The New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation is encouraging hunters to let smaller bucks live this coming hunting season in the hopes they will mature in to larger bucks in the future.
In 2018, nearly 60 percent of the adult bucks harvested were 2.5 years or older, setting a record in greatest percentage and total number of older bucks. The DEC says that’s good news for New York hunters and their families, because the average 2 year-old buck generally yields 25-30 percent more meat and carries antlers twice as large as the average yearling.
Just letting bucks age to 2.5 years old pays dividends. for more information, check out the remarkable experience of hunters in the article Passing Up Young Bucks Pays Offon pages 32-33 of the 2019-20 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide.