West Virginia hunters harvest 112,384 deer in 2016

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West Virginia hunters harvest 112,384 deer in 2016

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Preliminary counts indicate West Virginia hunters harvested 112,384 white-tailed deer during the recently completed bucks firearms, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery, crossbow, and youth/Class Q/Class XS deer seasons, according to Paul Johansen, chief of the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Section. This year’s total harvest was 19 percent below the 2015 deer harvest of 138,493 and 15 percent below the five-year average of 132,466.

A breakdown of the combined 2016 deer seasons reveals 46,071 bucks harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 32,508 antlerless deer taken during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 28,808 deer harvested by bows and crossbows, and 4,997 deer taken by muzzleloader hunters.

Antlerless Deer Season
The 2016 antlerless deer season harvest, which includes the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 18 percent less than in 2015 and 26.5 percent below the five-year average of 44,239.  “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.  Hunters are reminded that on March 13 and 14, 2017, the DNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state to gather comments on proposed fall 2017 antlerless deer hunting seasons in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.  The 2016 top 10 counties are: Preston (1,535), Upshur (1,485), Lewis (1,292), Mason (1,269), Jackson (1,224), Ritchie (1,215), Wood (1,126), Roane (1,034), Harrison (972), and Braxton (854).

Muzzleloader Deer Season
The 2016 muzzleloader harvest of 4,997 was 3 percent below the 2015 harvest of 5,178, and 21 percent below the five-year average of 6,344. The top 10 counties are Randolph (243), Nicholas (232), Preston (217), Upshur (185), Lewis (168), Jackson (158), Braxton (157), Mason (153), Wood (141), and Webster (139).

Archery and Crossbow Deer Season
The bow and crossbow hunter’s take of 28,808 deer was 11 percent less than the 2015 archery season harvest of 32,540, and four percent above the five-year average archery season harvest of 27,596.  Archery harvests are inversely correlated to hard mast crops. The below-average acorn crop in 2015, followed by a better acorn crop in 2016, likely contributed to the lower 2016 harvest; however, the proportion of the harvest taken using a crossbow increased in 2016 over that recorded in 2015.  The 2016 top 10 counties are: Preston (1,365), Randolph (975), Wood (945), Kanawha (921), Upshur (867), Wyoming (867), Mason (791), Jackson (785), Nicholas (765), and Raleigh (738).

 

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WEST VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST, 2016

County

Buck Firearms

Antlerless

Muzzleloader

Archery/Crossbow

Total

Barbour

1,098

773

133

568

2,572

Brooke

268

367

38

287

960

Hancock

209

164

34

357

764

Harrison

1,138

972

113

632

2,855

Marion

765

787

113

521

2,186

Marshall

727

493

73

357

1,650

Monongalia

827

644

91

707

2,269

Ohio

270

222

46

294

832

Preston

1,774

1,535

217

1,365

4,891

Taylor

581

490

70

303

1,444

Tucker

730

191

73

409

1,403

Wetzel

899

819

90

335

2,143

Dist. 1 Subtotal

9,286

7,457

1,091

6,135

23,969

Berkeley

737

627

67

582

2,013

Grant

954

439

81

351

1,825

Hampshire

1,197

836

88

421

2,542

Hardy

1,076

610

63

317

2,066

Jefferson

422

413

54

417

1,306

Mineral

922

684

80

404

2,090

Morgan

437

406

44

241

1,128

Pendleton

1,088

448

70

345

1,951

Dist. 2 Subtotal

6,833

4,463

547

3,078

14,921

Braxton

1,102

854

157

571

2,684

Clay

390

164

43

241

838

Lewis

1,246

1,292

168

629

3,335

Nicholas

1,044

470

232

765

2,511

Pocahontas

921

202

56

278

1,457

Randolph

1,617

803

243

975

3,638

Upshur

1,399

1,485

185

867

3,936

Webster

941

303

139

548

1,931

Dist. 3 Subtotal

8,660

5,573

1,223

4,874

20,330

Fayette

889

266

124

718

1,997

Greenbrier

1,447

699

135

565

2,846

McDowell

456

456

Mercer

636

383

86

684

1,789

Monroe

1,099

752

70

550

2,471

Raleigh

648

206

70

738

1,662

Summers

657

562

62

403

1,684

Wyoming

 

 

 

867

867

Dist. 4 Subtotal

5,376

2,868

547

4,981

13,772

Boone

573

147

72

364

1,156

Cabell

677

404

60

434

1,575

Kanawha

1,058

385

78

921

2,442

Lincoln

846

522

106

466

1,940

Logan

574

574

Mason

1,267

1,269

153

791

3,480

Mingo

386

386

Putnam

992

803

119

661

2,575

Wayne

815

252

62

419

1,548

Dist. 5 Subtotal

6,228

3,782

650

5,016

15,676

Calhoun

705

599

69

326

1,699

Doddridge

946

706

70

308

2,030

Gilmer

791

634

93

311

1,829

Jackson

1,487

1,224

158

785

3,654

Pleasants

334

251

27

154

766

Ritchie

1,422

1,215

102

630

3,369

Roane

1,178

1,034

105

544

2,861

Tyler

855

766

82

330

2,033

Wirt

777

810

92

391

2,070

Wood

1,193

1,126

141

945

3,405

Dist. 6 Subtotal

9,688

8,365

939

4,724

23,716

State Total

46,071

32,508

4,997

28,808

112,384

 

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources             
www.wvdnr.gov

Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor                             
Bob Fala, Director

News Release: January 10, 2017

Media Contact: Hoy Murphy 304-957-9365  hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov 

Contact: Paul Johansen, Wildlife Resources Section Chief 304-558-2771 DNR.Wildlife@wv.gov