index

Hunters in New York State Harvested a Staggering 200,000 Deer in 2024

Thayne Muthler

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said that a total of 209,781 deer were taken during the 2023–2024 hunting season. When the DEC began tracking the age distribution of deer in the state in 1969, there were nearly five times as many older bucks in this most recent harvest.

During the 2023–2024 hunting season, around 112,224 male and 97,557 female deer were harvested; there was a 3.6% decrease in antlered bucks and a 15.6% fall in antlerless deer. The DEC is concerned about the 15.6% decline because it may have an effect on deer populations, which might raise the possibility of deer-vehicle collisions, agricultural damage, and other problems.

There is a need for several Wildlife Management Units in New York to shoot more female deer, particularly in the Central Appalachian Plateau and Western Finger Lakes region. In order to provide the nourishment that female deer require for antler growth, fawn recruitment, and general body development, it is imperative that they be harvested.

According to DEC Commissioner Sean Mahar, a DEC program was successful as over 70% of the bucks taken the previous year were two years old or older. "This demonstrates the continued effect of DEC's Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow initiative, along with the hunters' willingness to give up young bucks to increase their chances of taking older bucks later on," he said.