Hunting results indicate a growing, healthy deer herd in NH
[Ed. Note: More proof that hunting agencies *intentionally*
increase deer populations]
December 15, 2012
"We are still trying to increase the deer population, although some of
the southern areas are nearing the goal,” Gustafson said.
results indicate a growing, healthy deer herd in NH
By DAVID BROOKS
Last year’s mild winter was good for the state’s
population of white-tailed deer, judging from preliminary results out of
the fall hunting season, during which hunters found more – and bigger –
deer than in recent years.
“As of Thanksgiving weekend, the
estimated total kill based on registration stations was up about 3
percent from the same time last year,” said Kent Gustafson, a wildlife
biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game.
That sentiment was
echoed at J-Don’s Variety, 1081 W. Hollis St., one of the local places
where hunters check in and weigh their deer.
“We’ve had 418 (or) 421
registered, right around there,” said Jarrod Martin, store manager.
“That’s the most we’ve had in the four years I’ve been doing this.”
Fish and Game estimates that New Hampshire had about 86,000 deer before the
hunt. Usually, 10 percent to 15 percent of the herd is killed by
Preliminary data also indicates that the long decline in
the number of New Hampshire hunters may have ended.
final figures won’t be known for a while, it appears that, for the third
year in a row, the number of hunting licenses purchased in the state,
both by in-state and out-of-state hunters, has risen slightly, said Sue
Perry, licensing supervisor for Fish & Game.
New Hampshire sells
around 60,000 hunting licenses a year, compared with more than 85,000 in
the early 1990s. Most of the country has seen similar declines as an
increasingly urban population does less hunting.
firearm season for deer is by far the most popular hunting season of the
year. It ended Sunday .
The archery season for deer, which started
in September, lasted a week longer, ending Saturday . The season for
hunting deer with muzzle-loading firearms ran Nov. 3-13.
results for all of these seasons will be available next week using
information at the state’s 80 official check stations, where hunters must
register their kill and where carcasses are weighed and other
information is compiled.
“Anecdotally, talking to the biologists
that were at the stations, talking to hunters, it looks like the deer
were in real good shape,” Gustafson said. “Quite a few bucks were taken
that were above average, above 180-200 pounds, a lot of them with nice
At J-Don’s, Martin agreed.
“Some were massive,” he
said. Weights have ranged from 65-220 pounds.
“You name it, we had
all of them,” he said.
In the 2011 season, 11,167 deer were killed
by hunters, up 14 percent from 2010 and the highest harvest since 2007.
The heavy winter of 2007-08 killed a lot of deer and led the state to
trim hunting seasons to help the herd rebound.
“We are still
trying to increase the deer population, although some of the southern
areas are nearing the goal,” Gustafson said.
Fish and Game divides
the state into wildlife management units, or WMUs. The WMU labeled M,
which covers Nashua through the Seacoast, has so many deer that hunters
are allowed to kill an extra doe there.
This fact has contributed to
a shift in hunting in recent years from north to south in New Hampshire,
which is also partly because of more hunters coming up from eastern
Massachusetts as hunting limits are placed there.
Last year, more
deer were registered at check stations in Hillsborough County than at
any other county in the state.
J-Don’s charges $2 to register a deer
and $2 to weigh it, but proceeds go to the autism foundation, Martin
“We have some customers who just give me a ‘10 spot’ and call
it a day,” he said. “It’s for a good cause.”
David Brooks can be
reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua telegraph.com. Also, follow
Brooks’ blog on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).
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