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News Preliminary deer harvest report shows record year in 2018

The preliminary statewide deer harvest for 2018 is 14,513 – a new record high.
1/23/2019
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Media Contact for Preliminary deer harvest report shows record year in 2018

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

Massachusetts deer hunter

The preliminary statewide deer harvest for 2018 is 14,513 – a new record high. The preliminary harvest figures by season are as follows:

  • Youth Deer Hunt Day (Sept. 29): 138
  • Paraplegic Deer Hunt (Nov. 1–3): 3
  • Archery Season (Zones 1-9: Oct. 15–Nov. 24 and Zones 10-14: Oct 1-Nov. 24): 5,190
  • Shotgun Season (Nov. 26–Dec. 8): 6,495
  • Primitive Firearms Season (Dec. 10–Dec. 31): 2,687

Deer density and hunter effort tend to be the most important factors influencing harvest from year to year. However, there were two important changes for the 2018 season that may have led to the record harvest. The opening of over 7500 acres of Wachusett Reservoir Public Land and the two week extension to the archery season in Zones 10-14. The Zone 9 harvest increased from last year by about 300 deer, related to the newly opened Wachusett Reservoir Lands. Additionally, over 700 deer were taken during the two-week extension of the archery season in zones 10-14.

While total harvest by zone can be informative, it doesn’t provide the complete picture. Thus, it is important to assess harvest data and monitor trends by Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ map). Total harvest is influenced by deer density and the number of antlerless deer permits that MassWildlife allocates in each zone, as well as annual changes in hunter effort, harvest-rates, success-rates, weather, etc. The MassWildlife Deer Project Leader will spend the next few months thoroughly analyzing the deer harvest and biological data as well as assessing deer population trends in each zone. The results and recommendations for the 2019 season will take place at the annual deer management review presented at a Fisheries and Wildlife Board meeting in late spring. A complete harvest summary will be posted on the MassWildlife website shortly after the deer review, so please check back here in early summer.

Click here to learn more about deer management in Massachusetts.

2018 harvest by Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ map)

Zone

Adult Male

Button Buck

Female

Total

1

304

14

85

403

2

438

6

97

541

3

462

28

180

670

4N

456

16

154

626

4S

299

11

68

378

5

487

31

186

704

6

111

2

34

147

7

410

46

248

704

8

595

40

250

885

9

786

115

557

1,458

10

1,220

238

1,193

2,651

11

1,773

299

1,292

3,364

12

181

17

101

299

13

354

120

426

900

14

297

123

363

783

Statewide

8,173

1,106

5,234

14,513

 

Media Contact for Preliminary deer harvest report shows record year in 2018

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.
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