Deer harvest data

Review the recent white-tailed deer harvest data before heading out to hunt.

Overview

Though Massachusetts is the 3rd most densely populated state in the country, it is a state where quality deer can be found anywhere. MassWildlife biologists estimate that there are over 100,000 deer statewide. Estimated densities range from about 12-18 per square mile in western and central Massachusetts to over 50 deer per square mile on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands, and certain areas of eastern MA where hunting access is restricted.

2016 harvest data

State hunters harvested 12,249 deer during the 2016 hunting season. It was the third highest harvest on record.

  • 138 taken on the youth deer hunt day and Paraplegic hunt
  • 4,656 taken in the archery season
  • 4,920 taken in the shotgun season
  • 2,535 taken in the primitive firearms season

MassWildlife manages deer numbers in the state with regulated hunting. The goal is to keep deer numbers below the level where major impacts to the habitat occur, but in balance with social tolerance. 15 Wildlife Management Zones manage the population. The MassWildlife Board oversees changes to hunting season, bag limits, and deer permit numbers.

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