Deer Hunters in West Virginia Harvest 56,173 Bucks During the Buck Firearms Season

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV – Preliminary data collected from game checking stations across the state indicate deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,173 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from November 19 through December 1, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR).  The 2012 buck harvest was seven percent less than the 2011 harvest of 60,157.  The top 10 counties for buck harvest were as follows:  Preston (2,108), Greenbrier (1,907), Randolph (1,792), Mason (1,667), Jackson (1,662), Hampshire (1,570), Monroe (1,563), Ritchie (1,518), Wetzel (1,496) and Hardy (1,435).

            This year’s buck harvest is slightly less than last year, with decreases occurring in four of the six DNR districts. The largest percent decreases occurred in the western and central counties of the state. The harvest was 27th among all recorded antlered buck firearm seasons. This year’s preliminary buck harvest remains seven percent below the previous five-year average of 60,236.

            Wildlife biologists and wildlife managers collected age-specific biological information at checking stations in 24 counties this year and preliminary analysis indicate antler development was good.  The dry weather was good for hunter participation this year but made moving in the woods noisy.  Deer densities that were more in balance with the habitat in many areas, combined with the better-than-average acorn crop that allowed deer to frequent open fields less frequently, made this year’s deer season challenging for many hunters.  Residual access problems associated with Hurricane Sandy, such as downed trees blocking forest roads, may have hindered the ability of some buck hunters to reach their favorite hunting spots, especially in some of the high mountain counties.

            Wildlife biologists will analyze data from the combined 2012 deer seasons (i.e., buck, antlerless, archery and muzzleloader) before making appropriate recommendations for next year’s deer hunting seasons. These recommendations will be available for public review at 12 regulations meetings scheduled for March 18 and 19, 2013.  (See page 5 of the current 2012 - 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for scheduled meeting locations.)

            Director Jezioro reminds hunters that several days of deer hunting opportunity still remain for 2012.  The traditional antlerless deer season in selected counties on both public and private land opens December 13 and runs through December 15.  The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season (antlerless deer only) will be open on December 26 - 27 in any county with a firearms deer season, and will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season on December 28 - 31 in 48 counties or portions of counties.  (See the 2012 - 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for county and area listings.)

**DNR*

 

West Virginia Antlered Deer Gun Harvest, 2008-2012

County

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Barbour

1413

1307

875

1372

1178

Brooke

427

377

337

413

407

Hancock

357

339

299

324

325

Harrison

1680

1730

1053

1494

1378

Marion

1489

1183

764

1249

1080

Marshall

1339

1321

1087

1407

1289

Monongalia

1927

1536

1116

1508

1286

Ohio

485

412

412

467

451

Preston

2618

2122

2034

2224

2108

Taylor

808

727

494

768

681

Tucker

951

874

743

738

635

Wetzel

2210

1474

958

1615

1496

Dist. 1 Subtotal

15,704

13,402

10,172

13,579

12,314

Berkeley

855

651

661

835

673

Grant

1531

1228

959

1266

1284

Hampshire

2153

1634

1271

1676

1570

Hardy

2046

1601

1315

1589

1435

Jefferson

605

461

482

447

522

Mineral

1383

1158

947

1286

1175

Morgan

806

573

457

601

601

Pendleton

1416

1257

893

1391

1379

Dist. 2 Subtotal

10,795

8,563

6,985

9,091

8,639

Braxton

1731

1891

986

1468

1403

Clay

540

552

353

519

557

Lewis

2027

2227

1130

1586

1353

Nicholas

1082

1176

846

1279

1198

Pocahontas

1223

1346

1100

1106

1150

Randolph

2126

1930

1858

2032

1792

Upshur

1536

1383

1088

1612

1284

Webster

887

901

807

1063

812

Dist. 3 Subtotal

11,152

11,406

8,168

10,665

9,549

Fayette

905

896

742

1005

980

Greenbrier

1925

1976

1367

1783

1907

McDowell

0

0

0

0

0

Mercer

537

604

362

647

682

Monroe

1431

1569

1002

1364

1563

Raleigh

577

706

446

739

735

Summers

932

931

536

865

1084

Wyoming

0

0

0

0

0

Dist. 4 Subtotal

6,307

6,682

4,455

6,403

6,951

Boone

577

628

471

653

882

Cabell

787

695

464

705

746

Kanawha

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