2011 Deer harvest totals have been released

MassWildlife Deer Project Leader David Stainbrook recently reported that a total of 11,154 white-tailed deer were harvested by licensed hunters during the combined 2011 seasons.   This compares with 10,699 in 2010, 10,381in 2009, 11,217 in 2008 and 11,576 in 2007.  By season, the 2011 total breaks down to 8 deer taken during the special deer season for paraplegic sportsmen; 3,765 taken in the archery season; 5,349 taken during the shotgun season; 1,959 taken during the primitive arms season; and 37 deer harvested during the Quabbin Reservation hunt.  (I think he meant 73 deer taken at Quabbin). For those of you keeping statistics, here is more detailed harvest information for our area (Zones 1 through 4).  There were 522 deer taken with the bow in 2011 and that compares with 466 in 2010 and 449 in 2009.  In 2011 some 904 were taken by shotgun and that compares with 815 in 2010 and 857 in 2009.  In 2011 some 251 were taken with the muzzleloader verses 285 in 2010 and 360 in 2009. On average statewide, 34% are taken with the bow, 47% with the shotgun and 19% with black powder.  For more detailed information about the deer harvests, click onto the MassWildlife web site. Stainbrook went on and reported that deer populations are managed according to deer density goals established to maintain healthy deer populations in balance with the environment.  Goals are set at levels that balance deer hunting and viewing opportunities with levels which minimize impacts on property damage, public health issues, and safety.  Deer densities throughout the western and central parts of the state and some areas in the east with lands accessible to hunters are at or near deer management goals.  High deer populations are still found in suburban areas in eastern Massachusetts where hunter access is limited, but recent trends in towns opening lands to archery hunting have shown promise for reducing deer numbers in these areas.***** While we are on the subject of deer, readers may recall that in my December 19, 2010 column I mentioned that Kiley Coty of Becket bagged a big 10-point buck in Tyringham which weighed 199 lbs field dressed.   He was hunting with his wife Cheryl who urged him to “Shoot it! Shoot it!”  And that’s just what he did.  He was to get the head mounted and I asked him to send a picture of it when he got it back so you could see it too.   As you can see, it was a monster buck with a beautiful rack.  The Boone & Crockett (B&C) scoring agency rated it at 170 3/8 in its typical big buck category.  The Northeast Big Buck Organization rated it 176 3/8.   According to the Cotys, it was rated the #1 buck taken with a gun in the State of Massachusetts in 2010 and #7 all time in the state with a gun.  It has been written up in both the B&C quarterly and Northeast Big Buck magazines and it will be listed in the hard cover record book which comes out every three years.  It was displayed at this spring’s Big E Eastern Fishing  and Outdoor Sports Exposition. *****

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