Deer hunting numbers escalate

By Geoff Adams

Latest research into deer hunting in Victoria shows the highest number of licensed recreational deer hunters harvesting the highest number of deer recorded.

The Estimates of the 2018 deer harvest in Victoria report has found that 121,600 deer were harvested in 2018 – an increase from 106,275 deer harvested in 2017.

The most commonly harvested species in 2018 was Sambar Deer with an estimated total harvest of more than 88,000 (88,202), of which 55 per cent were female.

Fallow Deer were the second most commonly harvested species, with an estimated harvest of 30,552 deer, double the estimated harvest in 2017. Sixty-five per cent of harvested Fallow Deer were female.

The number of licensed deer hunters peaked at 39,066 by the end of the year.

The research also shows that each licensed deer hunter was active for an average of 6.7 days in 2018, taking an average of 3.5 deer per year.

The five areas where the most deer hunting occurred were Mansfield, Dargo, Myrtleford, Eildon and Wodonga. The five areas where the highest number of deer were harvested were Mansfield, Bright, Omeo, Dargo and Wodonga. Most of the deer were taken from public land.

GMA Chief Executive Officer Graeme Ford says the findings in the report show the growing popularity of deer hunting, with the number of licensed deer hunters continuing to increase.

The report is produced by the Game Management Authority (GMA) in collaboration with the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research.