With hunting season underway, I am interested in your input on a public policy issue that you may find interesting. According to the NYS Whitetail Management Coalition, typically 60-85% of the male deer harvested in New York each year are 1.5 years old or younger. New York State has one of the highest harvest rates of immature deer. In an effort to change this, over the last decade, certain regions of New York have experimented with an antler restriction requiring a minimum of three points on one side.
In the areas where yearling buck protection with antler restrictions was begun in 2005 and 2006, the yearling buck harvest has dropped dramatically. The harvest is now made up of approximately 85% adult bucks that are 2.5 and 3.5 years old; only 15% of the harvest is yearlings. The program is achieving its goal of protecting yearling bucks. The trade off for this program is that for a few years the overall deer harvest is lower while the population of older bucks builds up.
I am asking you, my sportsmen constituents, to let me know your opinions on antler restrictions. Would you like to see a similar antler restriction implemented where you hunt? Please fill out the form below to let me know your thoughts on antler restrictions in New York State and any additional comments you may have. Additionally, please let me know which Wildlife Management Unit you hunt in most often.