West Virginia Deer News

Some tips for finding shed deer antlers February 7, 2016 West Virginia, Times West Virginian 
...  antlers are most likely to hit the ground between now and the end of the February... Bucks are all about keeping their bellies full. So you need to find the top food sources in your grounds that are drawing in deer...

... venison is now allowed for sale to the consumer.  The meat being sold is not wild hunted deer. It comes from licensed deer farmers ...

WVU research seeks to slow spread of deadly deer disease February 6, 2016 West Virginia, wvgazettemail.com
... By analyzing the DNA present in each sample, researchers at West Virginia University hope to discover how deer move across the landscape. Armed with that information, state wildlife officials might someday be able to slow or halt the spread of chronic wasting disease, an always-fatal malady first found in the state in 2006...

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation January 31, 2016 West Virginia, The Register Herald
... Wildlife belongs to the people. This is the chief building block of the NAMWC [North American Model of Wildlife Conservation], and could have been the real reason we had that little tussle with King George back in 1776. The basic concept here is wildlife belongs to the people, not the king, or the landowner... Public hearings and the democratic process are intended to have all wildlife managed wisely and for the public good...

Deer season has bumper crop January 26, 2016 West Virginia, Independentherald.com
... preliminary ... a total harvest of 138,493 deer in 2015... a 32% increase from the previous year... The 2014 season was marked with an above average mast crop which meant that food was abundant and whitetails didn’t have to go far to fill their bellies...  60,814 bucks were taken ... far less than the record 104,199 bucks harvested back in 2002...

DNR’s new computer-based checking system yields erroneous deer-kill numbers January 25, 2016 West Virginia, wvgazettemail.com 
... the Division of Natural Resources’ new electronic game-checking system ... caused agency officials to overestimate the firearm buck kill by more than 5,000 and underestimate the antlerless-deer kill by a similar margin...  contained a question that fooled some hunters into registering their deer into the wrong category...

Big numbers for 2015 deer January 24, 2016 West Virginia, Williamson Daily News 
 ... Preliminary counts ... West Virginia hunters harvested 138,493 white-tailed deer ... 10 percent above the 5-year average of 126,067... The 2015 antlerless deer season harvest of 39,853 ... was 1 percent more than in 2014 and 8 percent below the 5-year average of 43,188...

1/23/16 - 20 to 24 inches of snow from Winter Storm Jonas. Makes the deer desperate for food! #WestVirginia


Preston County tops two deer harvest categories January 20, 2016 West Virginia, The DPost
... the combined 2015 deer seasons reveals 60,814 bucks harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 39,853 antlerless deer ...

... more than 138,000 deer ... 105,000 deer killed in 2014, and is 10 percent above the five-year average ...

...  500 deer farms in Ohio and more than 40 in West Virginia ...  farms supply those hunting facilities...  also provide venison for sale and provide deer to breeding services ...

Elk setback only flaw in 'good year for hunters' January 2, 2016 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette-Mail
... The buck harvest rose 77 percent from the previous year’s disappointing firearm season. Unofficially, hunters killed 66,374 bucks ...  a plan firmly in place to bring elk ... seems less and less likely that the Division of Natural Resources will be able to meet their goal of making the first stockings by April 2016... 

Bridgeport deer hunt harvest about the same as last year December 31, 2015 West Virginia, theet.com
... Hunters killed 49 deer ... Last year’s harvest was 52 deer... There were 89 deer killed in 2013 and 107 in 2012 ...

Officials hope 'family' hunts can boost antlerless-deer kill December 25, 2015 West Virginia, Associated Press
... "This year's (antlerless-deer) bag limits were somewhat more conservative than last year's," he pointed out. "The decline in last year's buck kill triggered automatic bag-limit reductions in several counties." ...

Deer hunters in W. Va. harvest 66,374 bucks December 10, 2015 West Virginia, Williamson Daily News
...  harvested 66,374 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 23 through Dec. 5, 2015 ...up 77 percent from the 2014 harvest of 37,450...

