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Mass 2020 harvest info. Record harvests.

whacko

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2020 was a record year for hunting in Massachusetts!

• The 2020 spring turkey season brought a record harvest of 3,310 birds, and the fall turkey season's total of 256 was the highest in 20 years!
• 325 black bears were taken in 2020, breaking the previous record high of 283 in 2016.
• The preliminary statewide deer harvest in 2020 was 14,331—the second highest on record after 2018.
 

Mark from MA

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2020 was a record year for hunting in Massachusetts!

• The 2020 spring turkey season brought a record harvest of 3,310 birds, and the fall turkey season's total of 256 was the highest in 20 years!
• 325 black bears were taken in 2020, breaking the previous record high of 283 in 2016.
• The preliminary statewide deer harvest in 2020 was 14,331—the second highest on record after 2018.
Meh....almost every single WMU in PA harvests around 20K deer per year lately. Truly fun to hunt there and see a bunch of deer in farm country.

14K per the whole state is rookie numbers.....and most of that is in urban areas where you are hunting little woodlots now.
This state is truly mismanaged in the areas where there are big woods.
 

whacko

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Meh....almost every single WMU in PA harvests around 20K deer per year lately. Truly fun to hunt there and see a bunch of deer in farm country.

14K per the whole state is rookie numbers.....and most of that is in urban areas where you are hunting little woodlots now.
This state is truly mismanaged in the areas where there are big woods.
Well.....pa has an estimated 1.5 MILLION deer. Mass has 100k. I don't think ma will hold a healthy herd of 1.5 mil. So your logic is a little splayed.
 

HorizontalHunter

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Well.....pa has an estimated 1.5 MILLION deer. Mass has 100k. I don't think ma will hold a healthy herd of 1.5 mil. So your logic is a little splayed.

Mass could have a much larger population of deer IF they managed their properties for it.

Mass could have a much larger population of partridge IF they managed their properties for it.

Mass could have a much larger year round (not put and take) population of pheasant IF they managed for it.

I could go on but it is abundantly clear that MDFW doesn’t care about wildlife Management for hunters.

Bob
 

Mark from MA

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Well.....pa has an estimated 1.5 MILLION deer. Mass has 100k. I don't think ma will hold a healthy herd of 1.5 mil. So your logic is a little splayed.
I wouldn't expect MA to hold 1.5 million. Its a smaller state. You have to look at it in deer density per square mile. Almost all states south and west of us, have better deer density than MA.
I might even argue NH has a better density in southern zones.

However, managed properly it could be better. Sure we may have a great deer density of like 20-30 per square mile where you can't hunt or in some small pockets. But where you can its 10 or probably less.....I will argue around me a lot less....like 5 or less. Even hunts like Blue Hill, where there was supposedly a 50+ deer per square mile, the harvest numbers just didn't show that was true.

A properly managed state tries to attain deer density in areas that are hunted to keep hunters relatively in the game. MA does not do that. The only reason we have deer in the east is because you can't get access to them. Meanwhile we mismanage in the western zones where the density could be brought up higher.

MA also does not have the soil quality of other states like CT and PA where more nut trees grow, and less farmland. So harvest in hunted areas really needs to be less. Take a look at the Quabbin for example. It took 60 years of no hunting at all to get the herd to 30 per square mile. They wiped it out back to 5-10 in about 3-5 years of regular gun hunting. I'm not sure why people don't see that as a perfect example of mismanagement. Sure they wanted to take the herd down, but they could have done it in 10 years giving many many more people access to quality hunting. And it doesn't need to 5 deer per square mile either.
 
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whacko

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I wouldn't expect MA to hold 1.5 million. Its a smaller state. You have to look at it in deer density per square mile. Almost all states south and west of us, have better deer density than MA.
I might even argue NH has a better density in southern zones.

However, managed properly it could be better. Sure we may have a great deer density of like 20-30 per square mile where you can't hunt or in some small pockets. But where you can its 10 or probably less.....I will argue around me a lot less....like 5 or less. Even hunts like Blue Hill, where there was supposedly a 50+ deer per square mile, the harvest numbers just didn't show that was true.

A properly managed state tries to attain deer density in areas that are hunted to keep hunters relatively in the game. MA does not do that. The only reason we have deer in the east is because you can't get access to them. Meanwhile we mismanage in the western zones where the density could be brought up higher.

