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DEC wants to increase doe tags

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 9/17/20

The NY Department of Environmental (DEC) wants to increase Deer Management Permits (DMPS) this coming hunting season. Their target is to harvest 712,290 antlerless (doe) deer. That number excludes …

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DEC wants to increase doe tags

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The NY Department of Environmental (DEC) wants to increase Deer Management Permits (DMPS) this coming hunting season. Their target is to harvest 712,290 antlerless (doe) deer. That number excludes Wildlife Management Units that do not have DMP targets, such as Long Island and bowhunting only units. The Adirondacks in the Northern Zone are also not included.

Compared to 2019, 37,340 more doe permits are targeted to be issued this coming deer season, that's approximately a 5.5 percent increase. DEC's Big Game Unit Leader Jeremy Hurst said it is due to a couple of factors, “We've had a couple mild winters in recent years where we had nothing that has resulted in severe mortality and that's a good thing for deer and for hunters. But it also means there are deer out there on the landscape that we need hunters to harvest in order to get the population in check.”

Giving a hunter a Deer Management Permit is one thing but getting them to fill it is another. Many hunters are reluctant to shoot does (female deer) especially when they know does may be carrying twins or a fawn.

In 2019 only 13 percent of the Deer Management Permits issued were used, 81,134 out of 624,612 issued were filled. That compares to an overall success rate that averages about 30 percent annually among hunters.

When asked if hunters are taking enough antlerless deer Hurst said, “Generally no, what we've learned from working with hunters for so many years is that most hunters are satisfied taking one or two deer a year as their objective. We'd love to see that percentage of successful hunters increase, and see those hunters that are successful take more than one deer per year, particularly antlerless deer, because it's necessary for population control.”

Hurst said that while things are generally stable across New York there are some areas in serious need of a harvest increase. He went on to say, “On the whole, we want more permits issued this year, from the Syracuse area south and to the west. And also down in the southeast part of the state, parts of Orange, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester and Ulster counties. There are a few areas where we're decreasing permits but nothing really substantial.”

Snakehead spotted

in Delaware River!

A professional fishing guide fishing on the Delaware River in the Callicoon area said he spotted a snakehead fish in the river. A snakehead fish is an invasive species that can threaten the population of other fish that now exists in the Delaware River.

The fish, which has the nickname Frankenfish, can survive out of water and occasionally will move over land, spreading to different bodies of water, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Anglers who see the fish, which can grow to three feet, are urged to report it to the U.S. Park Service, and anyone who catches one should not return it to the water.

Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.

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