Massachusetts Hunting News

Preliminary Archery and Shotgun Deer Season Figures
For the archery deer season, a preliminary total of 2,888 deer were checked in at official check stations according to staff at MassWildlife. The Western District check stations tallied 251 deer while Connecticut Valley District stations reported 352. Central District stations had 711 deer checked, Northeast District 575 and Southeast District checked 999. Last year's final archery total was 3,045.
Preliminary Shotgun Deer Season Figures
Check stations reported 6,378 deer at official check stations according to preliminary figures compiled by MassWildlife. The shotgun season opened statewide on December 1 through December 6 on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard and through December 13 across the remainder of the state. During the 2002 shotgun season a total of 8,084 deer were checked. The highest shotgun season kill on record was 1995 when 8,131 deer were taken.
Preliminary Archery Numbers
Licensed Bay State archers brought home the venison to the tune of 2,871 deer harvested during the statewide six week season, according to preliminary figures compiled by MassWildlife's five District offices. District staff contacted check stations across the state to generate the preliminary tally.
Early Bear Season Harvest Numbers
Licensed black bear hunters took to the woods of western and central Massachusetts during the September 3 through 20 early season and emerged with a new statewide record of 142 bruins with a one week season in November still to come. The previous record, set in 1995, was 134 for the entire season. Last year's harvest was 116 bears.
Anterless Deer Permits Available
Antlerless deer permits, required for all hunters who take deer with antlers 3 inches or less, are available. According to MassWildlife Permit Specialist Lori Cookman, there will be no permits available for sale in Deer Management Zones (DMZs) 1, 2, 4N, 4S, 5, 6, and 12, as all available permits were issued through the earlier application and drawing process. Permits will be available for DMZs 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14.
Anterless Deer Permit Update
With the antlerless deer permit drawing completed, deer hunters who applied for a permit should have received a notification card by mail. Over the counter permit sales will begin October 6 beginning at 8 AM – 4:30 PM on weekdays except Columbus Day.
Sign Up Now for Hunter Education Class
Prospective hunters of all ages are reminded that it is never too early to plan and sign up for a Basic Hunter Education Course. Basic courses are now available across the state and many begin in August and September. “Many veteran and new hunters fail to consider enrolling in a course until the weather turns cool in late September,” says Susan Langlois, MassWildlife Hunter Education Coordinator. “Unfortunately, most courses have either begun or are full and the opportunity to hunt during the fall may disappear.”
Antlerless Deer Permit Allocations
MassWildlife Deer Project Leader Bill Woytek presented proposed antlerless deer permit allocations by Deer Management Zone (DMZ) to the Fisheries and Wildlife Board at their June 24 meeting. Woytek's plan calls for a 7% change in permit numbers from the 2002 allocation. "It is critical that deer hunters apply for a permit before the July 16 deadline," says Woytek. "Do not assume there will be large numbers of antlerless permits for over-the-counter sales in the fall."
Final 2002 All Season Deer Summary
MassWildlife Deer Project Leader Bill Woytek reports a record total of 12,264 white-tailed deer taken by licensed hunters during the combined 2002 seasons. An additional 153 deer were taken during the Quabbin Reservation hunt. By season the total breaks down to 8 deer taken during the special season for paraplegic sportsmen, 2819 taken by archers, 8084 taken during the shotgun season and 1350 taken during the muzzleloading season.
Preliminary All Season Deer Numbers
Licensed Massachusetts deer hunters enjoyed their most productive season on record, bagging 12,196 white-tails during the 2002 regulated seasons according to preliminary figures released by MassWildlife.