Deer Hunters in West Virginia Harvest 43,226 Bucks during the Buck Firearms Season
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – -(Ammoland.com)- Preliminary data collected from game checking stations across the state indicate deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 43,226 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 22 through Dec. 4, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR).
The 2010 buck harvest was 31 percent less than the 2009 harvest of 62,986. The top ten counties for buck harvest were as follows: Preston (2,030), Randolph (1,817), Hardy (1,350), Greenbrier (1,348), Mason (1,264), Hampshire (1,261), Ritchie (1,236), Jackson (1,216), Lewis (1,141) and Wood (1,113).
This year’s buck harvest is significantly lower than last year, with declines occurring across all DNR Districts.
The largest percent decreases occurred in the western and central counties of the state. The harvest was 30th among all recorded antlered buck firearm seasons. Overall, 14 counties were above or within one buck harvested per square of the harvest objective and 37 counties were one or more bucks per square mile below the harvest objective.
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 cumulative effects of too many deer over time causes a decline in herd condition, which actually reduces the deer herd’s resiliency to years of poor mast conditions and harsh winter weather. The below-average acorn crops in 2008 and 2009 (acorn mast in 2009 was the lowest in 40 years) and last year’s unusually severe winter had a significant impact on the deer population and the overall 2010 buck firearms season harvest.
Fortunately, 2010 has been a banner year for mast and overall, deer are in good physical condition entering the winter months.
Wildlife Biologists will analyze data from the combined 2010 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 14 and 15, 2011 (see current 2010 – 2011 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary page 5 or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for scheduled times and places).
Director Jezioro reminds hunters that the traditional six-day antlerless deer season in selected counties on both public and private land ends Saturday, December 11. Muzzleloader deer season begins Dec. 13 and runs through Dec.r 18. The Youth and Class Q/QQ antlerless deer season will be open on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 27 and 28 in any county with a firearms deer season, and will be followed by a three-day reopening of antlerless deer season (Dec. 29 – 31) in 46 counties or portions of counties (see 2010 – 2011 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for county and area listings).
See the following table with West Virginia’s buck harvest statistics for 2006 – 2010, online at http://www.wvcommerce.org/news/story/Deer_hunters_in_West_Virginia_harvest_43/1305/default.aspx