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Hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 bucks during the traditional buck firearms season

The Free Press WV

Preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicates that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season which ran from November 19 through December 01, 2018, according to Gary Foster, assistant chief of Game Management with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

The 2018 harvest was 1 percent higher than the 2017 harvest.

The top 10 counties for buck harvest in 2018 were: Randolph (1,685), Preston (1,607), Greenbrier (1,479), Hampshire (1,471), Jackson (1,379), Pendleton (1,274), Grant (1,217), Hardy (1,212), Kanawha (1,212) and Mason (1,206).

The buck harvest increased in the eastern panhandle (DNR District 2) and in southwestern West Virginia (DNR District 5) and was similar to or slightly down in the remainder of the state.

Deer hunters have several days of opportunity left this year, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow seasons, which run through December 31.

Muzzleloader deer season will open December 10 and remain open through December 16.

The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open December 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season.

This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season on December 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties.

In addition, the new primitive weapons “Mountaineer Heritage Season” will be open during the period from January 10-13, 2019.

Refer to the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for additional details as well as county and area listings.


West Virginia Buck Firearms Season Harvest, 2014-2018

County

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Barbour

886

1,281

1,098

984

958

Brooke

251

286

268

175

188

Hancock

200

208

209

157

139

Harrison

930

1,418

1,138

1,017

887

Marion

702

1,190

765

735

677

Marshall

707

818

727

624

637

Monongalia

689

1,023

827

825

750

Ohio

232

290

270

180

197

Preston

1,526

2,046

1,774

1,947

1,607

Taylor

453

732

581

485

491

Tucker

494

783

730

817

754

Wetzel

891

1,144

899

823

676

District 1 Subtotal

7,961

11,219

9,286

8,769

7,961

Berkeley

522

908

737

753

757

Grant

783

1,304

954

1,194

1,217

Hampshire

1,094

1,947

1,197

1,386

1,471

Hardy

920

1,709

1,076

1,198

1,212

Jefferson

385

499

422

419

463

Mineral

835

1,335

922

1,011

1,051

Morgan

412

678

437

503

621

Pendleton

861

1,297

1,088

1,018

1,274

District 2 Subtotal

5,812

9,677

6,833

7,482

8,066

Braxton

921

1,660

1,102

1,233

1,017

Clay

329

618

390

481

438

Lewis

1,166

1,875

1,246

1,216

999

Nicholas

871

1,274

1,044

987

1,060

Pocahontas

831

1,008

921

1,040

988

Randolph

1,291

1,659

1,617

1,633

1,685

Upshur

1,009

1,704

1,399

1,025

1,155

Webster

632

1,080

941

777

937

District 3 Subtotal

7,050

10,878

8,660

8,392

8,279

Fayette

725

1,214

889

927

997

Greenbrier

1,372

1,816

1,447

1,628

1,479

McDowell

0

0

0

 

0

Mercer

402

843

636

593

617

Monroe

1,004

1,462

1,099

1,295

1,189

Raleigh

506

895

648

592

623

Summers

657

999

657

809

701

Wyoming

0

0

0

 

0

District 4 Subtotal

4,666

7,229

5,376

5,844

5,606

Boone

519

868

573

658

672

Cabell

421

641

677

404

642

Kanawha

730

1,547

1,058

1,046

1,212

Lincoln

720

1,312

846

569

957

Logan

0

0

0

 

0

Mason

1,002

1,488

1,267

867

1,206

Mingo

0

0

0

 

0

Putnam

565

1,114

992

624

942

Wayne

528

963

815

448

736

District 5 Subtotal

4,485

7,933

6,228

4,616

6,367

Calhoun

504

1,063

705

740

698

Doddridge

615

1,376

946

947

659

Gilmer

669

1,435

791

875

800

Jackson

1,107

1,870

1,487

1,096

1,379

Pleasants

273

492

334

317

280

Ritchie

1,123

2,024

1,422

1,338

1,065

Roane

927

1,846

1,178

1,186

1,177

Tyler

566

1,064

855

817

566

Wirt

681

1,152

777

734

668

Wood

1,011

1,556

1,193

974

1,001

District 6 Subtotal

7,476

13,878

9,688

9,024

8,293

State Total

37,450

60,814

46,071

44,127

44,572

West Virginia’s 2018 fall turkey harvest up 28 percent

The Free Press WV

West Virginia turkey hunters harvested 1,215 birds during the fall season, according to the Division of Natural Resources. That’s an increase of 28 percent above the 2017 season, and only 4 percent below the five-year average.

