West Virginia Deer Hunters Had Good Season
Preliminary counts of game checking tags indicate West Virginia hunters harvested a total of 145,577 white-tailed deer during the recently completed bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, bow and youth deer seasons, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro. This year's total harvest was six percent above the 2006 deer harvest of 137,621. A total of 67,505 bucks, 43,684 antlerless season deer, 26,965 bow killed deer and 7,423 muzzleloader deer was taken during the 2007 season.
Antlerless Deer Season
The 2007 antlerless deer season, which includes the youth deer hunts, was 11 percent above 2006 due to the increase in bag limits and the number of counties open to antlerless deer hunting. "It is important to note that part of the deer management strategy is to harvest antlerless deer in counties exceeding the buck harvest objective and that is exactly what was accomplished in 2007," said Jezioro. The top ten counties are: Preston (2,171), Mason (2,171), Monroe (2,123), Jackson (2,000), Ritchie (1,914), Wood (1,789), Harrison (1,615), Lewis (1,450), Upshur (1,371) and Wetzel (1,363).
"Continued doe harvests are the key to healthier, heavier, and more productive deer herds. We will continue to recommend appropriate antlerless harvests guided by our deer harvest management plan," Jezioro said. "Where deer populations have fallen below desired levels, more conservative antlerless harvests will be recommended. Appropriate antlerless deer harvests will benefit not only the deer herd, but all wildlife dependent on our state’s woodland habitat."
The special two day October antlerless deer hunt in Hampshire County resulted in a harvest of 258 antlerless deer. For the second year in a row, rain and fog on the first day reduced hunter participation and harvest. Conditions slightly improved on the second day.
Muzzleloader Deer Season
The 2007 muzzleloader harvest of 7,423 was eight percent above the 2006 harvest. The increase in the harvest is attributed in part to the increased number of counties open to either sex muzzleloader hunting. Generally, the antlerless segment in the muzzleloader season accounts for 80 percent of the harvest. The top ten counties are: Braxton (394), Lewis (354), Preston (320), Greenbrier (307), Monroe (304), Upshur (270), Fayette (264), Jackson (246), Grant (239) and Mason (232).
Archery Deer Season
The bow hunters take of 26,965 deer was seven percent above the 2006 harvest of 25,301. The top ten counties are: Preston (1,167), Randolph (989), McDowell (941), Greenbrier (894), Wyoming (871), Nicholas (850), Fayette (826), Mason (792), Raleigh (778) and Wood (703).
To see the Buck, Antlerless, Muzzleloader, and Bow Harvest table, visit the WVDNR Web site news section at www.wvdnr.gov.