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DEC calculates rise in north country deer take for 2012 hunting season

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According to the DEC-calculated deer harvest for 2012, Northern Zone hunters shot 30,843 deer. This figure represents a 15 percent increase from the 2011 take of 26,814 deer and a slight increase for the past six-year average of 30,080 deer.

Rifle hunters killed 14,793 deer, or 48 percent of the total Northern Zone harvest, while muzzleloaders took 8,190 deer, or 26.5 percent of the total harvest. Deer management permits (DMPs) accounted for 4,100 deer (13 percent of the total), bow hunters shot 2,033 deer (6.6 percent of the total), and deer management assistance program (DMAP) permits resulted in the taking of 1,727 deer (5.6 percent of the total).

Of the 30,843 taken this past season across the Northern Zone, sixty-three percent or 19,437 were adult males and 28.6 percent or 8,821 were adult females. Of the total kill, just over four percent or 1,248 were female fawns while 4.3 percent or 1,337 were button bucks.

Antlerless Harvest

Antlerless deer include does, fawns, and bucks with antlers less than three inches in length. Hunters shot 11,406 antlerless deer during the recent Northern Zone season, and that figure represents 37 percent of the total harvest. Muzzleloaders accounted for 42 percent of the antlerless kill while archers arrowed eight percent of the antlerless take. DMPS resulted in 35 percent of the total antlerless harvest, and DMAP accounted for 15 percent.

Take by County

Franklin County hunters shot 1,634 deer of which 1,108 were bucks and 526 were antlerless. The county’s top townships were Franklin (123 bucks; 44 antlerless), Tupper Lake (116 bucks; 18 antlerless), Malone (69 bucks; 63 antlerless), Moira (54 bucks; 72 antlerless), Bangor (62 bucks; 63 antlerless), and Harrietstown (80 bucks; 45 antlerless).

Jefferson County hunters killed 7,506 deer of which 3,793 were adult bucks. The county’s leading townships were Ellisburg (613 bucks; 708 antlerless), Adams (322 bucks; 325 antlerless), Henderson (252 bucks; 285 antlerless), Rodman (279 bucks; 219 antlerless), Hounsfield (222 bucks; 269 antlerless), and Rutland (214 bucks; 224 antlerless)

Lewis County hunters harvested 4,170 deer of which 2,663 were bucks. The county’s top townships were Denmark (241 bucks; 286 antlerless), Croghan (307 bucks; 161 antlerless), West Turin (231 bucks; 90 antlerless); Martinsburg (186 bucks; 108 antlerless), Watson (167 bucks; 110 antlerless), and New Bremen (168 bucks; 104 antlerless).

St. Lawrence County hunters took 5,456 deer of which 3,676 were adult bucks. The county’s top townships were Canton (230 bucks; 176 antlerless), Lisbon (216 bucks; 161 antlerless), Potsdam (217 bucks; 146 antlerless), Russell (160 bucks; 147 antlerless), Stockholm (157 bucks; 106 antlerless), Colton (199 bucks; 47 antlerless), and Hopkinton (170 bucks; 76 antlerless).

Take by WMU

Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 5C saw 486 bucks taken, which represents 0.4 bucks per square mile and 663 total deer or 0.6 deer per square mile. WMU 6A yielded 2,125 bucks (1.4 per square mile) and 3,032 total deer ((2.1 per square mile). WMU 6C had 1,875 bucks killed (1.9 per square mile) and 3,326 total deer (3.4 per square mile).

WMU 6F saw 972 bucks taken, which represents 0.8 bucks per square mile and 1,186 total deer or 1.0 per square mile. WMU 6G yielded 3,189 bucks (3.4 per square mile) and 6,789 total deer (7.3 per square mile). WMU 6H had 210 bucks killed (1.2 per square mile) and 426 total deer (2.5 per square mile).

Reporting Rates

DEC regulations require successful deer hunters to report their harvests within seven days. Despite the mandated reporting, only 44.2 percent of the kills for the 2012 seasons were reported to DEC. This low report-rate reflects poorly on the deer hunting community, and my hope is that we see an increase in the percentages of reports filed by successful hunters in 2013.

Outdoors Calendar

Monday:Trap and Skeet Shooting at Lisbon Sportsmen’s Club (Pray Rd.).

Tuesday: SLC Fisheries Advisory Board meets at Canton BOCES at 7 p.m.

Friday: Spring Turkey Season closes in NYS.

Saturday: Trapper Training Class at Tupper Lake R&G Club (Register at 518/359-9715).

June 8: Bowhunter Education Course at SLVSC (Register at 393-3775).

June 15: Traditional Bass Season opens on NYS waters.

June 15: SLRWA hosts annual Smackdown Walleye Tournament at Massena (384-3450).

June 15: SLVSC hosts annual Opening-Day Bass Derby at Ogdensburg.

June 15: Opening-Day Bass and Walleye Derby at Henderson Harbor.

June 15: Pillar Point FD 32nd annual Smallmouth Bass and Walleye Derby (639-6080).

June 15: Frog Season opens in NYS.

June 29-30: Free Fishing Days on NYS waters.

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