Higher than usual deer mortality as a result of the difficult winter of 2002-03 has depressed populations in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountain ranges. NYDEC Big Game Biologist Dick Henry recommends hunters target the Hudson Valley, as central and eastern deer populations are higher than they need to be. Those looking to fill that empty spot on the wall are advised to probe the state's western reaches and the northern portions. Hunters can get an idea about different spots by looking at the unit-by-unit forecasts on the DEC's Web site. Contact: New York Department of Environmental Conservation (518-402-8924; www.dec. state.ny.us/website/dfwmr).