As deer hunting season nears an end, Island hunters are reporting a slow season this year, pointing to a warm autumn and an abundant crop of acorns and other wild food for white-tailed deer.

Official numbers have not been reported by the state yet. But Ian Jochems, manager of the deer locker at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, said the hunting season was slow throughout the two-week shotgun season and into the beginning of the antique firearms season, which runs until Dec. 31. Bow season ran from October through Thanksgiving.

“It was slow,” Mr. Jochems told the Gazette by phone. “In the beginning, it was slow.”

In his own hunting experience, Mr. Jochems said he’s shot two deer so far this season. Usually, he said, he brings home six or seven.

He blamed much of the slow season on the weather, saying deer have been waiting until the early hours of the morning to move through the woods.

“They would just lay down, chewing the cud,” Mr. Jochems said.

The deer have also had a surplus of food, he said, and so haven't had to do much foraging. At Polly Hill Arboretum, where Mr. Jochems serves as groundskeeper and arborist, he said deer have ravaged resources in typical years.

“And this year there was just no pressure from them in the woods,” he said.

He said one hunting group that visits the Island each year and uses the Agricultural Hall deer locker — where deer can be harvested and any extra meat donated to a community food program — also had less luck than usual. Last year, Mr. Jochems said the deer locker saw well over 50 deer. So far this season, he said the locker has taken in far fewer.

“I think it was 35 deer so far in through the cooler,” he said.

Mr. Jochems said the deer locker has received fewer donations this year too, with just three donated so far.

“And I know that’s off from the other years,” Mr. Jochems said, adding that one year he personally donated five to the locker.

Venison from deer donated to the program is distributed through Island Grown Initiative. Last season, 22 deer were donated to IGI by hunters, and more than 600 pounds of venison were distributed to Vineyard families.

Despite the low take, Mr. Jochems remained hopeful for the remaining few weeks of the antique firearms season.

“Hopefully some of these cooler temperatures get things going,” he said.