West Virginia Hunting News

Conservation Officers Stepping up Wild Turkey Baiting Enforcement
Hunters are eagerly awaiting springtime, when the gobblers will start to become active and vocal. With the poor mast (food) conditions the state has experienced the past couple of years in most areas, the officers are not thinking so much about hunting as about the illegal baiting of turkeys that takes place each year.
2003 Big Buck Contest Winners
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced the winners of the 2003 West Virginia Big Buck Contest, according to Gene Thorn , Chairman of the WV Big Buck Contest Review Committee.
Hunters Set New Bear Harvest Record
West Virginia bear hunters harvested a state record 1,654 bears during the combined 2003 archery and firearms season, according to Ed Hamrick, Director of the Division of Natural Resources. The preliminary harvest data is 18 percent (292) higher than the previous harvest of 1,362 established in 2002.
Hunters Harvest 204,650 Deer
West Virginia hunters harvested a total of 204,650 white-tailed deer during the recently completed bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, bow and youth/Class Q deer seasons, compared to 255,356 in 2002. “This year's total harvest was well within the predicted kill,” said Ed Hamrick , Director of the Division of Natural Resources. A total of 72,658 bucks, 83,456 antlerless deer, 15,853 muzzleloader deer, 30,243 bow deer, and 2,440 youth/Class Q killed deer was taken during the 2003 deer seasons.
Fourth Annual Youth Wild Turkey and Bass Challenge
Gov. Bob Wise today announced that entries are being accepted for the Fourth Annual Governor's Youth Wild Turkey & Bass Challenge. The Youth Wild Turkey & Bass Challenge is part of the Governor's Youth in the Outdoors program, which is designed to develop skill-oriented activities for the state's youth. This program promotes a better understanding and appreciation of conservation of the state's natural resources.
2004 Hunting and Fishing Stamp Problems
Due to printing problems, 2004 hunting and fishing stamps will not be available until mid January 2004. The approximate ship date of the 2004 stamps to license agents will be January 16, 2004.
Buck Harvest Down 25%
Preliminary data compiled by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources indicate that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 72,693 bucks during the two-week buck season, which ran from November 24 through December 6. The 2003 buck harvest was down 25% from the 2002 harvest of 96,555.
Bucks-Only Deer Firearm Season Opens November 24
West Virginia 's 2003 bucks-only firearm season opens on November 24 and closes December 6, according to Ed Hamrick, Director of the Division of Natural Resources. "The opening of West Virginia 's buck season is the highlight of the year for many hunters," said Hamrick. "Ninety percent of the state's hunters participate in buck hunting, and we expect more than 350,000 hunters will be afield during the two-week season."
New Archery Education Pilot Program
Gov. Bob Wise today announced a new partnership between several state agencies, private organizations and sponsors to introduce a pilot archery education program into 18 middle and high school physical education programs across the state.
Youth Antlerless Deer Season Nov. 1 and Dec. 22-23
A split youth/Class Q antlerless deer season will be held on November 1, 2003 , and December 22-23, 2003 , as part of the Governor's Youth in the Outdoors Program, according to Ed Hamrick, Division of Natural Resources Director. The youth season, which is also open to Class Q license holders, will be held on private land in counties or parts thereof open to antlerless deer hunting (Class N) and on 29 designated Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) throughout the state.