Whitetail Deer Hunting News

West Texas Deer Study Group
The economics of deer versus livestock in the Rolling Plains, the potential implications of Chronic Wasting Disease in the Panhandle and a look at several deer management case studies are among the offerings during the 5th Annual West Texas Deer Study Group meeting here May 29-30. Those interested can pre-register during the next couple of weeks.
Two New Cases of CWD
Efforts to sample and test 500 white-tailed-deer from western Dane and Eastern Iowa counties continued today with wildlife officials reporting they’ve received notification of two more positive cases from the testing laboratory. This brings the total of known CWD diseased deer in the area to twelve.
Deer Importation Suspended
Recognizing that the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is not likely to go away anytime soon, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted April 4 to close Texas borders to all importation of live white-tailed and mule deer until further notice. The suspension of importation applies only to live animals and will not prevent hunters from bringing legally harvested game into Texas. The board's action solidifies a March 11 emergency suspension of deer importation.
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.
Deer Harvest and Population Down
Maine's 2001 deer harvest was down by 25% from 2000 due to several factors, including a population decline from the severe 2001 winter. Overall, 27,769 deer were registered during 2001. Statewide, deer harvest decreased by 25% (9,116 deer) in 2001, compared to the previous year (36,885). IFW biologists estimate that Maine's wintering population of deer declined by 18% from 292,000 in the beginning of winter 2001, to 241,000 in the winter of 2002.
Winter Effects Big Game
Maine's IFW has written up a report on the condition of their state's white-tail, moose, and black bear. Last year a heavy winter has a high mortality rate on white-tail heads so the IFW is monitoring all heads carefully, although the jury is still out on this winter.
Rewards for Reporting Importation Breakers
To help enforce Texas Parks and Wildlife's recent suspension on white-tailed and mule deer importation, Texas' privately funded wildlife "crime stoppers" program, 'Operation Game Thief,' is offering rewards of up to $10,000 for information that results in the arrest and conviction of those violating the suspension on importation. The TPW Commission's action to suspend the importation was taken in consideration of the recent emergence and spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which has been documented in several other states in both captive and free-ranging deer populations.
Deer Harvest Results
Hunters took 486,014 deer during Pennsylvania's 2001-2002 hunting seasons, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission today. In the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons, hunters harvested 504,600 deer. The 2001-2002 antlered (buck) deer harvest was 203,247, compared to 203,221 during the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons. The 2001-2002 antlerless (doe) deer harvest was 282,767, compared to the 2000-2001 deer harvest of 301,379.
Deer Harvest Slightly Declines
Unfavorable hunting conditions and weather led to a one percent decline in the Maryland total deer hunting season harvest for 2001-2002. Maryland's 2001-2002 total deer hunting season harvest totaled 83,787. A total of 82,206 white-tailed deer and 1,581 sika deer were bagged. Fog, wind, rain, and unseasonably warm temperatures during the two-week firearm season contributed to a 13 percent decline in harvest numbers. Firearm deer hunters took 42,321 deer, down from 48,248 in the previous year.
CWD Confirmed in Deer
Three white tail deer taken during the 2001 hunting season were found to have chronic wasting disease (CWD). Wisconsin began testing the deer population in thousands of animals in 1999; however these are the first reported incidence of CWD in the state. The Wisconsin DNR has launched a probe to "identify the scope and origin" of CWD in the state's herd.