2002 Nova Scotia Deer Hunting Results

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Nova Scotia hunters harvested fewer deer in 2002, compared to the year before.

"We issued fewer antlerless deer stamps in 2002 because the deer population is still recovering from the effects of the severe winter conditions a couple of years ago," said Tim Olive, Minister of Natural Resources. "We expected the deer harvest to be down slightly this year."

The Department of Natural Resources issued 12,200 antlerless deer hunting stamps this season, down from 13,200 in 2001.

In 2002, hunters bagged 9,173 deer, down about 4.5 per cent from 2001. Lunenburg and Colchester counties once again registered the highest number of deer taken, at 1,535 and 1,173 respectively.

The number of bear taken increased to 281, almost 25 per cent higher than 2001. That number has only been higher in 1995. There was also an increase in licence sales for bear hunters this year for several reasons, including a healthy bear population.

"More Nova Scotians are hunting bear because of the low deer numbers," said Mr. Olive. "We also had a high number of nuisance bear complaints in 2002, which reflects a low supply of natural foods. Hunter success is usually higher in years when natural foods are less abundant because bears are more bold in trying to find food."

Moose hunters were also highly successful this year. During the 2002 moose hunt, almost 95 per cent of licensed hunters were successful. Hunters took 189 moose, a slight increase over the 186 taken in 2001.

Nova Scotia hunters have had an accident-free hunting season. For the past 10 years there have been less than five hunting accidents reported each season.

"Nova Scotia's forests have become safer for hunters and others enjoying our natural resources, mainly because of hunter safety courses that emphasize good firearm handling practices," said Mr. Olive.