Hampshire, Hardy help W.Va. to large buck harvest December 8, 2015 West Virginia, Cumberland Times News Homepage
... Wildlife officials said the largest percentage increases took place in the state's western counties and were double that of a year ago. Excellent hunting weather and a lack of acorns that forced deer to move more to feed were contributing factors ...

Banner buck season for W.Va. hunters December 7, 2015 West Virginia MetroNews
... Preliminary figures indicate West Virginia deer hunters killed 66,128 bucks during the two week season ... It was the best buck number since 2008, but not nearly a record number.  Hunters in 1997 killed 102,484 bucks...

First week of buck deer firearm season shows increased harvest ... December 1, 2015 West Virginia, The Exponent Telegram 
...  WVDNR’s new electronic game check system shows a preliminary report that hunters harvested 20,105 bucks during the first day of the buck deer firearms season that began last Monday. According to the WVDNR, that’s a 77 percent increase over the 11,330 bucks taken during opening day in 2014...

As predicted, deer hunters off to fantastic start November 29, 2015 West Virginia, The Register Herald
...  The 30 percent reduction in the 2014 buck harvest means that many bucks survived the season and some of them should be available for harvest in 2015. In addition, the percentage of yearling bucks in the harvest in 2014 was near 30 percent. This means many bucks are surviving to reach older age classes and the chance to kill a large-antlered buck has increased...

Deputies believe suspects intentionally struck deer on road November 27, 2015 West Virginia, Times West Virginian
...  intentionally struck and killed a deer in the Victor area of Fayette County... around 6 a.m. Thursday ... Deputies believe the vehicle involved was a black 2007 Ford Mustang GT...

... "Over my 20 years in law enforcement, in game enforcement, this is the worst case I've encountered or seen," Captain W.W. Brogan with the Division of Natural Resources ...

WV deer hunt up 77-percent on first day of gun buck season November 24, 2015 West Virginia, 59 WVNSTV
... a huge one-day harvest of whitetail deer: more than 20,000...

We interrupt this column to bring you deer season November 24, 2015 West Virginia, Independent Herald 
... Last year during the firearm season some 37,450 antlered bucks were harvested. Those harvested combined with all other seasons accounted for a total of 104,707 deer taken in the state.  That equates to about one deer for every 140 acres of habitat in the state...

WV's wildlife chief says 2015 buck harvest could be 'outstanding' November 22, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette-Mail 
... “In 2014, West Virginia enjoyed a bumper acorn crop, but that didn’t translate to good deer hunting. Deer stayed deep in the woods to be near the oak flats where the acorns were, and they didn’t come out into the fields where hunters were used to seeing them,” he explained. “We had plenty of deer, but because they weren’t vulnerable to the gun the buck harvest fell 34 percent.”  ...

Hunters during statewide buck season pump increased revenue into local economy November 22, 2015 West Virginia, The Exponent Telegram 
... The Division of Natural Resources estimates that more than 330,000 hunters will spend a total of $230 million in the Mountain State during the two-week season, leading to $34 million in tax revenue... 5,700 West Virginians are employed ...

2015 West Virginia deer firearms season fact sheet November 17, 2015 Williamson Daily News
... Approximately 330,000 deer hunters will be in West Virginia’s woods during this season ... Deer hunters spend an estimated $230 million in West Virginia, much of it in the rural areas of the state ...

Deer Hunted in Four Counties Must Be Tested November 14, 2015 West Virginia, WHSV 
...  chronic wasting disease testing. Saturday was the first of two testing dates for hunters in Clarke, Shenandoah, Frederick, and Warren counties... If you hunt and kill a deer on Nov. 14 or Nov. 21st, you have to have the deer tested for CWD ...

