Massachusetts Hunting News

Preliminary Shotgun Deer Season Figures Are Up
Licensed Bay State hunters took advantage of nearly ideal conditions for much of the shotgun deer season, reporting 8,199 deer at official check stations according to preliminary figures compiled by MassWildlife's five District offices. The shotgun season opened statewide on December 2 running through December 7 on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard and through December 14 across the remainder of the state. During the 2001 shotgun season a total of 6,057 deer were checked. The highest shotgun season kill on record was 1995 when 8,131 deer were taken.
Preliminary Archery Deer Season Numbers
Licensed Bay State archers are bringing home the venison to the tune of 2,651 deer harvested during the statewide six week season, according to preliminary figures compiled by MassWildlife's five District offices. District staff contacted 70+ check stations across the state to generate the preliminary tally. Western District stations reported 333 deer checked; Connecticut Valley stations, 445; Central District 604; Northeast District 445 and Southeast District 824. The early figures are slightly behind the 2001 record setting archery total of 2,914 and will likely rank as the second or third highest archery kill ever when finalized.
Preliminary Black Bear Season Results
Licensed Massachusetts black bear hunters took to the woods of western Massachusetts during the September 3 through 21 early season and emerged with 110 bruins which were tagged and brought to MassWildlife check stations. During the same season one year ago, 99 bears were checked.
Remaining Deer Permits Available in October
Licensed deer hunters are reminded that an antlerless deer permit and accompanying tag are required for all antlerless deer taken during the 2002 archery, shotgun and muzzleloader seasons. License holders who applied for a permit through the drawing system have been sent notification cards either advising of their selection for their Deer Management Zone (DMZ) of choice or offering a permit in an alternate DMZ. Remaining permits will be made available over the counter at MassWildlife offices beginning October 2. Check the website at in late September for the list of DMZs for which permits will be sold.
Antlerless Permit Reminder
Bay State deer hunters are reminded that an antlerless deer permit will be mandatory for any archer, shotgunner or muzzleloader wishing to harvest an antlerless deer during all 2002 deer seasons. The application deadline is July 16. Mail-in applications are provided with 2002 paper licenses purchased from town clerks and vendors while electronic license buyers may apply on-line during or after the purchase of an e-license. The July 16 deadline is firm regardless of the manner by which a sportsman or woman applies.
Antlerless Deer Permits
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 April meeting. Archers, shotgunners and muzzleloaders will be required to possess and use an antlerless deer permit and tag to take any antlerless deer during all seasons beginning this fall, and must apply for a permit before the July 16 deadline. Woytek's plan calls for no change in permit numbers from the 2001 allocation, with the exception of a reduction in permits for DMZ 12 (Cape Cod) to reflect the change in the zone boundary between DMZs 12 and 11. A total allocation of 41,050 permits for the combined 2002 white-tailed deer seasons was presented to and approved by the Board.
2001 Dear Harvest Results
MassWildlife Deer Project Leader Bill Woytek reports a total of 9829 white-tailed deer taken by licensed hunters during the combined 2001 seasons. The kill ranks as the fourth highest statewide total on record and does not include an additional 101 deer taken during the Quabbin Reservation contolled hunt. By season the total breaks down to 4 deer taken during the special season for paraplegic sportsmen, 2914 taken by archers, 6057 taken during the shotgun season and 854 taken during the muzzleloading season.
Preliminary All Season Deer Numbers
The 2001 combined Massachusetts deer seasons will likely rank as the fourth highest deer kill in the state's history when all data cards are tallied. Preliminary figures generated by phone calls to 73 official deer check stations around the state suggest licensed archery hunters took 2886 deer, shotgunners took 6014 and muzzleloading enthusiasts tagged 846. Four additional deer were taken during the special hunt for paraplegic sportsmen. The preliminary all season total of 9750 deer places 2001 behind the 2000 (11096), 1995 (11059) and 1997 (10286) seasons in terms of combined harvest. An additional 101 deer were taken as part of the Quabbin Reservation Controlled Hunt and are considered separately from the statewide totals.
Preliminary Shotgun Deer Season Figures
Licensed deer hunters participating in the 2001 shotgun season brought 6014 whitetails to statewide check stations according to figures compiled by MassWildlife's regional District offices. Sportsmen and women are required to bring deer to an official check station to legally report the kill. Biologists examine roughly one half of the deer taken during shotgun season and record data including weight, sex, age and antler beam diameter. The information is entered into a database and provides insight on the condition, sex ratio and age structure of the herd as well as the quality of habitat. Check station operators tag each deer with a metal seal. Successful hunters may then have the deer processed for venison and/or mounted by a taxidermist.
Muzzleloading Firearms Regulations
The Massachusetts Primitive Firearms deer season will run from December 10 through 15 statewide. Regulatory changes for the 2001 Primitive season made by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board at their August meeting include allowing the use of sabot rounds regardless of composition as well as jacketed and belted projectiles. The Board also approved the use of telescopic sights, with the exception of laser sights or any other sights which project a beam. Closed, in-line ignitions, including those using shotgun (209) primers were also sanctioned.