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Hunting & Trapping

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

West Virginia’s muzzleloader deer season opens December 10, 2018

The Free Press WV

West Virginia’s muzzleloader deer hunting season will open December 10 and run through December 16, 2018.

During muzzleloader season, antlered deer are legal in all counties that have a buck firearms season, and deer of either sex are legal in all counties or parts thereof that have an antlerless season.

Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties are closed to all firearms deer hunting, including the muzzleloader deer season.

The season bag limit is one deer on a base license and one additional deer with the purchase of a class RM or class RRM stamp.

The additional muzzleloader stamps must be purchased before the start of muzzleloader season.

RM is the stamp designated for residents and RRM is the stamp designated for nonresidents.

Crossbows can be substituted for a muzzleloader firearm during the muzzleloader deer season; however, bows cannot be substituted for a muzzleloader.

Concurrent archery hunting is legal during the muzzleloader season, subject to all archery deer hunting regulations.

Concurrent waterfowl hunting is also legal.

No more than three bucks can be harvested in a calendar year (all seasons combined).

All hunters afield during this week are required to wear blaze orange.

For more information, hunters should read the 2018-2019 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov.

To register for your DNR ID number, buy a license or to electronically check game, go to www.wvhunt.gov.

WVDNR awaits CWD test results

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources collected data from 865 deer during mandatory biological collections in the eastern panhandle last week. Hunters were required to bring their deer to nine locations in Berkeley and Mineral Counties as biologists tested most of the animals for chronic wasting disease.

“Those samples will be shipped off in the next few days to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Madison,” said Dr. Jim Crum, Deer Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “We may start getting results by the end of the week or maybe next week.”

Not all of the 865 deer were sampled. Biologists did not collect data on fawns or mature bucks.

The sampling technique would be damaging to a buck hunters might want to take to the taxidermist.

It’s unclear at this point how many samples will be shipped off to the lab.

All samples will be tested and those which show the conditions of CWD will be put through a second test to confirm. Hunters who brought their animals to those check stations in Berkeley, Mineral, and to the DNR District office in Romney for sampling were issued a number on their check tag. The number will enable them to learn the test results of their specific deer once the testing is complete.

“That number is specific for that deer,” said Crum. “They can go onto our website, once the data is in, and they can click on ‘Check CWD’ and enter that number to see their results.”

Crum anticipated those results probably wouldn’t be available until next week. He said it was tough to know what they have found until the tests were complete, but seemed encouraged by what he saw at the one station in Berkeley County where he was posted.

“Most of the animals I looked at were healthy and I think most of the hunters were proud of their harvest,” he said. ‘There were several 10 pointers and a lot of 8 pointers.”

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

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