Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TENNESSEE NEWS: Harvest Up 11% Overall

The deer harvest during Tennessee's 2006 opening weekend of regular gun season was down substantially from 2005. Opening weekend in 2005 gun hunters took 26,559 deer. Opening weekend this year gun hunters took 22,969 deer... a 14% decrease.

However TWRA Big Game Biologist Daryl Ratajczak points out a very good reason for the decline in gun harvest. It all comes down to the success of folks who took part in the earlier muzzleloader hunts.

Due to extremely hot, dry weather conditions the opening weekend of the 2005 muzzleloader season yielded only 11,732 deer. This year however, muzzleloader hunters took 19,634 deer... a huge 67% increase.

Ratajczak says, "there were simply more deer available to the regular gun hunters last year because there were so few killed during the muzzleloader season." He points out that "if you combine the two openers (muzzleloader and gun) our harvest is actually up." Between the two openers in 2005 hunters took a combined 38,291 deer. In 2006 the two openers add up to 42,603 ... an 11% increase.

OHIO NEWS: Record Bow Harvest in 2006

Ohio's deer gun season opens Monday and continues through Dec. 3, with the Division of Wildlife expecting 475,000 deer hunters to take to the field during that week.

Estimates are 600,000 deer roam Ohio's woodlands, and the DOW expects roughly 200,000 of those deer will be harvested by the close of deer season. Ohio will also have a second deer gun season the weekend of Dec. 16-17.

Bowhunters have had a good year, in addition to tagging some of the largest whitetails in the nation this season, bowhunters have taken a record 45,733 deer through the first six weeks of bow season in the Buckeye State.

KENTUCKY NEWS: On Target For Record Harvest

Deer hunters are likely to set another record for harvest this year, and if they don't establish a new record, in most areas of the state the number of deer taken should exceed last year. Hunters had taken more than 91,000 deer through this past weekend.

Conditions have been right for hunters to take a record number of white-tailed deer this season. While gun season ends this week, archery and muzzleloading seasons remain.

"Because of the mild winter and wet spring, we had a large number of healthy fawns this year," said Tina Brunjes, big game coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The potential is there to exceed the (record) 2004 harvest, if the weather cooperates."

Kentucky's deer herd has an estimated 900,000 animals, an all-time high. Hunters took a record 124,000 deer in 2004, but the harvest dropped to 112,000 last season.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

MISSOURI NEWS: Opening Weekend Bests 2005 Season

State officials reported that 124,254 deer were harvested over the opening weekend of gun season throughout Missouri. The total kill was up considerably from that of last year, which saw 106,550 deer harvested statewide during the opening weekend.

So far the Missouri Department of Conservation has given out more than 500,000 deer tags this year to residents and nonresidents. The aim is to help bring the state deer population down. The total is well over a million.

WISCONSIN NEWS: Big Kill Opening Weekend

The Department of Natural Resources reports today that preliminary counts show hunters killed 167,573 deer during the first two days of the season -- up about 6500 from a year ago. Wildlife officials say 72,245 bucks and 95,328 antlerless deer were registered.