Southold Town saw record-high numbers in its deer management program in the 2017 regular hunting season.
This includes 292 deer reported harvested for the season — which runs from October until the end of January — over a previous five-year average of 246, said town environmental analyst Craig Jobes at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.
The number of deer harvested on town property for the season came in at 123, also a record high, as the previous average was 92, Mr. Jobes said.
Deer are donated to food kitchens through the program, which began in 2008, and residents can also pick up deer for their own use. The program gave 129 deer to soup kitchens, while 45 were picked up by community members.
There were also 174 deer donated to the town’s program throughout the year, another record high, Mr. Jobes said.
These numbers do not include deer hit by vehicles and deer collected through nuisance permit hunting, which is still in progress. There are also deer that are harvested and reported to the state instead, Mr. Jobes noted.
The town’s program has served as a model for other municipalities exploring what to do about large deer populations, Mr. Jobes said.