West Virginia Big Buck Contest Winners

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The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced the winners of the 2006 West Virginia Big Buck Contest, according to Gene Thorn, Chairman of the WV Big Buck Contest Review Committee. The contest is cosponsored by the Division of Natural Resources, the Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, and the West Virginia Bowhunters Association to recognize sportsmen who take an extraordinarily big antlered buck in West Virginia. This past year, 227 hunters had their deer antlers scored at one of the six DNR District Offices, Field Offices, or the WV Hunting and Fishing Show in Charleston. Hunters who participated in the 2006 Big Buck Contest took 62 big bucks with gun or bow that met the minimum score requirements. Participants were required to show a Game Check Tag and sign a Fair Chase Statement, and they were also approved by the WV Big Buck Contest Review Committee.

Eleven bucks killed by gun hunters scored above 140 points typical. In the Typical-Gun category, the winner was Zack Winters from Lesage, WV, with a 10-point buck killed in Cabell County that scored 156 2/8. This year, there was no entry for the Non-Typical Gun category that met the minimum score of 165 points.

Bowhunters killed 51 deer that scored above 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical. The winner of the Typical-Bow category was David Allen of Flat Top, WV, with a 12-point buck from McDowell County that scored 170 1/8. The Non-Typical Bow category winner was Robert Cooper of Pineville, WV, with a huge 16-point buck killed in Wyoming County that scored 201 4/8. Cooper's buck took over the #2 position for Non-Typical Bow kills in the list that ranks the top five buck scores in each category for all time in West Virginia.

The Boone and Crockett Club, or Pope and Young Club, rating systems are used to score bucks, depending upon the method of harvest. The Boone and Crockett Club guidelines are used to score deer harvested with a firearm, and citations are presented for racks scoring at least 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical. Deer harvested with a bow are measured according to Pope and Young Club standards, and they are recognized with a citation for racks scoring at least 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical. The winner in each category will receive a plaque during the 2007 National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration, held the last weekend of September at Stonewall Jackson State Park. A list of all bucks meeting the minimum qualifications will be published in West Virginia’s Big Game Bulletin.