Delaware’s 2018-2019 hunting season was the second best of all time. DNREC officials say 14,883 deer were harvested – the sixth year in a row that over 14,000 white-tailed deer were harvested. The opening weekend during the November shotgun season was marred by bad weather, which officials believe reduced the overall annual harvest. Sussex County saw the most deer taken at over 7700.
Kent County had 4,299 deer taken, and New Castle County’s harvest was 2,849 deer. All Sundays during the various deer hunting seasons were open to deer hunting to provide additional hunting opportunities and to help manage the deer population, resulting in the harvest of 2,214 deer on these 23 Sundays from private lands and Division of Fish & Wildlife public wildlife areas.
Hunters harvested more female (doe) than male (buck) deer, consisting of 53.6 percent (7,982) does and 46.4 percent (6,901) bucks, with high doe harvest percentages an important tool for properly managing the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population. Antlerless deer – does, juvenile bucks without antlers known as button bucks, antlered bucks with antlers measuring less than three inches, and bucks that had already shed both of their antlers when harvested – represented 69.7 percent of the total harvest.
Additional and more detailed information will be made available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website upon further analyses of the deer harvest data by division biologists.