As the season ramps up with the new year, hunters are now busier than ever. In fact, deer harvest numbers for the past season are – simply put – staggering. Alabama’s Department of Conservation reports that deer hunters in the state are on record pace.
Their projections report a massive 145,000 harvests for this season. As for how that compares to 2019? It’s an incredible 55,000 over that year’s 90,000.
According to Montgomery’s WKRG, experts credit this enormous increase to “more hunters in the woods thanks to the COVID-19 restrictions that have more people staying at home.”
The news agency also reports, however, that this increase in deer hunters as come with an increase in “hunting accidents”.
Alabama Deer Hunters’ Rise Comes With More Injured Sportsman
“We have had eight tree stand accidents so far this year, and it very important for hunters not to get complacent,” says Marianne Hudson. Hudson, a spokesperson for the Alabama Dept. Of Conservation and Natural Resources, adds that her department offers a “wide variety of online safety courses and training videos.”
Local outdoor shop owner Frank Bertarelli, however, says this uptick in injuries may be fault of hunter negligence.
“A lot of times people buy tree stands, they let them sit outside for a year to two years, they go to get them and their straps will be rotten,” says the owner of Bert’s Tackle Shop in Elmore County, Alabama. “And they don’t know until they get up there and tie off and add weight to it and they give way.”
In addition, the ringing of a new year signals mating season for white-tailed deer in the Southeast. And for deer hunters, this is always a prime blessing. As proof, Hudson adds that nearly 40% of the deer harvests for her state will take place in “the next three weeks.”
Alabama’s record-breaking harvests come as 2020 wraps up the biggest resurgence in outdoors activity in modern American history. States like Delaware and Vermont, too, are shattering records alongside Alabama, as well. In Vermont, Hunting and Fishing License Numbers are the Highest They’ve Been in Three Decades. Similarly, Delaware Hunters Have Blown Past 2019 Totals During Shotgun Season for White-Tailed Deer.