Rush, N.Y. - With the mild winter and a slight increase in 'doe tags', the DEC predicts hunters will take a few more deer this year.
John Bartles cleans a gun at Rochester Brooks Gun Club in Rush, a day after a successful first day of hunting season.
“A doe ended up running to me,” said Bartles, “took a few shots at that and ended up getting that one.”
Bartles, who has been hunting for four years, says he was surprised by the amount of deer he saw on the first day.
“I was halfway up the stand and 10 deer started running at me,” said Bartles. “It's the first time I've ever seen that many before I got up in the stand.”
In the last two years hunters across the state took in about 230,000 deer. The DEC anticipates this number will be higher this year because the deer population in Western and Central New York is up.
But not everyone is seeing the increase in numbers.
George Deichert pulled a six-point buck his friend got Sunday morning. It's the second deer he's seen this hunting season.
“Plain lousy,” said Deichert, “because the deer aren't out here the way people think they are.”
Deichert says he's seen less deer where he hunts.
“On opening day years ago, going back 10 years ago, you'd see 12-13,” said Deichert. “Now you might see 2 or 3 the whole day.”
Deichert believes the high population is being counted on land that they aren't allowed to hunt on.
But regardless, Deichert will continue to hunt, everyday for the rest of the season.