MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department says the 2017 deer hunting season was successful.

Preliminary numbers show 15,949 deer were taken in the state last year.

Deer Project Leader Nick Fortin says the buck harvest of 9,477 was 8 percent more than the previous three-year average of 9,477.

The total harvest is the third-highest since 2002.

Fortin says the relatively high harvest was primarily due to the mild winters of 2016 and 2017, which allowed more deer to survive. The department also issued more muzzleloader antlerless deer permits this year to provide more harvest opportunity and to limit population growth in some parts of the state.

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