LITTLE rock — With much more than a month left in Arkansas’s archery deer season, hunters have actually checked 214,022 deer during the 2020-21 deer searching season. That’s much more deer than any type of season because the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission started keeping harvest documents in 1938.

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The previous document harvest to be 213,487 deer, collection in the 2012-13 season. V the exception of critical year, Arkansas hunters have harvested an ext than 200,000 deer annually since that season as well. Throughout the 2019-20 deer searching season the harvest dipped come 188,151.

“Last season was the result of a perfect storm lined up against harvest,” Ralph Meeker, deer regime coordinator, said. “Spring and also summer flooding in 2018 and 2019 contributed to lower fawn recruitment in specific parts the the state. Climate a massive chop of difficult mast (primarily acorns) lessened deer movement and also made deer feeders much less productive. On height of that, flooding during the peak of the pistol season closed searching in some parts of the state. All 3 of this factors contributed to what we witnessed in the 2019-20 deer harvest.” 

According to license sales numbers from the last 5 years, this year is the very first in countless when hunter numbers did no decline. In fact, this year resident and also nonresident searching license numbers room very comparable to those tape-recorded in 2018, but still are far listed below the number seen during the record-setting year practically a decade ago. 

Meeker points the end that this season’s rise in searching licenses might be since of COVID-19 and people finding brand-new ways to spend their time in an outdoor setting, but says the record-breaking year is not specifically the result of new hunters authorized the ranks.

COVID-19 also may have actually influenced hunters’ attitudes toward the number of deer they harvested. The pandemic caused plenty of meat shortages throughout the nation last year, i beg your pardon may have increased people’s watch of venison together a healthy and also sustainable alternative to beef and pork.

“I know of several human being who harvested (or attempted come harvest) much more deer 보다 they typically would this season to fill their freezer for the comes year,” Meeker said. “We’ve also likely viewed some hunters who had not purchased a patent in a few years get reactivated this year, however those are only two components that entered the high harvest,” Meeker said. “All the the factors that hindered harvest in 2019 were virtually the precise opposite in 2020.”

Meeker states deer that typically would have been harvested last year may have also included to this year’s total. 

“What will certainly be interesting to view is if hunters were able to harvest a bigger percentage of older age-class bucks, another result of carryover indigenous 2019,” Meeker said. “It likewise will be amazing to see just how the harvest numbers per hunter break down once the season has actually ended.”

Things have actually come a long way since Arkansas’s first recorded deer harvest in 1938. The year, hunters checked just 203 deer, statewide. More than twenty years later, the deer harvest broke the 10,000-deer mark, and hunters did no reach a 100,000-deer season in Arkansas until 1987. 

With current yearly harvests repetitively exceeding 200,000 deer, is over there still room because that growth? according to Meeker, the present deer harvest and limits fit the factors that affect the state’s deer herd well and also are most likely where they have to be for a healthy and balanced deer population.

“Our existing herd matches up well with the easily accessible habitat and also the social delivering capacity of ours state,” Meeker said. “The social transporting capacity is how numerous deer world can stand to live with. At some point, deer can end up being a nuisance or safety risk. However when you see eco-friendly stressors such as flooding or buffalo he knows outbreaks complied with by a an excellent harvest, the is a good indication that the deer populace is healthy enough to fag quickly, so I’d speak we’re in an excellent shape wherein we are.”

Meeker conveniently admits though that having actually too numerous or not sufficient deer significantly depends on that you room talking to.

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Hunters and also wildlife enthusiasm interested in learning much more about white-tailed deer harvest records and scientific monitoring of the types in Arkansas can uncover historical deer harvest reports and the’s strategy Deer Management plan at