Deer hunter survey underway

State sets its sights on satisfying hunters

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A statewide deer hunter survey is underway in an effort to provide improved deer hunting experiences across the state. The survey is being conducted for the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) by the Human Dimensions Research Unit at Cornell University.

“I encourage hunters and other deer management stakeholders to support our efforts to address yearling buck harvest strategies through a systematic and balanced process,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a news release. “A high response rate to the survey will help ensure that the study findings are representative of all deer hunters across New York State.”

The Cornell University staff were mailing questionnaires to a statewide random sample of 7,000 big-game license holders with an invitation to participate in the survey. By gathering information on the relative importance hunters place on different types of deer hunting and harvest opportunities, the survey will help wildlife managers identify which buck management strategy best balances hunter opinions in various regions of the state, the news release said.

Results from the survey will be used during 2014 to help evaluate a variety of buck harvest strategies through a “structured decision-making process,” the release noted. The basic elements of this approach are discussed on the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html.

Meanwhile, the DEC has also announced that approximately 35,000 deer management permits (DMPs) are being issued to hunters who were previously denied permits during the initial application period earlier this fall. Leftover DMPs will also be available in several Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) beginning Nov. 1.

In addition to those who were previously denied permits, applicants from certain WMUs may receive DMPs. For WMU locations, visit the DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8302.html.

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