NEW YORK (WETM) – Despite ongoing disease in deer, New York hunters killed nearly a quarter of a million deer in 2022, and Steuben County ranked at the top for the highest number harvested, the DEC said.

According to the DEC, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes had some of the highest numbers of harvests per square mile of anywhere in the state. And across the region and the state, the DEC said hunters are still choosing to pass up young bucks and, on average, are only killing bucks that are at least 2.5 years old. The department said this shows its program to let young bucks grow is working.

Steuben County ranked at the top of the list with 13,587 harvested deer reported to the DEC. Chautauqua County was the runner up at 10,515/

A total of 231,961 deer were harvested in 2022 hunting seasons across NYS. The DEC said there were 5% more (116,425) antlered deer killed than in 2021 and 15% more (115,536) antlerless deer. A total of 2,000 were killed during the September antlerless-only season (to help reduce populations in certain areas) and 2,300 were harvested by youth hunters as part of the DEC’s program to let 12 and 13-year-olds hunt deer with guns.

However, the DEC said only 46.4% of successful hunters reported a harvest as required by law, lower than the five-year average of 49.3%.

The totals for Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Counties are below:

  • Chemung County
    • Total: 2,676
      • Male Adults: 1,456
      • Female Adults: 901
      • Male Fawns: 168
      • Female Fawns: 151
  • Steuben County
    • Total: 13,587 (highest of any county in the state)
      • Male Adults: 7,036
      • Female Adults: 4,813
      • Male Fawns: 903
      • Female Fawns: 835
  • Schuyler County
    • Total: 3,479
      • Male Adults: 1,535
      • Female Adults: 1,423
      • Male Fawns: 269
      • Female Fawns: 252
  • Tioga County
    • Total: 3,586
      • Male Adults: 1,664
      • Female Adults: 1,404
      • Male Fawns: 265
      • Female Fawns: 253
  • Tompkins County
    • Total: 3,513
      • Male Adults: 1,614
      • Female Adults: 1,392
      • Male Fawns: 260
      • Female Fawns: 247
  • Seneca County
    • Total: 2,152
      • Male Adults: 848
      • Female Adults: 965
      • Male Fawns: 269
      • Female Fawns: 163

The DEC said Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease did affect the numbers in the Hudson Valley and the eastern shoreline of Lake Ontario in 2020 and 2021. However, increased buck harvest has shown that the deer populations in those areas are recovering.

Read the full DEC deer report here.