Our Tennessee deer season finally officially closed with the end of last weekend's youth hunt. The numbers have been tallied and look like this. 161,000 deer total harvested with the numbers being very close to 50/50, buck/doe. This is a very slight increase in total numbers from last season's harvest. Our best season ever saw 182,000 deer harvested in 2006. My county (Montgomery) had the most bow kills of any county in the state and also maintained it's position atop the state as the #1 county for deer of 11 points or more. We were 5th in 9&10 point bucks too.
Total numbers have been down a bit since our high point in '06, and we'd also had a bad outbreak of EHD in '07 partially caused by the extended drought we also had then. We have very liberal limits here, with a hunter able to harvest 3 deer a day throughout bow (includes crossbow) and muzzle loader seasons and also through gun seasons with the purchase of a special tag. Our total deer season, including bow, M/L and gun runs over 100 days, with about 5 weeks of that being regular rifle (gun) season.
Only three bucks total may be harvested and no more than 1 buck per day. This type of limit, allowing virtually as many does as a hunter wants, does not seem to have any adverse effect on the total herd numbers, as shown by the pretty consistent harvest numbers. The total Tennessee herd is estimated at approximately 1,000,000 deer. It seems to me that the TWRA has a pretty good system in place, balancing high harvests with total population numbers.