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Last year’s deer harvest largest on record

By Country News

The new 2017 deer harvest report has revealed 106000 deer were taken by nearly 37000 licensed recreational deer hunters across Victoria, in what is the largest deer harvest on record.

Produced by the Game Management Authority, in collaboration with the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, the deer harvest report provides data on the number of deer harvested annually based on regular telephone surveys of licensed deer hunters.

Throughout last year, licensed deer hunters were asked a series of questions related to their hunting activity, such as how many deer they harvested, what hunting methods they used, where they hunted, the number of days they hunted and the species of deer harvested.

The results only account for deer harvested recreationally by licensed hunters and not those taken as part of control programs.

GMA chief executive officer Greg Hyams said the report found last year’s deer harvest was the largest on record, continuing the trend of an increase in the number of deer recreationally harvested and the number of licensed deer hunters.

‘‘During 2017, total licensed deer hunter numbers peaked at an all-time high of 36968, including 4829 hound hunters,’’ Mr Hyams said.

‘‘Surveys showed each licensed deer hunter hunted for approximately 5.5 days in 2017, or 184300 hunter days in total, with an average seasonal harvest of three deer.

‘‘The most commonly harvested species in 2017 was Sambar deer with an estimated total harvest of 88816, followed next by Fallow deer, with an estimated 15515.’’

‘‘In total, an estimated 106275 deer of all species were recreationally harvested during the 2017 calendar year, the highest recorded.

‘‘While stalking was the most preferred hunting method used, accounting for the majority of the harvest, hunting Sambar deer with the aid of hounds was more efficient.’’

The top five towns where deer were harvested were Myrtleford, Mansfield, Bright, Dargo and Licola and the top five towns where most deer hunting occurred were Mansfield, Myrtleford, Licola, Dargo and Omeo.

■For a full copy of the deer-harvest report or more information on game hunting in Victoria, visit: www.gma.vic.gov.au