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DEC reports higher deer, lower bear yields in opening weekend of state’s Southern Zone

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Officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation are reporting higher than normal yields for deer hunters in the state’s Southern Zone, which started its season last weekend.

According to an email from biologist Jeremy Hurst, the region had 9 percent higher yield in its opening weekend compared to 2011, and up 11 percent through the first four days of the season.

About 85 percent of the state’s 550,000 deer hunters participate in the zone’s regular season, with 90 percent out in the field on opening day.

Mr. Hurst noted that there was a large drop in the bear yield for the opening weekend. About 125 bears were reported during the weekend, down from 317 for the same time period last year.

He said the cause for the drop could be due to early denning associated with a lack of food like acorns, apples and beechnuts.

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