The New York State Whitetail Management Coalition announced today that it is delivering over 6,000 letters to the Governor and state lawmakers in support of a statewide program to protect yearling bucks and better manage the state’s deer population. Delivery of the letters comes in the wake of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) decision to halt the expansion of its successful yearling buck management program.

The New York State Whitetail Management Coalition, which represents nearly 10,000 hunters statewide, says DEC’s decision to halt the expansion of broader antler restrictions to better protect yearling bucks hurts New York’s overall deer population, the quality of deer hunting in New York, and the state’s hunting economy. The Coalition is calling on DEC to stay the course, expand yearling buck protection and honor results from a Cornell University commissioned by the DEC that supports the expansion of antler restrictions to protect yearling bucks.

“DEC’s decision to halt the expansion of a proven, progressive deer management policy is both troubling and perplexing,” said David Hartman, President of the NYS Whitetail Management Coalition. “We have been working with DEC and the last four administrations to slowly phase in progressive, proven deer management policies and laws that are good for the deer and hunters. DEC is ignoring their own findings and we hope that presenting the Governor with over 6,000 letters in support of yearling buck protection that maybe he will take a closer look at what DEC is doing and support the continuation of a progressive policy that he actually signed into law.”

New York has successfully protected yearling bucks by implementing three-point antler restrictions in some areas of the state, including parts of Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, Schoharie and Ulster counties — it is now time to institute a proper statewide yearling buck protection program.

Last week, the DEC presented a yearling buck management plan that fails to expanded antler restrictions statewide to protect yearling bucks. The DEC ignored survey results from Cornell University and their original plan that supported broader antler restrictions statewide; and instead, is choosing to maintain the status quo.

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