HUNTERS SWAMPING DEER DRAW LINE (July 10/98)

Since the government announced a limited hunt this fall for “antlerless deer,” the phones at 1-900-565-DEER have literally been ringing off the hook.

This is the number hunters call to apply for an antlerless deer hunting stamp and thousands of hopefuls have already dialled in. In fact, by the time the September 4th deadline for applications arrives, at least 25,000 hunters will have their names in the government computer for the draw; big game biologist, Tony Nette, told me recently he anticipates that at least this many hunters will apply for the antlerless deer stamp.

Since 8,150 antlerless deer stamps will be available, this means hunters have about a one in three chance of being drawn. Which are better odds than winning on a 649 ticket.

By now most deer hunters are familiar with the procedure to get in on the deer draw. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) purchased major newspaper space to inform hunters and printed material has been rushed out to sporting goods dealers around the province. There’s even a website (www.deerdraw.hmcgroup.ca) for people with access to computers.

However, despite the wealth of publicity, some hunters still have questions about the draw. And there is at least one misconception about the cost that should be cleared up. Recently I received a package from the DNR with information about the draw and I’d like to go over a few of the highlights. While I’ll be repeating some information already released, many hunters will find this review helpful.

Other than the cost of the telephone call to apply for the antlerless deer draw and the cost of a big game license, there are no other charges. Rumours have been going around that there will be an additional charge to successful hunters for the antlerless deer stamp. This is not the case.

The bag limit for the 1998 deer season will remain at one deer per hunter. If you are successful in obtaining an antlerless deer stamp for the 1998 season, you can only take one deer, a buck anywhere in the province or an antlerless deer in the zone indicated on your stamp.

When entering the draw, hunters can request an antlerless deer stamp for a zone other than the one in which they reside. You must state the zone of your choice when you apply. Before applying, take a look at the zone map which is available at sporting goods stores. The map indicates the number of antlerless deer permits available in each zone and you will see that in the eastern section of the province the numbers are higher – only 1,275 antlerless deer stamps will be issued in zone 2, for example, and 3,075 in zone 4. You may have a better chance of winning an antlerless deer stamp by applying for zone 4 or 5 rather than 1, 2, or 6.

Hunters have until September 4th to apply for the stamp draw. Winners will be notified by mail, but you can call toll free – 1-877-535-1234 – between September 12th and 16th to see if you were one of the lucky hunters.

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