Preliminary Shotgun Deer Season Figures

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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.

"We have a large and healthy deer herd," said Bill Woytek, MassWildife's Deer Project Leader. "We are on track with the overall trend in harvest. Last year was an unusual record year, due to snow on the ground throughout the season. This year's figures are more in line with historic trends."

MassWildlife's Western District check stations tallied 997 deer while Connecticut Valley District stations reported 1,099. Central District stations had 1,462 deer checked, Northeast District 733 and Southeast District for 2,151 (2 stations unreported). Additionally, 313 deer were taken during the Quabbin Controlled Hunt.

Deer hunters are reminded that the muzzleloader season is open through December 31, 2003 and that antlerless deer permit applications for next season are due by July 16, 2004.