total 2013 Northern Zone harvest. Hunters also harvested 9,763 adult females ... amounted to 30.1 percent of the 2013 total kill...  1,620 male fawns ... The button buck take accounted for five percent of the 2013 harvest... 1,448 female fawns ... The doe fawn harvest was 4.5 percent of the 2013 Northern Zone total...

Watertown Daily Times
...  portions of southeastern New York and the Lake Plains region of western New York, harvest trends indicate that deer populations are too high ... Even with very liberal opportunities for take of antlerless deer, not enough females are being taken to reduce populations to desired levels. In these areas, DEC and hunters “must begin considering new ways to increase the antlerless deer take ...

Older bucks showing up in deer harvest May 3, 2014 New York, Observer-Dispatch
... because of antler restrictions in 11 Wildlife Management Units in the southeastern part of the state.  But the DEC also feels that many hunters are choosing to not take young bucks... Very dedicated hunters will pass on young bucks, but there are many thousands of hunters who are able to get out there only a few days a season. For the majority of them, the first thing they see with horns is going to get shot at...

Deer harvest on par with previous year May 3, 2014 New York, Adirondack Daily Enterprise 
Hunters harvested about 243,550 deer during the 2013 hunting seasons ... Older bucks becoming an increasing portion of harvest ... about 55,300 bucks aged 2.5 years or older in 2013, which was a record... for 48 percent of harvested adult bucks statewide in 2013, compared to only 33 percent (45,350) in 2000 when New York's deer population peaked, and only 28 percent (about 33,000) in the early 1990s...

... Mike Tessitore, founder of the Hunters for Deer organization, added, "The NYSDEC’s tactics of stonewalling and dragging its feet in producing the documents necessary to evaluate both the scope and need for the deer culling program, makes one question whether the agency is just plain incompetent or has a blatant disregard for accountability." ...

Trumansburg Rolls Out Deer Management Plan April 28, 2014 New York, ithaca.com
... Village leaders have rolled out a deer management plan ... The first draft states that only archery hunting by property owners or others approved will be allowed within the borders of the village, excluding certain areas such as the grounds of the Trumansburg Central School District. All hunters must be approved by the Deer Management Committee ...
... One more trend continued: more hunters shooting older deer and practicing voluntary antler restriction. Of the total 2013 harvest, approximately 55,300 deer were aged at 2.5 years or older. That accounted for 48 percent of the buck harvest compared to 33 percent in 2000 and 28 percent in the early 1990s...

... The total deer take in St. Lawrence County during the most recent hunting season was 5,349 which continues a small downward trend.  The year before, in the 2012-13 season, 5,456 deer were taken ...

DEC: 2013 Deer Harvest Comparable to Last Year April 24, 2014 New York, DEC News
     Hunters harvested approximately 243,550 deer during the 2013-14 hunting seasons, nearly equivalent to the statewide take last year, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.  
    The 2013 deer take included approximately 128,850 antlerless deer (adult females and fawns) and about 114,700 adult bucks (1.5 years or older), both estimates being within 4 percent of the 2012 take (see table below). Hunters in the Northern Zone walked out of the woods with roughly 32,300 deer, including 19,500 adult bucks. In the Southern Zone, excluding Long Island, hunters took 208,300 deer, including about 94,200 adult bucks. To compare these harvest estimates with other past seasons, visit the DEC website.
2013 Deer Harvest Comparison

2013 Total2012 TotalPrevious 5-Year Average
(2008-2012)
Total Take243,567242,957229,439
Adult Male114,716118,993108,752
Antlerless128,851123,964120,687
Adult Female88,63486,64483,565
Deer Management Permits Issued650,472605,105544,530
Deer Management Permit Take98,94594,36789,507
Deer Management Assistance
Program Take
12,28510,49710,689
Muzzleloader14,97016,10417,511
Bowhunting36,67636,20834,795
CrossbowNA438
Youth Hunt1,2751,411

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New York Data: Estimated 1,000,000 deer in the state in 2013, pre-hunt. Post-hunt, 800,000. Generally increasing deer population, but down in some areas attributed to coyote predation.   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.   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.  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.  Hunting data
      About 2,500 brown bears

DEC's Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State, 2012-2016.

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
-  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.”  Help protect the world's largest herd of white deer by contributing.
East Hampton Group for Wildlife: promotes respect for all species of wildlife and explores humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. 
- Deer Search WNY, helping hunters track wounded animals.

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     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