Deer Hunters in West Virginia Harvest 66,851 Bucks in 2008

Deer Hunters in West Virginia Harvest 66,851 Bucks in 2008

West Virgina – -(ShootingWire.com)-Preliminary data collected from game checking stations across the state indicate deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 66,851 bucks during the two-week buck season, which ran from November 24 through December 6, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the Division of Natural Resources. The 2008 buck harvest was 362 deer less than the 2007 harvest of 67,213. The top 10 counties for buck harvest were Preston (2,579), Ritchie (2,522), Wetzel (2,195), Randolph (2,104), Hampshire (2,100), Hardy (2,049), Lewis (2,019), Roane (1,981), Mason (1,980) and Greenbrier (1,928).

The 2008 buck kill is essentially the same as 2007, according to Jezioro. The major difference is that the areas of the state where the harvest increased this year were the areas that had a decrease last year, and conversely, the areas that had an increased harvest last year are the areas that decreased this year. This resulted in an increased harvest in 22 counties and a decline in 29 counties. Undoubtedly, poor weather the first two days of the season influenced hunter participation and probably dampened this year's harvest somewhat. Rain fell opening day statewide with temperatures in the low 40s accompanied by gusty winds. Day two was windy with snow falling and temperatures in the mid 30s. Snowfall accumulations varied across the state, with more than a foot of snow being reported in the higher mountains of eastern West Virginia. Historically, deer harvest these first two days accounts for 55 percent of the season's total.

Wildlife biologists and wildlife managers collected age-specific biological information at checking stations in Hampshire, Upshur, Mason and Tyler counties this year and preliminary analysis indicate little change from last year in antler development and overall body condition of deer in the 1 ½ year age class.

White-tailed deer are a product of the environment. Too many deer on a given tract of land will result in loss of body weight, reduction in antler development, decrease in reproduction and sometimes death due to starvation during winter months.

“The state's deer management program is designed to be very responsive to changing population conditions,” noted Jezioro. “Deer regulations are adjusted annually to offer either more conservative or more liberal opportunities to harvest antlerless deer, depending upon our antlered buck harvest data analysis and management objectives for given counties.”

For example, in those counties where the antlered buck harvest was above the objective for the county, liberal antlerless seasons were implemented in 2008. Reduced bag limits were applied to counties that were below their objective.

Wildlife Biologists will analyze data from the combined 2008 deer seasons (i.e., buck, antlerless, archery and muzzleloader) before making appropriate recommendations for next year's deer seasons. These recommendations will be available for public review at 12 regulations meetings scheduled for March 16 and 17, 2009 (see current 2008-09 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for scheduled times and places).

Jezioro reminds hunters that the traditional six-day antlerless deer season in selected counties on both public and private land ends December 13. Muzzleloader deer season begins December 15 and runs through December 20. The Youth and Class Q antlerless season will be open on Monday and Tuesday December 22 and 23 and be followed by a four-day reopening of antlerless deer season (December 24-27) in 44 counties or portions of counties (see 2008-09 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for county and area listings).

Buck harvest figures for individual counties are included in the following table.

WEST VIRGINIA ANTLERED BUCK GUN HARVEST, 2004-08

County 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Barbour 1,311 1,138 1,527 1,380 1,414
Brooke 538 477 479 386 400
Hancock 462 452 447 361 356
Harrison 1,650 1,494 1,810 1,508 1,684
Marion 1,446 1,119 1,443 1,114 1,485
Marshall 1,719 1,593 1,648 1,126 1,332
Monongalia 1,808 1,683 1,953 1,474 1,896
Ohio 527 473 505 438 492
Preston 2,041 2,254 2,616 2,309 2,579
Taylor 802 683 903 724 803
Tucker 626 733 1,020 974 968
Wetzel 1,952 1,672 1,926 1,767 2,195
District I Subtotal 14,882 13,771 16,277 13,561 15,604
Berkeley 836 869 924 973 873
Grant 1,352 1,472 1,544 1,733 1,497
Hampshire 2,233 2,019 1,949 2,223 2,100
Hardy 2,117 1,961 2,178 2,111 2,049
Jefferson 685 651 713 657 542
Mineral 1,312 1,255 1,388 1,420 1,383
Morgan 680 802 845 953 805
Pendleton 1,443 1,484 1,850 1,698 1,402
Dist. II Subtotal 10,658 10,513 11,391 11,768 10,651
Braxton 1,539 1,244 1,308 2,005 1,694
Clay 472 370 399 551 525
Lewis 1,838 1,485 1,778 1,952 2,019
Nicholas 1,091 1,009 991 1,216 1,072
Pocahontas 1,057 1,167 1,410 1,277 1,219
Randolph 1,357 1,447 1,862 1,968 2,104
Upshur 1,312 1,164 1,432 1,517 1,533
Webster 800 753 796 929 857
Dist. III Subtotal 9,466 8,639 9,976 11,415 11,023
Fayette 812 728 873 1,101 917
Greenbrier 1,840 1,763 2,143 2,204 1,928
McDowell 0 0 0 0
Mercer 509 451 662 820 546
Monroe 1,472 1,308 1,886 2,150 1,408
Raleigh 602 502 651 842 569
Summers 807 730 944 1,282 928
Wyoming 0 0 0 0
Dist. IV Subtotal 6,042 5,482 7,159 8,399 6,296
Boone 584 454 495 676 544
Cabell 773 577 683 947 900
Kanawha 1,077 877 1,025 1,395 1,229
Lincoln 944 596 832 1,126 927
Logan 0 0 0 0 0
Mason 2,295 2,146 2,067 2,154 1,980
Mingo 0 0 0 0 0
Putnam 1,206 993 1,051 1,401 1,293
Wayne 875 627 837 898 759
Dist. V Subtotal 7,754 6,270 6,990 8,597 7,632
Calhoun 1,125 859 1,039 1,163 1,269
Doddridge 1,396 1,033 1,328 1,227 1,589
Gilmer 1,229 981 1,182 1,401 1,567
Jackson 2,289 2,074 2,122 2,081 1,693
Pleasants 574 452 588 398 561
Ritchie 2,000 1,495 2,147 1,564 2,522
Roane 1,909 1,616 1,691 1,873 1,981
Tyler 1,470 1,139 1,429 1,125 1,574
Wirt 1,234 928 919 1,006 1,199
Wood 1,845 1,649 1,877 1,635 1,690
Dist. VI Subtotal 15,071 12,226 14,322 13,473 15,645
STATE TOTAL 63,873 56,901 66,115 67,213 66,851

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