With archery season starting Saturday, hunters in our area have plenty to be excited about, especially those who live in Steuben County.
Steuben County is one of the largest counties in New York State. Known for having acres of beautiful land, this hot spot is a premier hunting location for many come deer season.
“It’s a big county,” DEC Biologist Scott Smith said. “It covers a lot of ground, but it also has a pretty good deer population. There is a lot of land that is open for hunting. There are a lot of hunters that live in this area, as well. All those factors combine to end up with a pretty decent take.”
That decent take is historically one of the highest in the state, with harvested deer numbers reaching near 10,000 and more through the past couple of years. Resources available in Steuben County, as well as in western New York, help the deer population thrive.
“We have really good agriculture, which provides a lot of food,” Smith said. “A good mixture of forestry, timberland adjacent to that which also provides good food and cover, and we have really good water resources so our deer do really well on this side of the state.”
Of course, with the large amount of deer within Steuben County, this is when deer management permits come into play.
“The number of permits is determines by the wildlife department,” Hesselson’s Sporting Goods Manager Paul Perine said. “They figure out the carrying capacity of the area, along with the projected number of licensed hunters, and what they would like to get the number of anterless deer down to.”
So, for those gearing up to head out the door this season, you’re in luck.
“This year, we are expecting things to be pretty similar to last year,” Smith said. “We are recovering from a couple of tough winters years ago, and last winter was really mild. So, the deer fared very well last winter.”