Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

White-tailed Deer

Painting of a White-tailed Deer by Jean Gawalt
Art by Jean Gawalt

Located throughout the state, the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is New York's most popular game animal. Residents and visitors to the state derive countless hours of enjoyment from the white-tailed deer resource. Each year, more than 500,000 deer hunters contribute nearly $1.5 billion to New York State's economy through hunting-related expenses. Through license purchases and federal excise taxes, hunters generate over $35 million to support management activities of NYSDEC. Hunters take some 220,000 deer annually, filling freezers with roughly 10.8 million pounds of high quality local venison. Largely due to efforts of more than 3,000 volunteer Hunter Education instructors, hunters continue to demonstrate exceptional safety records.

As a large herbivore, deer also play a role in shaping the landscape. Oftentimes, this can compete with human interests. Abundant deer populations can negatively affect plant communities and the other wildlife dependent on those communities. Deer can also cause problems for farmers, tree growers and homeowners. Additionally, they are a frequent hazard to motorists. Deer management seeks to maximize the benefits of this resource while being mindful of the human and ecological concerns associated with abundant deer populations.

Big Game Email List

Join New York Big Game to periodically receive information about bear and deer biology, management, research, regulations and hunting in New York State. To subscribe, first subscribe to GovDelivery and enter your email. Submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page.

On the "Quick Subscription" page you will see all the topics that you can subscribe to email updates on. Check the box next to "Hunting and Trapping" under the first category "Outdoor Recreational and Commercial Activities." You will receive a welcome email confirming your subscription(s).

More about White-tailed Deer:

  • New York's Deer Management Program - Overview of how and why white-tailed deer populations are managed in New York.
  • Deer Overabundance - The abundance of deer in many parts of New York is causing increasing problems, particularly in suburban and urban areas. This page and its sub-pages provide information on the origins and implications of this situation and various avenues for addressing these problems.
  • Deer and Moose Feeding Prohibited - Provides information about the specific regulations and also answers some questions regarding the feeding of deer and moose in New York.
  • Winter Deer Foods - A partial listing of tree and shrub species that are eaten by deer in the winter, arranged in order of quality and preference
  • Watchable Wildlife: White-tailed Deer - Fascinating facts and useful information to know when you are trying to view white-tailed deer in the wild.
  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8883.
  • Contact for this Page
    Bureau of Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4754
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions