Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia hunters harvest 108,856 deer during Fall 2018 through January 2019 seasons

The Free Press WV

Hunters in West Virginia registered 108,856 white-tailed deer through the electronic game checking system during the recently completed buck firearms, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery, crossbow, youth/Class Q/Class XS and Mountaineer Heritage seasons.

The total harvest was within 1 percent of the 2017 deer harvest of 108,160 and 11 percent below the five-year average of 122,924, said Paul Johansen, chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

A breakdown of the combined 2018 deer seasons reveals 44,599 bucks were harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 32,751 antlerless deer were taken during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 26,613 deer were harvested by bows and crossbows in the urban and regular archery/crossbow seasons, 4,234 deer were taken in the muzzleloader season and 659 deer were taken with primitive bow and muzzleloader weapons in the Mountaineer Heritage season.


Antlerless Deer Season

The 2018 antlerless deer season harvest, which includes the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 2.5 percent less than in 2017 and 20 percent below the five-year average of 40,859.

“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 Johansen.

DNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state on March 11 and 12 to gather input on fall 2019 antlerless deer hunting opportunity recommendations to increase, decrease or stabilize deer populations in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,799), Upshur (1,289), Jackson (1,183), Lewis (1,160), Ritchie (1,123), Monroe (1,099), Roane (1,073), Hampshire (1,068), Wood (1,057) and Mason (922).


Muzzleloader Deer Season

The 2018 muzzleloader harvest of 4,870, which includes 636 deer taken with side-lock and flintlock muzzleloaders in the Mountaineer Heritage season, was 15 percent more than the 2017 harvest of 4,243 and 12 percent below the five-year average of 5,540.

The top 10 counties were Preston (213), Randolph (205), Nicholas (198), Greenbrier (178), Upshur (169), Fayette (165), Webster (158), Jackson (154), Braxton (142) and Mason (142).


Archery and Crossbow Deer Seasons

The bow and crossbow hunters’ take of 26,636 deer, which included 23 bow-harvested deer in the Mountaineer Heritage season, was 1.6 percent more than the 2017 archery season harvest of 26,206, and 3 percent below the five-year average archery season harvest of 27,506. The proportion of the harvest taken using a crossbow increased and was greater than deer reported taken by a bow for the second year.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,333), Kanawha (1,045), Wyoming (976), Randolph (914), Raleigh (807), Logan (772), Fayette (765), Wood (709), Upshur (683) and Jackson (676).

WEST VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST
Fall 2018 through January 2019
County Buck
Firearms
Antlerless Muzzleloader Archery/
Crossbow
Mountaineer Heritage Total
Barbour 958 875 98 536 11 2,478
Brooke 188 159 21 171 3 542
Hancock 139 100 16 267 3 525
Harrison 888 842 113 526 21 2,390
Marion 678 543 60 433 12 1,726
Marshall 637 371 58 290 8 1,364
Monongalia 750 677 70 592 17 2,106
Ohio 197 141 32 217 7 594
Preston 1,607 1,799 177 1,333 36 4,952
Taylor 491 473 65 284 14 1,327
Tucker 754 413 71 465 13 1,716
Wetzel 676 516 41 251 3 1,487
District 1 Subtotal 7,963 6,909 822 5,365 148 21,207
Berkeley 757 706 57 645 7 2,172
Grant 1,219 647 93 365 8 2,332
Hampshire 1,471 1,068 111 355 10 3,015
Hardy 1,212 774 81 296 6 2,369
Jefferson 463 411 60 445 6 1,385
Mineral 1,048 729 45 353 5 2,180
Morgan 622 562 44 251 4 1,483
Pendleton 1,275 574 59 370 4 2,282
District 2 Subtotal 8,067 5,471 550 3,080 50 17,218
Braxton 1,017 848 123 451 20 2,459
Clay 438 305 53 250 11 1,057
Lewis 1,001 1,160 105 485 20 2,771
Nicholas 1,060 862 168 634 32 2,756
Pocahontas 994 213 65 244 5 1,521
Randolph 1,685 850 185 914 20 3,654
Upshur 1,155 1,289 132 681 39 3,296
Webster 937 331 137 540 21 1,966
District 3 Subtotal 8,287 5,858 968 4,199 168 19,480
Fayette 998 441 151 694 14 2,298
Greenbrier 1,481 801 151 615 27 3,075
McDowell       628 0 628
Mercer 617 423 105 567 13 1,725
Monroe 1,193 1,099 76 505 17 2,890
Raleigh 624 229 96 806 19 1,774
Summers 701 524 74 377 9 1,685
Wyoming       974 2 976
District 4 Subtotal 5,614 3,517 653 5,166 101 15,051
Boone 672 182 109 398 19 1,380
Cabell 644 380 43 376 7 1,450
Kanawha 1,214 525 76 1,045 27 2,887
Lincoln 958 290 64 415 12 1,739
Logan       769 3 772
Mason 1,206 922 128 610 14 2,880
Mingo       410 0 410
Putnam 943 807 78 551 12 2,391
Wayne 737 53 21 291 9 1,111
District 5 Subtotal 6,374 3,159 519 4,865 103 15,020
Calhoun 698 653 63 295 7 1,716
Doddridge 659 627 38 241 3 1,568
Gilmer 800 694 76 311 7 1,888
Jackson 1,380 1,183 141 675 14 3,393
Pleasants 280 164 21 117 6 588
Ritchie 1,065 1,123 77 514 11 2,790
Roane 1,176 1,073 84 478 11 2,822
Tyler 566 542 38 258 5 1,409
Wirt 669 721 82 341 8 1,821
Wood 1,001 1,057 102 708 17 2,885
District 6 Subtotal 8,294 7,837 722 3,938 89 20,880
State Total 44,599 32,751 4,234 26,613 659 108,856
--> Friday, February 08, 2019
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