Hurricane Isabel and the lingering effects of an extensive hemorrhagic disease outbreak in 2002 affected the northeastern and coastal plains regions the last two seasons.
Harvest numbers dropped because people were recovering from the September hurricane's devastation, says state deer study leader Evin Stanford.
Compared to the 2002 season, the harvest was up approximately 13.8 percent, says Stanford. More than 134,500 antlered bucks and 51,200 does were reported last season, along with 6,844 "button bucks."
At the annual Dixie Deer Classic this spring, Keith Wright's 13-point, 1702/8 typical from Moore County led the division honors. In the non-typical division, William Ivey Jr. bagged top honors with a 1832/8 non-typical killed in Union County. Contact: Wildlife Resources Commission (919-733-7291; www.ncwildlife.org).