Tuesday, January 29, 2008

TENNESSEE NEWS: 2007 Deer Harvest Down 11% vs. 2006

With the close of last weekends youth deer hunt, the 2007-2008 deer season is in the books. And as expected, the take was below last year’s total of 182,023. As of Wednesday, the unofficial harvest figure for this year is 162,582. There are several excuses bandied about by the wildlife pundits.

In September as the archery deer season was beginning, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency predicted a harvest that could be as much as 30 percent lower than usual, due to a much heavier than normal die-off of deer caused by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease. EHD occurs every year in Tennessee and many other states, caused by a virus spread by a small biting gnat or midge. Tennessee had outbreaks in about 50 counties with a few reporting casualties of 30 percent of the local herd.

The weather was another reason for the decline in deer harvest. The yearlong drought caused a double-digit deficit in rainfall for the year, and a record summer-long heat wave parched what hard and soft mast managed to grow.

Finally, the hot weather in September and October discouraged many bowhunters and muzzleloaders from even going out since the heat could quickly spoil their deer meat.

All things considered, this year’s harvest of 162,582 was only 11 percent below last year, so it could have been a lot worse.

Source: http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20080120/SPORTS0107/336975729

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