January 23, 2014 --
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s 2013-2014 bow hunting season ended successfully Jan. 15, with a slight increase in the number of bucks and decrease in the number of does harvested from the 2012-2013 season.
Archers hunted about 1,100 acres of land aboard the base during the hunting season, which began Sept. 14, 2013.
There were 70 registered hunters who hunted and harvested 44 deer, according to Julie Robbins, natural resource manager, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany.
Archers were allowed to hunt seven days a week during the hunting season.
“The average buck harvested was heavier and had more antler points this year compared to the 2012-2013 deer season,” Robbins said. “Bucks weighed an average of 177 pounds and had an outside antler spread of almost 17 inches.
Eight bucks with seven points or more were harvested this season, Robbins said.
The average weight for the does harvested was 81 pounds, similar to 2012-2013 deer season’s average of 83, according to the natural resource manager.
The harvest quota for the 2013-2014 deer hunting season was 45 does.
There was no harvest quota set for bucks; however, bucks were required to meet a minimum 15” outside spread or 16” main beam length to be harvested.
“We used a combination of spotlight surveys and camera surveys to set our doe quota and allowed the hunters to vote on three antler restriction options for bucks,” Robbins said. “The quota number helps to balance sex ratios and ensures that the deer population is kept in check.”
There were 34 does and 12 bucks harvested this season, one up from the previous season, according to Robbins.
The increase in the number of bucks harvested may be attributed to improved visibility in the woods following prescribed burns and other habitat management and to changes in the antler restrictions, she added.
“In previous years bucks were required to have at least four points on one side,” she said. “Mature bucks that did not meet this point requirement could not be harvested until this year.”
Al Belanger, game warden, Environmental Branch, was pleased with the hunting safety statistics and with the overall positive response of the hunters to the 2013-2014 hunting season.
“All of our hunters were required to pass the National Bowhunters Education Foundation Course prior to hunting this year,” Belanger said. “The course focuses on tree stand and harness safety while reviewing the fundamental skills required to be a successful and ethical hunter.
“We did not have a single hunting-related accident this year,” he said.
Additionally, Belanger said that hunters reported seeing more deer, particularly bucks, overall.
Gabriel Sutton, son of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steve Sutton, harvested the first deer of the season Sept. 14, 2013, a 99-pound doe, while Dan Lawhorn harvested the largest doe of the season, Sept. 19, 2013, weighing 124.5 pounds.
Chuck Peay harvested the heaviest buck of the season, Nov. 13, 2013, weighing 199.8 pounds.
Three bucks harvested aboard the base this year scored Pope and Young classification.
Pope and Young classification is a universally-accepted scoring system which sets the standards for measuring and scoring North American big game for archery.
Throughout the season, hunters continued to receive assistance from two tracking dogs.
“Beagles Daisy and Dexter, owned by Matt Carlstrom and Steve Dzuiban, helped track and find deer during the season,” Robbins said. “The beagles, who also assisted with tracking during the 2012-2013 season, continued to help hunters successfully track and recover deer.”
Per Base Order 1720.17R, hunters are restricted to using a bow or crossbow aboard the base when hunting deer and other types of game.
Before the season began, hunters also qualified with their bows at the Base Archery Range, attended a mandatory safety brief and had their hunting equipment inspected.
The qualification course requires archers to demonstrate they can hit a 3-D deer target from an elevated stand.
For more deer hunting details, call 229-639-5188.