RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission released its annual deer harvest summary showing an uptick in harvest numbers.

Across North Carolina, hunters “reported harvesting 168,427 deer during the 2021-22 hunting season,” which officials state is a 6.3 percent increase from the average harvest over the last three seasons.

Officials said antlered bucks were harvested the most at 53 percent, followed by does at 42.6 percent, and button bucks made up 4.4 percent of the harvest.

Deer harvests were up in all zones as well compared to the three-year average, according to a release. You can view the deer zone maps here.

Officials stated the 2021-22 season was almost as high as the 2020-21 season, which saw an increased harvest due to more hunting during the pandemic.

“It was unclear whether the 2020 increase in hunting participation and harvest was temporary, but the 2021 deer harvest shows a maintained deer harvest indicative of a strong deer population and hunting tradition,” said Moriah Boggess, deer biologist for the Wildlife Commission. “This is encouraging from a deer herd and hunter retention standpoint.”

The annual harvest summaries are available here.

And for further information, click here.