Deer Herd and Harvest Declines in Virginia

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The '09-'10 deer harvest was down by 11% in Virginia and wildlife officials are trying to determine the cause of the population decrease. is running an article on the current state of the whitetail herd and what potentially could have caused the declines seen by hunters across the state.

The department has been "watching this trend for about a decade," Lafon says, and has identified several factors that may be affecting herd size. "All these factors interact and it's hard to say if one is more important than the other."


hunter25's picture

I don't know the history of

I don't know the history of the state but one or two seasons is not enough time to get a real picture of whats going on. The winters of the past couple of years or water levels, predator increase, or overharvest in previous seasons.

11% is not a huge number when it comes to overall harvest. Of course all my experience is here in Colorado and if it's to hot and the snow doesn't come our harvest will be way down.

Definately something for them to watch but hopefully thier game department is getting plan underway.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I know this could cause some

I know this could cause some strong discussion on here, but I am seriously wondering, could QDM be a cause for this?

I have never been one of the "Don't shoot the does" guys, but I wonder, as we get further down the line from QDM enactment, some places are noticing declines in deer herds, beyond what they wanted.

The really lberal bag limits, and focus on shooting does, could be a cause.  In the article, it says they drastically cut the either-sex hunting days, so maybe they are realizing this too.

More does loosley translates to more fawns, so it can't be all bad to keep them around.

jaybe's picture

I have a buddy who would

I have a buddy who would definitely agree with the statistics - the herd is down and so it the harvest. He lives in Michigan, but hunts in VA every year with some guys who live there and they have been seeing the same trend. This past year was the worst in their recent memories. Deer sightings were way down, and the only deer he saw in 4 days of hunting was a buck, which he shot. He said that between the 5 or 6 guys who usually hunt together, they normally see 5-10 times the number of deer that they saw this year.