Looking Back 11/14/18

This Saturday, November 17, regular deer season opens in the southern zone of New York State. Hunters will be permitted to hunt deer with guns through December 9, according to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Today, our area is renowned for its successful whitetail deer hunting. Last season, a report from the DEC estimated that hunters harvested 203,427 in New York State, indicating another prosperous year (https://on.ny.gov/2QFC7wW).

However, deer were not always so abundant in New York. In the 1800s, deforestation and overhunting became a major issue, depleting the deer’s environments and their populations. During this time, small game became the primary mode of hunting in New York. Rabbits, raccoons, squirrels and foxes were most widely harvested (shown here is hunter John Milk, with his hunting dogs and foxes).

As the 19th century progressed, however, lumbering practices evolved and operations began to move around more frequently. This movement prevented depletion of wooded areas, while also promoting the abundance of underbrush, which provides deer with a hefty food supply. Soon, the deer populations recovered and began to climb to today’s impressive numbers.

The Basket Historical Society preserves and presents the history of the Upper Delaware River area. If you are interested in becoming a member or finding out more contact us at baskethistsociety@gmail.com.


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