Morning Outdoor Files


One of the biggest outdoor news stories of last year was thedrought and a disease called EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease) that greatlyimpacted deer and it impacted the harvest numbers from the past deer season. Those total figures from Kit Hams, Big GameProgram manager:

Big GameProgram manager Kit Hams said, "We harvested about 9,000 mule deerand about 50,000 whitetail deer, total harvest at 60,000, and that's a lotof deer. But it was a lot less than were being harvested the last few years -- downabout 25,000 from where we had been."

Deerwere the cause of a lot of crop depredation complaints by some landowners, so ina sense the tragedy that afflicted deer had an upside.

Hams said, "We'd been issuing 120,000bonus antlerless tags on top of 140,000 permits, and hunters were actuallytired of shooting antlerless deer. They wouldn't shoot enough anymore forwhatever reason, too many in the freezer already, whatever, but yeah this helped usout. We needed it.

In time, those deer herd numbers will reboundbut in the short term, deer permit numbers will be down.

"This fall there will be primarily a lot lessantlerless permits," said Hams, "upwards of 82,000 to 85.000 less bonus antlerlesstags."

"They'll come off most of the statewide permits and many of the Novemberfirearm permits -- they'll be taken off those too -- but there will still be wellover 100,000 permits available for hunters so there will be a lot ofopportunity just like there has always been," added Hams.

Gameand Parks will stock rainbow around the state soon -- to see if the lake near you has been stocked, go to