Preliminary Archery Deer Season Numbers

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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.

Final 2002 all season figures will be generated during the first quarter of 2003 once all data cards from the check stations are entered into the database and analyzed by MassWildlife Deer Project Leader Bill Woytek. Harvest and deer population trends will be used to help determine antlerless deer permit allocations for 2003. "There's a strong possibility that antlerless permit allocations will be changed significantly for many Deer Management Zones as we look ahead to 2003," Woytek states. "Depending on what the harvest numbers show us, we may see zones that have had surplus permits in recent years only have permits available through the application and drawing process next year. My advice to deer hunters who want to maximize their chances of receiving an antlerless permit in 2003 is to get your permit application to MassWildlife prior to the July 16 deadline. If people assume there will be surplus permits available over the counter and don't bother to apply for the permit drawing, they might be very disappointed."

Woytek reminds Massachusetts deer hunters that an antlerless deer permit is required for taking any antlerless deer during all seasons beginning this year. The permit allocations have been reached for all Deer Management Zones with the exception of zones 13 (Dukes County) and 14 (Nantucket County). Licensed hunters who harvest a deer on Martha?s Vineyard, Nantucket or Cuttyhunk are required to check the deer on the islands. Antlerless deer taken using permits and tags valid for zones 13 and 14 may not be checked on the mainland.