Deer hunters had a pretty successful season in both the Northern and Southern Zones in 2018. However, bear hunting was hit and miss, if you'll pardon the pun. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released preliminary numbers following the final weekend of Big Game Season.

Figures tallied through Dec. 16, show more than 94-thousand deer were taken in the Southern Zone, over 14-thousand were bagged in the Northern Zone. Both numbers are 3-year highs. For the Southern portion, it's an 11% increase from last year and 26% from 2016. In the North, it's 14% more than last year and a huge jump of 33% from 2016.

Bear hunting seems to be in a bit of a decline. In the Southern Zone, 670 bears were taken, a 3-year low.  884 were reported in 2017 and 863 in 2016. Northern bear hunters were a bit more successful, taking 396 this year compared to 302 last year. However, 464 bears were harvested in 2016.

Final season numbers will be released early in 2019. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says the deer numbers indicate New York is home to a healthy and large herd of deer as well as lots of successful hunters. Including the commissioner himself, as he bagged his first buck.

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