Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia hunters harvest 108,160 deer in 2017

The Free Press WV

Preliminary counts indicate hunters harvested 108,160 white-tailed deer in West Virginia during the 2017 seasons. The 2017 harvest was 4 percent below the 2016 harvest of 112,384 deer, and 15 percent below the five-year average of 127,803.

A breakdown of the combined 2017 deer seasons reveals 44,127 bucks were harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 33,584 antlerless deer were killed during all antlerless firearm seasons, 26,206 deer were harvested by bows and crossbows, and 4,243 deer were taken by muzzleloader hunters.


Antlerless Deer Season

The 2017 antlerless deer harvest, which includes those taken during the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 3.5 percent less than in 2016 and 22 percent below the five-year average of 43,145.

“It is important to note that the antlerless harvest is the key component to any deer management strategy, as it controls the future deer population,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,703), Upshur (1,300), Ritchie (1,290), Lewis (1,258), Jackson (1,122), Roane (1,101), Wood (1,087), Braxton (1,083), Mason (1,052), and Harrison (1,014).

Hunters are reminded that the DNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state on March 12 and 13 to gather comments on fall 2018 antlerless deer hunting seasons in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.


Muzzleloader Deer Season

The 2017 muzzleloader harvest of 4,243 was 15 percent below the 2016 harvest of 4,997, and 26 percent below the five-year average of 5,768. The top 10 counties were: Preston (203), Randolph (194), Upshur (163), Nicholas (162), Lewis (146), Jackson (138), Greenbrier (130), Braxton (127), Harrison (126), and Fayette (124).


Archery and Crossbow Deer Season

The bow and crossbow harvest of 26,206 deer was 1.2 percent less than the 2016 harvest of 26,524, and 4 percent below the five-year average of 27,420. Archery harvests are affected by hard mast crops. The average acorn crop in 2016, followed by a better-than-average acorn crop in 2017, likely contributed to the slightly lower 2017 harvest.

More deer were harvested with a crossbow than in past years. For the first time, more deer were taken with a crossbow than a bow. The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,469), Kanawha (894), Randolph (883), Wyoming (824), Raleigh (789), Fayette (765), Wood (738), Greenbrier (722), Upshur (694), and Monongalia (694).

WEST VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST, 2017

County

Buck-Firearms

Antlerless

Muzzleloader

Archery/Crossbow

Total

Barbour

984

873

119

534

2,510

Brooke

175

236

13

155

579

Hancock

157

163

18

282

620

Harrison

1,017

1,014

126

634

2,791

Marion

735

809

82

509

2,135

Marshall

624

437

64

300

1,425

Monongalia

825

673

82

694

2,274

Ohio

180

152

34

202

568

Preston

1,947

1,703

203

1,469

5,322

Taylor

485

533

59

361

1,438

Tucker

817

332

73

482

1,704

Wetzel

823

723

71

311

1,928

District 1   Subtotal

8,769

7,648

944

5,933

23,294

Berkeley

753

730

64

559

2,106

Grant

1,194

599

75

363

2,231

Hampshire

1,386

959

89

381

2,815

Hardy

1,198

717

74

321

2,310

Jefferson

419

450

46

408

1,323

Mineral

1,011

706

43

381

2,141

Morgan

503

490

38

242

1,273

Pendleton

1,018

424

48

316

1,806

District 2   Subtotal

7,482

5,075

477

2,971

16,005

Braxton

1,233

1,083

127

539

2,982

Clay

481

109

34

243

867

Lewis

1,216

1,258

146

538

3,158

Nicholas

987

436

162

635

2,220

Pocahontas

1,040

249

57

324

1,670

Randolph

1,633

849

194

883

3,559

Upshur

1,025

1,300

163

694

3,182

Webster

777

562

74

511

1,924

District 3   Subtotal

8,392

5,846

957

4,367

19,562

Fayette

927

286

124

765

2,102

Greenbrier

1,628

773

130

722

3,253

McDowell

     

574

574

Mercer

593

547

62

625

1,827

Monroe

1,295

998

107

542

2,942

Raleigh

592

226

70

789

1,677

Summers

809

682

78

450

2,019

Wyoming

 

 

 

824

824

District 4   Subtotal

5,844

3,512

571

5,291

15,218

Boone

658

172

74

377

1,281

Cabell

404

290

32

208

934

Kanawha

1,046

478

64

894

2,482

Lincoln

569

338

46

258

1,211

Logan

     

507

507

Mason

867

1,052

108

535

2,562

Mingo

     

277

277

Putnam

624

612

63

397

1,696

Wayne

448

134

30

179

791

District 5   Subtotal

4,616

3,076

417

3,632

11,741

Calhoun

740

557

66

283

1,646

Doddridge

947

731

95

328

2,101

Gilmer

875

727

87

334

2,023

Jackson

1,096

1,122

138

515

2,871

Pleasants

317

298

20

162

797

Ritchie

1,338

1,290

109

501

3,238

Roane

1,186

1,101

90

489

2,866

Tyler

817

781

63

328

1,989

Wirt

734

733

91

334

1,892

Wood

974

1,087

118

738

2,917

District 6   Subtotal

9,024

8,427

877

4,012

22,340

State   Total

44,127

33,584

4,243

26,206

108,160

--> Friday, January 12, 2018
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