I had a short blog post last week about big game kill tallies for this past season.
My column on the topic ran today in The Roanoke Times. (It was supposed to run Sunday, but did not, due to, shall we say, a communication breakdown.)
Anyway, the deer kill was down this year to its second-lowest level since 2006, and was 9 percent below the 10-year average.
We all know (or I hope we do) that the DGIF’s deer management philosophy of late has been to stabilize the herd and, in some high deer population areas, reduce the herd. Only in a few areas have regulations been adjusted to provide additional protection to female deer, which can should increase the herd size.
It appears, after we hit a record high of nearly 260,000 in 2009, we are getting there.
I’m not going to rehash specifics numbers here. You can find more in my column, and much more than that on the DGIF site, including links to historical data.
It’s not all about us hunters, of course. The DGIF has to manage the population for the overall good of the commonwealth.
My question for hunters is, what do you think about where we are with deer hunting? And the deer population? Would you like to see antlerless regs tightened, which will likely lead to more drops in kill totals but ultimately should contribute to populations growing? Or should remain relatively liberal? Or something else?