DELAWARE

Deer Forecast 2004 -- EAST

Outdoor Life Online Editor

When it comes to deer hunting in the First State, recent years have been the best on record. Ken Reynolds, Division of Fish and Wildlife wildlife research program manager, says last year's harvest was about 11,700, up from 2002 and just off the record of 12,133, which was taken in 2001.

"Right now Sussex County has the highest deer densities," he says.

In an effort to better control the herd, whose numbers top 30,000, the state is increasing antlerless deer opportunities this year. Sportsmen will get two additional antlerless permits on their licenses, as well as new doe shotgun days in October.

While not known as a major trophy producer, Delaware does yield some nice bucks each year, even on public land. In January, for example, a non-typical scored 197, a new state record. It was taken off Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area near Willow Grove on the last day of shotgun season.