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Deer Hunters Harvest 62,491 Bucks In 2009

By Staff | Dec 23, 2009

Preliminary data collected from game checking stations across the state indicate deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 62,491 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 23 through Dec. 5, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro.

The 2009 buck harvest was seven percent less than the 2008 harvest of 67,365. The top 10 counties for buck harvest were: Jackson (2,493), Lewis (2,215), Preston (2,123), Roane (2,116), Mason (2,105), Ritchie (1,979), Braxton (1,896), Randolph (1,896), Greenbrier (1,896), and Wood (1,853).

This year’s buck kill is somewhat lower than last year, primarily as a result of a decline in the buck harvest in DNR Districts 1 and 2, which encompass the northern and northeastern counties of the state. The harvest was similar to last year in the remaining four DNR districts. Overall, the 2009 harvest increased in 16 counties and declined in 35 counties (log on to the “News” section of www.wvdnr.gov).

Wildlife biologists will analyze data from the combined 2009 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 15 and 16, 2010. See current 2009-10 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary page five or visit the DNR Web site for scheduled times and places).

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.

Over time, these declines in herd condition will actually reduce the deer herd’s resiliency to poor mast conditions and harsh winter weather.

Jezioro reminds hunters that the traditional six-day antlerless deer season in selected counties on both public and private land ended Dec. 12. Muzzleloader deer season ran Dec. 14-19. The Youth and Class Q/QQ antlerless deer season will be open on Saturday and Monday, Dec. 26 and Dec. 28, in any county with a firearms deer season.

This will be followed by a three-day reopening of antlerless deer season (Dec. 29-31) in 45 counties or portions of counties and on selected wildlife management areas. See 2009-10 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for county and area listings.