West Virginia landowners and hunters will have 22 days to harvest antlerless deer on private lands during the 2013 antlerless deer season, according to Curtis Taylor, chief of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Section.
A total of 51 counties have opened antlerless deer hunting this fall and will have the antlerless deer season running concurrently with the two-week buck gun season.
"Seventy-six percent of the counties are still above the buck harvest objective outlined in the DNR plan and further reduction in the deer population is needed," Taylor said. "With the 22 day antlerless deer season, along with changes in the bag limits for this fall, hunters should help to meet county buck harvest objectives."
The DNR reminds hunters that only one deer may be taken per day. Therefore, a buck and an antlerless deer may not be taken on the same day. However, hunters may take two antlerless deer per day in selected counties on private land, during the antlerless deer season. But, they must be checked in on separate days.
In Wetzel County, the first day totals of deer season were up slightly from last year's first-day total of 735. With 13 of the 15 Wetzel County licensed agents reporting, 896 deer were recorded at the following stations:
The County Cupboard, 45; Green Acres Citgo Gas, 157; Shortline Station, 11; Morris Grocery, 71; Mason Filling Station, 80; New Martinsville Sunoco, 128; Richmond's Sporting Goods, 25; Simon's Market, 85; Morris' Variety Center, 53; B & C's Deli, 79; Smith's Grocery, 65; Mason's Depot, 19; and the Jacksonburg Pit Stop, 78; There were no numbers available for Gifford's One-Stop, Alta's Bait Shop, Lumberjack Station and the Lewis Wetzel WMA.
The largest bucks were turned in at Morris Grocery with a 12-point buck harvested by Donnie Blake. Many local hunters also turned in a number of 10-pointers and quite a few eight pointers at Simon's Market, Mason Filling Station, B & C Deli and Richmond's Sporting Goods.
Megan Bucher killed a nice 10-pointer checked in at Mason Filling Station, while Rodney Rush and Nick Goddard each checked in a 10-pointer at Richmond's Sporting Goods. In addition, Davie Sivert checked in a nice eight pointer at Simon's Market.
One hundred and fifty-seven deer were turned in at Green Acres Citgo Gas where several 12 pointers were harvested along with a couple bobcats and a male and female coyote.
"Hunters are reminded to secure permission from landowners before hunting and to show respect for the landowners' property," urged Paul Johanasen, assistant chief in charge of game management for the West Virginia DNR.
Hunters should be reminded that it is illegal to hunt on the fenced, enclosed or posted land of another person without getting the landowner's written permission to do so.
DNR regulations also require deer hunters to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange as an outer garment for visibility and safety.
Although private lands comprise 90 percent of the acreage in West Virginia, there are more than 1.4 million acres of land open to public hunting. Hunters who may have difficulty locating a place to hunt can contact the DNR Operations Center in Elkins or any district office to obtain information on where hunting is permissible.
All deer must be tagged and checked in within 72 hours of the time of the kill or within 24 hours of the season, whichever comes first.