Record Deer Hunt On Nantucket During 2023 Season

Jason Graziadei •

4 G2 A4997sm 2
Photo by Ray K. Saunders

The numbers are finally in, and Nantucket hunters took a record number of deer during the 2023 season, eclipsing the mark set just one year ago.

Between the youth, archery, shotgun, and primitive arms seasons, there were 879 deer harvested by hunters on Nantucket. That represented a 7 percent increase over the 824 deer taken in 2022, the previous record. The island has one of the densest deer populations in the state, with approximately 50 per square mile, pegging the total number between 4,000 and 6,000 deer.

Beyond the record total number of deer killed during the 2023 hunt, there were also records set on Nantucket for the individual archery season (311 deer) and primitive arms (135 deer). The numbers were released late last week by Martin Feehan, the state deer and moose biologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.

A full breakdown can be viewed in the graph below: 


Feehan provided the following details on the island's deer hunt, as well as how Nantucket stacked up against other Massachusetts islands:

  • By Sex:
    • Antlered Bucks: 291
    • Antlerless Deer: 588
  • By Island:
    • Nantucket: 859
    • Tuckernuck: 20
    • Martha’s Vineyard: 759
    • Chappaquiddick: 62
    • Elizabeth Islands: 25
  • By Hunting Implement
    • Archery: 354
    • Shotgun: 395
    • Primitive: 130

The statewide deer harvest was 15,520 deer, a 2 percent decline from the record set in 2022 of 15,853 deer.

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current News