Pipestem State Park officials prepare for controlled deer hunt November 14, 2015 West Virginia, Bluefield Daily Telegraph 
... Members of the public had protested the controlled hunt. Pipestem’s deer have no fear of humans, which would make them easy targets for hunters, they said. William Flanigan of Princeton, who visits the states park’s golf courses, said the deer there are “almost domesticated” and did not have the survival instincts of deer living outside the park...

Three Charged in Illegal Deer Kill in Mason County November 10, 2015 West Virginia, WSAZ 3 
...  received a call about shots fired from a vehicle in Mason County...

Exploring the mysteries of the rut November 5, 2015 West Virginia, Times Free Press
... The rut, or "rutting period," is the mating season of ruminant animals.  Deer, cattle, sheep, antelope and camels are all ruminants... During the rut, male deer display many bizarre behaviors that include rubbing antlers on trees, wallowing in mud and dust, sparring and fighting with each other, and herding females together...

Keeping today's deer hunting in perspective October 31, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette-Mail
... n 1909 the West Virginia Legislature passed a pair of laws designed to preserve the few deer that remained ... The following year, the state’s whitetail herd reached its lowest ebb — perhaps 1,000 animals, isolated into pockets in just 11 counties... From then through 1973, lawmakers bounced back and forth between bucks-only and hunter’s-choice seasons ...

... The total for all seasons up to this date, including archery, urban hunts, youth/Class Q/XS and the early antlerless deer gun season (Oct. 22-24), is 17,776 deer. That compares to 15,216 taken at this time in 2014, a 17 percent increase...

The rut' is prime time for W.Va.'s bowhunting enthusiasts October 24, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette-Mail 
... Acorns are spotty this year... for the most part they’re scarce  ... those bucks, which normally operate mainly at night, change their habits during the rut’s chase period.  “They’ll be moving a lot more during daylight hours as the rut progresses,” ...

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: West Virginia October 21, 2015 Game & Fish
... Like many states in the region, the majority of bucks harvested by hunters are 1 1/2 years old. Since bucks don’t reach physical maturity until ages four to five, most simply don’t live long enough to reach their potential in terms of both body size and antler growth...

Antlerless deer three-day season slated on private land October 20, 2015 West Virginia, Independent Herald
... Hunters and landowners should encourage antlerless deer hunting where needed to benefit the deer herd and other wildlife dependent on our state’s woodland habitat. Conversely, antlerless deer harvests can be reduced to stabilize or increase deer populations...

Baiting, ethics and other moral dilemmas October 18, 2015 West Virginia, Beckley Register-Herald
... Nothing comes under the ethics microscope in the hunting world as much as baiting ... “Fair Chase, as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.” ...

Electronic game checking provides early hunting numbers October 13, 2015 West Virginia, Independent Herald
... Hunters have harvested almost 900 black bears and more than 5,000 white-tailed deer during the early archery and crossbow seasons that began Sept. 26 and will end Nov. 21 ...

...The total white-tailed deer harvest should be higher in 2015 than it was in 2014. Although antlerless seasons have been reduced in some counties in 2015, increased reproduction and survival as a result of the bumper oak mast crop of 2014 means deer numbers will be higher. In addition, the lack of oak mast in 2015 means deer will be more visible in fields and more susceptible to harvest, which will lead to an increase in total deer harvest...

3 cited for poaching albino deer in Boone County October 2, 2015 West Virginia, Metro News
... Social media and an aggressive member of the DNR’s law enforcement arm solved a highly publicized poaching case in Boone County... A lot of times these people like to brag ...
     Albino deer shot dead, WV Natural Resource Police investigating September 28, 2015 West Virginia, 13 WOWKTV 
... The deer was shot from a gray truck on Rt. 17 in Boone County at approximately 5 p.m Sunday ... contact 304-759-0703

Crossbows legal for first time in WV deer hunting history October 1, 2015 West Virginia, 13 WOWKTV 
... the state saw a total of 300,000 deer hunters. Roughly 80,000 of them were bowhunters... Hunters in all but four counties are allowed to use crossbows ...

