Deer har­vest soars

The 2017 deer har­vest re­port re­veals 106 000 deer were taken by ap­prox­i­mately 37 000 li­censed recre­ational deer hun­ters across Vic­to­ria.

Field and Game - - DEER HARVEST -

Pro­duced by the Game Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (GMA) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Arthur Ry­lah In­sti­tute for En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search, the deer har­vest re­port pro­vides data on the num­ber of deer har­vested an­nu­ally based on reg­u­lar tele­phone sur­veys of li­censed deer hun­ters.

Deer hun­ters were asked about their hunt­ing ac­tiv­ity in­clud­ing how many deer they har­vested, what hunt­ing meth­ods they used, where they hunted, the num­ber of days they hunted, and the species of deer har­vested.

The re­sults only ac­count for deer har­vested recre­ation­ally by li­censed hun­ters and not those taken as part of con­trol pro­grams.

GMA chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Greg Hyams said the 2017 deer har­vest was the largest on record, con­tin­u­ing the trend of an in­crease in both the num­ber of deer recre­ation­ally har­vested and num­ber of li­censed deer hun­ters. “Dur­ing 2017, to­tal li­censed deer hunter num­bers peaked at an all time high of 36 968, in­clud­ing 4829 hound hun­ters,” he said. “Sur­veys showed each li­censed deer hunter hunted for ap­prox­i­mately 5.5 days in 2017, or 184 300 hunter days in to­tal, with an aver­age sea­sonal har­vest of three deer.”

The most com­monly har­vested species in 2017 was Sam­bar deer with an es­ti­mated to­tal har­vest of 88 816, fol­lowed next by Fal­low deer, with an es­ti­mated 15 515. “While stalk­ing was the most pre­ferred hunt­ing method used, ac­count­ing for the ma­jor­ity of the har­vest, hunt­ing Sam­bar deer with the aid of hounds was more ef­fi­cient,” Mr Hyams said. “The top five towns where deer were har­vested were Myrtle­ford, Mans­field, Bright, Dargo and Li­cola and the top five towns where most deer hunt­ing oc­curred were Mans­field, Myrtle­ford, Li­cola, Dargo and Omeo. The ma­jor­ity of deer were taken on pub­lic land.”

Mr Hyams said the in­creas­ing har­vest is likely due to the in­creas­ing dis­tri­bu­tion and abun­dance of deer as well as greater num­bers of deer hun­ters in Vic­to­ria.

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