Editor John Gereau poses with a buck from a previous hunting season.
ALBANY The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials Oct. 17 announced that they have adopted a five-year deer management plan.
The final plan, which has been revised based on public comment on a previously released draft version, is now available at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7211.html.
“White-tailed deer are an important and valued natural resource for New Yorkers,” Commissioner Joe Martens said. “DEC’s new deer management plan provides strategic direction for our staff over the next five years and will help us focus our efforts where they can best meet the biological and social demands associated with deer. This plan emphasizes the importance of hunting for deer management, and we are particularly excited to create new opportunities for young deer hunters,” Martens said. “We are also cognizant of the significant ecological impacts associated with deer, and we are eager to more fully bring our knowledge of these impacts into the population management process.”
The plan describes six primary goals that encompass the current priorities for deer management and the values and issues expressed by the public:
•Manage deer populations at levels that are appropriate for human and ecological concerns;
•Promote and enhance deer hunting as an important recreational activity, tradition, and population management tool in New York;
•Reduce negative impacts caused by deer;
•Foster public understanding and communication about deer ecology, deer management, economic aspects and recreational opportunities;
•Manage deer to promote healthy and sustainable forests and enhance habitat conservation efforts to benefit deer and other species; and
•Ensure that the necessary resources are available to support sound management of white-tailed deer in New York.
Public comment on the draft deer management plan was reviewed by the Department, and several notable changes were made in the adopted plan, including:
•Changing to a five-year cycle for evaluating deer population objectives;
•DEC removed the proposal to completely discontinue either-sex and antlerless-only tags;