MA also does not have the soil quality of other states like CT and PA where more nut trees grow, and less farmland. So harvest in hunted areas really needs to be less. Take a look at the Quabbin for example. It took 60 years of no hunting at all to get the herd to 30 per square mile. They wiped it out back to 5-10 in about 3-5 years of regular gun hunting.

I would like to see 1 buck a year with antler restrictions, and no doe tags until the herd count is brought up. Because there still will be poaching and the no doe tags kind of account for people that are shooting does illegally.
I would agree with one buck in certain zones. Antler reatrictions....meh. that one I've always been on thr fence about. It's hard to attract new hunters and kids to to hunting when they spend days in the woods.....to have them see a buck and have to pass because the rack isn't legal. It's difficult.....but there has to be a way to manage the herd up woth restrictions......and have there be some expectations of success in the hunt....at the same time.
 
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Not sure where you guys are but where I hunt in zone 10 seems like if there were any more it would be a bad thing. I think I averaged seeing 7 per sit
 

HorizontalHunter

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I would agree with one buck in certain zones. Antler reatrictions....meh. that one I've always been on thr fence about. It's hard to attract new hunters and kids to to hunting when they spend days in the woods.....to have them see a buck and have to pass because the rack isn't legal. It's difficult.....but there has to be a way to manage the herd up woth restrictions......and have there be some expectations of success in the hunt....at the same time.

Its easy enough to still attract kids to the sport by waiving the antler restrictions for those under 16 or something like that. You can also have areas without antler restrictions if that’s the issue.

Not sure where you guys are but where I hunt in zone 10 seems like if there were any more it would be a bad thing. I think I averaged seeing 7 per sit

You have no idea what it is like to hunt in the western part of the state. Seeing a single deer in three or four sits is normal out here. There is a lot of mature forest out here which doesn’t support a lot of deer so the numbers are very low. If you look at the harvest numbers out this way. Last year 2,497 deer were shot in zone 10. Out here the harvest numbers are 20% of that or less.

As I said above, there is a lot that DFW could do to improve the habitat and the hunting but they really do very little in that regard. Adding property and expanding WMA’s is great but it doesn’t improve the habitat If you are adding more mature forest.

When I want to fill the freezer I‘m not driving east to hunt. I am driving south to archery hunt Connecticut. In Connecticut I get 2 antlered tags, and 2 either sex tags that are good anywhere in the state. I can hunt on Sundays, I also get to start hunting on September 15th. If the regular 31/2 month season isn’t enough for me they also give you two more tags for the January season to hunt private land in the southern zones.

Bob
 
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Its easy enough to still attract kids to the sport by waiving the antler restrictions for those under 16 or something like that. You can also have areas without antler restrictions if that’s the issue.



You have no idea what it is like to hunt in the western part of the state. Seeing a single deer in three or four sits is normal out here. There is a lot of mature forest out here which doesn’t support a lot of deer so the numbers are very low. If you look at the harvest numbers out this way. Last year 2,497 deer were shot in zone 10. Out here the harvest numbers are 20% of that or less.

As I said above, there is a lot that DFW could do to improve the habitat and the hunting but they really do very little in that regard. Adding property and expanding WMA’s is great but it doesn’t improve the habitat If you are adding more mature forest.

When I want to fill the freezer I‘m not driving east to hunt. I am driving south to archery hunt Connecticut. In Connecticut I get 2 antlered tags, and 2 either sex tags that are good anywhere in the state. I can hunt on Sundays, I also get to start hunting on September 15th. If the regular 31/2 month season isn’t enough for me they also give you two more tags for the January season to hunt private land in the southern zones.

Bob
I’ve never deer hunted outside of a 10 mile radius in my life so you are absolutely correct. I had no idea that area was struggling
 

MP-In-The-Wind

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Not sure where you guys are but where I hunt in zone 10 seems like if there were any more it would be a bad thing. I think I averaged seeing 7 per sit

Wow...I think I saw 7 deer TOTAL for deer shotgun & blackpowder in Zone 10...and I was in the woods almost every day! I must be going blind! :(
 

Mark from MA

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Wow...I think I saw 7 deer TOTAL for deer shotgun & blackpowder in Zone 10...and I was in the woods almost every day! I must be going blind! :(
No Its because some people have little pockets that are honey holes that hold deer because there is alot of unhunted property around. I learned this from hunting CT which is similar.
Some small properties hold deer. Some are just travel areas and don't hold deer.
 
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