Bucks-only Gun Season Fact Sheet

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• The West Virginia bucks-only gun season is November 21 – December 3. It is open in all counties except Logan , Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming.

• Approximately 320,000 licensed hunters will be in West Virginia 's woods during this season.

• A list of deer checking stations in West Virginia can be found online at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/check_stations.asp

• The bag limit during the two week buck-only season is two (one on the base license and one on RG [resident] or RRG [non-resident] license). The total yearly bag limit for bucks has been changed to three, which may be taken by bow, firearm or muzzleloader as provided in the respective seasons. Hunters have requested this reduction to improve opportunities for more mature bucks with larger antlers.

• The last day to purchase an additional deer gun tag (class RG/RRG license) is November 20.

• A concurrent antlerless deer season will be available in 41 counties on private land only during the two-week bucks-only gun season. This is not a “hunters choice” season, because hunters must have purchased the proper antlerless deer license (Class N) for the county in which they are hunting.

• All deer must be field tagged and checked in within 72 hours of the time of kill or within 24 hours of the close of the season, whichever comes first. Additional deer may not be taken until all previously taken deer have been checked. Only one deer may be taken per day during the bucks-only season.

• Deer hunting in West Virginia generates a total annual economic impact of $233-million, much of it in the rural areas of the state that depend upon the deer seasons for a large portion of their annual income.

• In 2004, deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 63,873 bucks during the two-week bucks-only season.

• DNR wildlife biologists and game managers predict that the total 2005 white-tailed deer harvest (i.e., bucks-only, antlerless deer, archery and muzzleloader seasons) should be similar or slightly lower than the 2004 harvest levels. The bucks-only season is expected to produce harvest results similar to last year.

• Mast (i.e., fruits and nuts produced by trees and shrubs) conditions are slightly improved for most species this fall when compared to last year's production. Apple and crabapple production is exceptional this fall in most regions of the state. Hunters who have done their pre-season scouting and have located food sources for deer will have the best chance of success.

• Sunday hunting is legal in 14 counties on private land only : Boone, Brooke, Clay, Hancock, Jefferson , Lincoln , Logan , McDowell, Marshall , Mingo , Ohio , Wayne , Wetzel and Wyoming. The only Sunday that falls during the bucks-only gun season is November 27. Hunters are reminded that deer guns seasons are closed in Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming counties.

• Hunters are required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange as an outer garment for visibility and safety.

• In 2004 there were 10 hunting-related injuries and no hunting-related fatalities reported in West Virginia during the bucks-only gun season.

• Hunters should be familiar with the 2005 Hunting and Trapping Regulations brochure available at all license agents or online at www.wvdnr.gov.

• Hunting licenses may be purchased online at any time and printed out on a home computer printer. Go to the goWILD! Web site at www.wvhunt.com , fill out the application, and purchase it over a secure server with a credit card.

• Hunters who wish to donate deer meat or dollars to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program, which distributes deer meat through the Mountaineer Food Bank and Huntington Food Bank, should call (304) 558-2771 or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov to find a participating meat processor.