2013 deer harvest comparable to 2012

The 2013 Deer harvest figures are in and the Department of Environmental Conservation reports that the deer harvest for 2013 was comparable to 2012.

Hunters harvested approximately 243,550 deer. The breakdown for the 2013 deer harvest was about 128,850 antlerless deer made up of adult females and fawns and about 114,7000 adult bucks .

The adult males were estimated to be about a year and a half or older. Both estimates were reportedly within four percent of the 2012 take.

The breakdown concludes that hunters in the Northern Zone accounted for about 32,300 deer, which included a harvest of 19,500 adult bucks. In then Southern Zone, excluding Long Island, hunters took 208,300 deer including about 94,200 adult bucks.

To breakdown the figures a bit more, the total take for 2013 was up slightly with a 243,567 total compared to 242,957 deer harvested in 2012.

The buck take for 2013 was down, with 114,716 bucks taken compared to 118,993 taken in 2012.

The antlerless deer take was up last year with 128,851 taken compared to 2012 at 123,964. Adult female deer take was up also in 2013, increased by about 2,000 deer compared to 2012.

The DEC issued close to 45,000 more Deer Management permits last year at 650,472 compared to 605,105. That figure sounds enormous, but consider out of all those permits issued only 98,945 deer were harvested last year compared to 94,367 in 2012.

The Deer Management Assistance Program take accounted for 21,285 deer last year, which was an increase of almost 2,000 deer from 2012.

Three areas were down in numbers from 2012. The Muzzleloader take at 14,970 deer in 2013 compared to 16,104 and crossbow with 438 harvested in 2012 and crossbows not allowed last year. The Youth Hunt also was down last year with 1,275 deer taken compared to 1,411 the previous year.

The DEC estimated that about 8,860 junior hunters participated in the Youth Deer Hunt, harvesting 728 adult bucks and 547 antlerless deer for a total of 1,275 deer. The Muzzleloader season most likely was impacted by the heavy snowfall that hindered a lot of hunters in the later part of the season.

One more point of interest for deer hunters, most of the adult bucks harvested were two and a half years old or older, accounting for almost half of the buck harvest. Many hunters are voluntarily passing up shooting smaller younger bucks in favor of harvesting a larger, more mature buck.

Two quick announcements. DEC Fisheries biologist Jim Markham, a Forestville resident, was presented an award by the Southtowns Walleye Association for his dedicated work in research with cold water species in Lake Erie. Note that Markham will be giving a presentation on our regional steelhead fishery and Canadaway Creek on Monday May 12 at 7 p.m. at the Fredonia Middle School Cafeteria.

The event is hosted by the SAREP Youth Fly Fishing Program. Cheektowaga resident Bob Keicher was recognized as a “Hero of Conservation” in the latest issue of Field & Stream magazine (page 25). Keicher is very active with the Safari Club International with kids programs and launched a program where prison inmates helped raise thousands of pheasants for release. Congratulations!

Calendar:

Application forms for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club ‘s Take-A-Kid Fishing day on June 7 are available now at the “Con Club. “

The Chautauqua County Committee Friends of the NRA announce they will present their 19th annual banquet on Saturday May 10 at the Samuel Derby Post located in Frewsburg. The doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner, live and silent auction items as well as drawings and numerous door prizes featuring wildlife art, shooting accessories and NRA specialty items. For reservations and tickets call John Cresanti at 386-3152, Boyd Shaffer at 569-4099 or Tom Kelly at 736-4386. The deadline is Monday April 28 with limited walk-ins.

There will be several benefits for Brian Noody, the owner of Westwind Archery /Taxidermy, who suffered a devastating property loss due to fire. On Sunday, May 4, starting at 1 p.m., the Nickel Plate Depot will host a spaghetti dinner that will include a Chinese auction, big ticket raffle items, live entertainment, auction, photo booth, fun bike run and more. For information, contact Ashley Dumas at 680-8384 or 597-6953.

Point Blank Outdoors, a group of local outdoorsmen, will appear on the sportsmen’s channel in May with film footage from the Dunkirk area. The show will be starting Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 a.m., Monday, May 12 at 1 p.m. and Friday, May 16 at 4 p.m.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club has a list of activities planned for this year, starting with a huge yard sale at the club property located at 4391 Cassadaga-Stockton Road on Saturday, May 3, starting at 9 a.m. Anyone interested in selling gear, boats, cars, farm equipment, etc. can rent a spot by calling Tom at 680-0209, or Kim at 450-4659 or the club phone at 595-3334. You can also email them at bearlakerodandgun@gmail.com. Sorry, no guns.

The Bear Lake Club will also hold a trail camera contest May 18 and Sept. 14. Send pictures to the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, P.O. Box 151 Stockton, N.Y. 14784, or bring your pictures to the club the day of the contest. Entry fee is $5 per photo. You can enter new and old photos and the public is invited to attend to help vote on the winners. For more information, contact Tom Kessler at 680-0209 or Tim Abbey at 792-6519. The Bear Lake Club will host 3-D archery shoots May 18, May 25, June 22, July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot June 8 and Sept. 21. New members are welcome and the club’s monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.

Plans are being made for the GLE to take place at Dunkirk’s Memorial Park on June 21.

Southtowns walleye will host a one-day yellow perch contest on May 17 for $10 per entry. Cash prizes, free perch dinner and lots of fun are on the agenda. Participants must be a member. Southtown Walleye’s annual walleye tournament is June 7-14. Must be a member and $35 entry per contestant. Note that there will be numerous prize giveaways at the monthly meetings in May and June for members entered in the Walleye tournament. Be sure to bring your tournament form or sign up at the May meeting . Southtowns walleye will also host a chicken BBQ on Saturday, May 10 from 4-7 p.m. Open to the public.

The Falconer Rod & Gun Club will host a trapping course on Sept. 24 and 26 from 5:30-10 p.m. each day. Register the first day.

The archery course at the Bear Lake Club will be Aug. 20-21 from 6-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is required, as well as pre-registration. Their trapping course will be Oct. 16-17 from 6-10 p.m. both days with a limit of 35 students.

There will be one date for the archery course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There is a class limit of 60 students. Bring a lunch.

The trapping course at the Con Club will be Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Limit 60 students.

Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions’ (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted.

If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observertoday.com.