“Even with the incredibly wet summer we had this year, poult production was up from last year,” said Mike Peters, DNR game bird biologist. “That was a good indication fall harvest would also be up, as was predicted in the 2018 West Virginia Mast Survey and Hunter Outlook.”

Two main factors contributed to the improved harvest numbers, according to Peters. Brood production was up from last year and mast conditions were slightly below the long-term average. Poor mast conditions will concentrate birds and make it easier for hunters to bag a bird. The uptick in harvest from last year could also be attributed to the increase in hunting opportunity.

“It’s the third year all 55 counties had at least a one-week season, but it’s the first year that Sunday hunting was permitted in all 55 counties on both private and public land,” Peters said.

Leading the state was Randolph County, with hunters harvesting 76 birds, followed by Nicholas (68), Greenbrier (65), Upshur (58), and Preston County (54). The top three counties had a four-week season with Upshur and Preston County having a two-week season. District 3 hunters harvested 319 birds, followed by District 1 (232), District 4 (230), District 2 (168), District 6 (149), and District 5 (117).

Fall West Virginia turkey harvest numbers are listed in the table below:

The Free Press WV

Mandarin duck holds NYC in its spell

It took just days for the brightly colored Mandarin duck that appeared suddenly in a Central Park pond to turn both New Yorkers and visitors into a new gaggle: the quackarazzi.

A horde of photographers has been gathering daily in the park off Fifth Avenue for well over a month, hoping to catch a glimpse of the exotic bird with pink, purple, orange and emerald green plumage and markings that admirer Joe Amato compares to “a living box of crayons.”

“So many people are drawn to this bird because its vibrant, vivid colors are associated with sunsets and rainbows,” said Amato, who comes almost daily from his Queens home with his expensive camera equipment in tow.

Bird lovers and sightseers have dutifully documented the bird’s every move through social media postings and videos that have noted its gentle glides across the water, its sniping at the ordinary mallards and even a vacation, of sorts, to a lake in nearby New Jersey.

This week, New York’s latest rising star didn’t disappoint — with the feathery showboat preening its wings in the shadow of the historic Plaza Hotel as people on shore jostled for a better look.

Leesa Beckmann commuted two and a half hours from her home in Vernon Township, New Jersey, to see the duck that her 90-year-old mother has been talking about since its arrival.

“I’ve got to see this magnificent duck,” Beckmann said to her mother.

She plans to shoot and frame photos for her mother to hang on the wall.

Ornithologist Paul Sweet, however, who heads a vast collection of bird specimens at the New York-based American Museum of Natural History, isn’t as throttled as others are about the duck.

Sweet says there’s nothing special about a Mandarin duck in Central Park. Not only is there another one (albeit captive) a short walk away at the Central Park Zoo, but such ducks are often imported from Asia for use on private property. From time to time, they escape into the wild.

“This bird is clearly not a vagrant,” said Sweet, adding that there are no records of actual wild Mandarin ducks in North America. If that actually happened in New York, of all places, “birders would be very excited.” For now, he says, they’re not.

“A lot of non-birders tend to see gaudy birds as more beautiful,” Sweet said. “But to me it’s no more beautiful than, say, a sparrow.”

In this case, expertise is not the point: Beauty is in the eyes of the New York beholders — humans for whom the carefree creature that has made Central Park its home offers some kind of balm in a troubled, chaotic world.

Report: Global CO2 Emissions to Jump in 2018

The Free Press WV

Emissions of the greenhouse gas are expected to climb between 1.8 and 3.7 percent this year, according to a report by the Global Carbon Project.

The study blames much of the rise on coal use in China and India.

Worldwide carbon generation had remained steady from 2014 to 2016 but increased last year.

The news comes as delegates from nearly 200 nations meet in Poland to discuss implementing the Paris Agreement in hopes of cutting CO2 emissions 20 percent by 2030.


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