For Release: Monday, July 30, 2012
Two Deer Task Forces Recommend Increasing Deer Population in Delaware County
Two deer citizen task forces have recommend increasing deer populations in Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 4P and 4W, which include portions of Delaware, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.
"Both task forces did an excellent job and are to be commended for their efforts," Kelly said. "Members of the task forces had to weigh a number of competing interests and attempt to come up with fair compromises, balancing the viability of the region's deer population, the legitimate interests of the hunting community, the long-term health of wildlife habitat and the human use of the landscape."
WMU 4P includes portions of the towns of Walton, Hamden, Colchester, Andes, Bovina, Middletown, Stamford and Roxbury in Delaware County. It also includes a very small portion of southern Schoharie County.
WMU 4W includes portions of the towns of Walton, Colchester, Andes, Middletown, Tompkins, and the entire town of Hancock in Delaware County. It also includes very small portions of western Ulster and Sullivan counties.
The WMU 4W task force recommended a 15-percent increase in the current deer population.
The WMU 4P task force was ultimately unable to come up with a consensus for the size of the overall increase over the current deer population. Some members could accept a ten-percent increase while others would accept a 15-percent increase. Because the task force could not agree on how much to increase the population, DEC biologists considered the input of the entire task force and adopted a ten-percent increase over the current deer population for unit 4P.
DEC manages the deer population in specific WMUs primarily through the use of Deer Management Permits (DMP). The DMPs are distributed through an instant lottery system and are only valid for taking antlerless deer in a specific WMU. By controlling the number of permits issued, DEC can control the number of female deer that are removed from the population by hunting. This, in turn, influences the number of females that remain to produce young in the following year.
The two citizen task forces received input from numerous citizens with an interest in local deer populations. Representation on the task forces included hunters, farmers, forest property owners, professional ecologists, resource-based businesses, law enforcement and motorists.
Citizen task forces were first formed in 1990 to actively involve the public in DEC decision making regarding deer population levels in the various WMUs.