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FINGER LAKES
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Deer hunters continue to decrease

    FINGER LAKES—According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, statewide deer hunting participation numbers peaked in the mid-1980s and have since decreased by 40 percent in the present.
    The information was released in the Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State 2011-2015. The report explained that while hunting is well ingrained in rural New York, people are settling in more urban environments. They tend to seek other pastimes, becoming further removed from the natural environment and less familiar with hunting. Further, the majority of New York hunters hail from rural areas. Thus, as the proportion of New York’s population living in rural areas decreases, the proportion of New York’s population that is likely to hunt also decreases.
    The DEC’s report said in 2010 the state issued 550,000 big game licenses. In 1984, that number was just shy of 800,000. Starting in 1985, the numbers decreased.
    While hunter participation is down, deer harvests are up. According to the DEC, the total 2011 statewide deer harvest number was 230,100. In 1984, the number was 170,310.
    The DEC is renewing its deer management plan, so the state released this document to get public comments on it. The draft is available for viewing online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7211.html. The plan will guide deer managing and hunting for the next five years.
    The goals of the plan are to:
    • Manage deer populations at levels that are appropriate for human and ecological concerns.
    • Promote and enhance deer hunting as an important recreational activity, tradition, and population management tool in New York.
    • Reduce negative impacts caused by deer.
    • Foster public understanding and communication about deer ecology, deer management, economic aspects and recreational opportunities.
    • Manage deer to promote healthy and sustainable forests and enhance habitat conservation efforts to benefit deer and other species.
    • Ensure that the necessary resources are available to support sound management of white-tailed deer in New York.

 

 

 



 





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