Shotgun numbers strong; first week uneventful

With several days left in the Island’s two-week shotgun season for deer that began on November 29, public safety officials said that there have been few complaints, and the harvest appears healthy.

“Uneventful,” is how Environmental Police Sgt. Matt Bass described the shotgun season in a telephone call Monday. Sergeant Bass said he had responded to a few calls about hunters too close to dwellings but had issued no citations.

“I didn’t see a lot of people out,” Mr. Bass said.

John Varkonda, Manuel F. Correllus State Forest supervisor, agreed.

“The deer herd looks in pretty good condition, and I am pleased to report no accidents or incidents that I am aware of in the state forest or Island-wide,” he said in a call Monday.

Brian Hawthorne, Division of Fisheries wildlife forester, said hunters brought 124 deer to the state forest check station in the first six days of shotgun deer hunting season, 33 on opening day. He said that most of the deer checked in at the state forest check station were does and button bucks. Hunters check just a few antlered deer during the week.

The biggest deer checked in at the state forest was a 156-pound, 8-point buck. The largest doe was 134 lbs.

The Wampanoag Tribe checked in 42 deer the first week. Steve Purcell at Larry’s Tackle Shop on Upper Main Street in Edgartown checked in 45 deer for a first week total of 211.

Although the state forest check station is closed, Larry’s is open from 9:30 am to 3 pm Monday through Saturday and 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday. The store also sells hunting supplies and ammunition.

Shotgun hunters took 372 deer during the two-week season in 2009.