In about 35% of NYS, deer populations are relatively stable. In another 30% of the state, however, deer populations are increasing.
Overall, deer populations in much of the state remain too high for the DECâ€™s liking. Theyâ€™re asking hunters to refocus on taking more antlerless deer this coming season, while increasing the issuance of DMPs to help that effort. The DEC hopes to increase DMP issuance by 17% over last year, but hunters have to take advantage of these opportunities.
Last year, the DEC had hoped to increase DMP issuance by a similar number, but fell short, achieving only a 7% increase. Since then, the licenses have been restructured and fees have been reduced. The Sportsman and Super Sportsman licenses have been eliminated. Many hunters should be able to spend less on their licenses, purchasing only the stamps they require.
Increased DMP issuance is not the only change the DEC has implemented in an effort to reduce deer populations. They have also solidified the use of crossbows as a legal hunting implement. Setback distances has been reduced from 500 feet for all implements to 250 ft for crossbows and 150 ft for bows. Lastly, riles are now legal for big game hunting in Albany and Livingston Counties until Oct 1, 2016. See Rifle, shotgun, and bow areas here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35010.html
The DEC has published Unit-by-Unit Deer Season Forecasts, available in PDF form. See what they forecast for your hunting area:
Long Island, Hudson Valley and Southern Catskills - DEC Regions 1 and 3 (PDF, 438 kB)
Capital Region and Northern Catskills - DEC Region 4 (PDF, 570 kB)
Eastern Adirondacks - DEC Region 5 (PDF, 340 kB)
Western Adirondacks - DEC Region 6 (PDF, 349 kB)
Central New York - DEC Region 7 (PDF, 346 kB)
Western Finger Lakes - DEC Region 8 (PDF, 519 kB)
Western New York - DEC Region 9 (PDF, 563 kB)