ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the 2022 deer harvest estimates with New York hunters harvesting an estimated 231,961 deer during the 2022 hunting seasons. The 231,961 estimate is a 10% increase from last year, says DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Among the 2022-23 estimated deer take, the numbers included 116,425 antlered bucks and 115,536 antlerless deer. The DEC says there was a five-percent increase in antlered buck harvest and a 15% increase in antlerless deer harvest from last season.

The DEC says nearly 2,300 deer were harvested by youth hunters during the Youth Hunt Weekend, a 38% increase from 2021. The DEC credits this increase in part to the success of 12 and 13-year-old hunters who took part in the second year of a pilot program established by the State Legislature, allowing hunters aged 12-13 to hunt deer with a firearm.

Notable Numbers released by the DEC

  • 16.6 and 0.6 – the number of deer taken per square mile in the units with the highest (WMU 8R) and lowest (WMU 5F) harvest density.
  • 64% – portion of the adult buck harvest that was 2.5 years or older statewide, up from 45 percent a decade ago, and 30 percent in the 1990s.
  • 46.4% – portion of successful deer hunters that reported harvest as required by law. This is below the five-year average of 49.3 percent.
  • 13,568 – the number of hunter-harvested deer checked by DEC staff in 2022 to determine hunter reporting rate and collect biological data (e.g., age, sex, antler characteristics).
  • 2,727 – deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in 2022-23; none tested positive. DEC has tested 63,012 deer for CWD since 2002.

“DEC established several new deer hunting opportunities in 2021 and hunters took greater advantage of these opportunities during the 2022 season, including another safe, successful youth hunt,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Increased hunter success combined with recovering deer populations contributed to an overall increase in total deer harvest.”