Antlerless Deer Draw Application Line Opens

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Hunters can call 1-900-565-DEER (3337) any day of the week, 24 hours a day to apply for a stamp. The line is open until midnight on Friday, Aug. 29. As in previous years, a non-refundable application fee of $6.90 will be charged to the telephone bill of the phone that is being used.

"There have been no changes to the method for applying for an antlerless deer stamp this year, although we have added a new deer management zone in the Bridgewater-Lunenburg area because of the high density of deer in those communities," said Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive. "We are allowing 500 permits for sub-zone 2A."

This year 7,500 permits are available for the hunt, which is the lowest number of permits issued since the zone system was implemented in 1998. The use of deer zones is a management practice that allows Natural Resources staff to set appropriate harvest numbers based on the uneven distribution of deer throughout the province. The science-based approach helps to maintain a more stable deer population regionally in Nova Scotia.

"The deer herd across the province is at its lowest population level in a long time," said Mr. Olive. "By using a zone system we are able to adjust the number of permits available to hunters to accurately reflect the population of deer."

Permits are being offered for four of the seven deer management zones. This is the first year that zone 6 (all of Cape Breton except for the Highlands area) has not had any antlerless deer stamps available because of low deer numbers. Zone 3 (Chignecto area, Cumberland County) and zone 7 (Cape Breton Highlands and area) will also have no antlerless deer stamps for the same reason. The 2003 regulation summary booklet provides more detailed information on zone locations.

"The harsh winters and long periods of deep snow of the past few years have caused high mortality in the deer herd, particularly among fawns and yearlings, that would have produced a lot of fawns over the next three to four years," said Mr. Olive.

A computerized random draw will take place after Aug. 29. Successful applicants will be notified by mail during the week of Sept. 1. The results will be available between Sept. 7 and 13 by calling 1-877-535-1234, or 493-1412 in the Halifax area.

Detailed information on the antlerless deer draw can be found where hunting and angling licences are sold or on the Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/deerdraw.

There have been changes to the Wildlife Regulations for 2003 including the extension of the bear hunting season through the general season for deer hunting, prohibiting of harvesting female bears accompanied by cubs and the inclusion of small game and bear hunting report forms in the regulation summary booklet.