A total of 173 deer had been taken yesterday in the first week of shotgun season. The three primary deer check-in stations on the Island reported Thursday that the number of deer taken so far is about the same as in recent years. The two-week shotgun season for deer ends on Saturday, Dec. 8.
State wildlife forester Brian Hawthorne has been counting the deer checked in at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest. Mr. Hawthorne said, based on what he has seen so far, the deer population is healthy and well-fed.
On Monday, opening day for shotgun season, Mr. Hawthorne checked in 45 deer. The weather was sunny and cold, changing over to cold rain on Tuesday. Mr. Hawthorne said 35 deer were checked in on Tuesday at the state forest station, and 35 more on Wednesday. By 2 p.m. yesterday, Mr. Hawthorne had seen no deer checked in. Most hunters bring their deer to the station in the late afternoon or early morning.
Bret Stearns, natural resources director for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), said yesterday that in the first three days of hunting his department saw 35 deer checked in, a comparable number to past years.
Steve Purcell, of Larry’s Tackle Shop in Edgartown, said he had checked in 34 deer since Monday. “There will be a lot more hunters out Saturday when they have time off,” Mr. Purcell said. “It certainly is good weather for hunting,” he added.
State forest superintendent John Varkonda said so far all has gone smoothly with hunting in the forest. “As far as I am aware, there have been no problems,” he said.
Hunting is permitted from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. There is no hunting on Sunday.
The state forest check-in station will be closed next week. Mr. Purcell and the tribe will continue to check deer.