West Virginia preparing for elk release September 25, 2015 Roanoke Times
...  negotiations are underway with wildlife officials in Kentucky to obtain elk for stocking ... Kentucky has developed a heard of 10,000 elk and has provided animals for stocking in Virginia and other states ...

Archery season opener this weekend in W.Va. September 24, 2015 West Vigrinia, West Virginia MetroNews
...  “The oak mast is a little spotty.  Up high in the higher elevations I’ve seen virtually no white oak at all.   When you get down to about 1,200 feet and below it picked up.  There’s a decent amount of white oak and a little bit of red oak.” ...

... Chris Ryan with the West Virginia DNR says the results of their annual mast survey were just compiled, and it’s a “very poor year for oaks.”   “I expect people to have pretty good hunting early this season,” Ryan says. “Without a heavy mast crop, deer should be more concentrated around top food sources.” ...

Should albino or piebald deer be shot? September 19, 2015 West Virginia, The Times News
... Biologists speculate that albinos may be the result of inbreeding, and piebald deer are more likely to occur in areas of dense deer population... Both albinos and piebalds are likely to have short lives – but not because their color makes them stand out. Both will likely have physical abnormalities such as short lower jaw bones, Roman noses, short legs, deformed feet and an arching spine...

... New data from State Farm shows deer-related auto insurance claims fell in West Virginia by 11 percent, but drivers still have a one-in-44 chance of filing a claim ...

Bridgeport gets ready for deer hunt September 7, 2015 West Virginia, theet.com
... One of the things hindering the progress of this is lack of properties available and approved to harvest deer on,” ... “The property owners control who hunts on their properties,” ... five years of the hunt...

West Virginia expanding CWD containment area August 30, 2015 Times West Virginian 
... Since Chronic Wasting Disease was first found in Hampshire County of West Virginia back in 2005 [road Kill], 182 other whitetail deer have been found positive with CWD in both Hampshire and Hardy counties ... One hundred-eleven positive deer were hunter-harvested ...

State prepares for inaugural crossbow season August 28, 2015 West Virginia, The Exponent Telegram 
... previously only been used in the state by those who have obtained a special permit ... “If someone had a condition where they could not use a regular bow ... 

Hunters make call for a reduced buck limit August 9, 2015 West Virginia, Beckley Register-Herald
... We want the WV DNR to lower buck limits per hunter per year as well as look into the possible use of antler restrictions. These changes are being requested as a means for more bucks to reach a more mature age class throughout the Mountain State...

Deer farms hoping for jump in business August 8, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
...  Through a well-organized lobbying effort, the owners of the 20-some active deer farms and hunting preserves in West Virginia convinced lawmakers to change the legal definition of farm-raised deer from “wildlife” to “livestock.” That moved regulatory oversight of the industry from the state Division of Natural Resources to the state Department of Agriculture...

W.Va. DNR expands chronic wasting disease ‘containment area’ August 1, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette 
... state wildlife officials have expanded the “CWD Containment Area” to include almost the entire Eastern Panhandle. Up until last year, the zone had included only Hampshire County and parts of Hardy and Morgan counties... they have made it a policy to establish a 5-mile “buffer radius” around the location of any CWD-positive deer ...

... minutes later, her baby fawn was born. A West Virginia State Trooper, who responded to the call, told local media that he does not know how the newborn fawn managed to survive the impact of the collision ... The newborn fawn was taken to the Tri Lake Animal Hospital ....

State slowly losing battle with CWD July 26, 2015 West Virginia, Times West Virginian
... “The idea to stop feeding deer in this area is within the agency’s ongoing management efforts to slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). A larger portion of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia has been added to the current area where artificial supplemental feeding and baiting of deer is prohibited,” ...

Fawn causes a stir on my street July 24, 2015 West Virginia, West Virginia MetroNews
... In the rare case of abandonment other does will adopt an orphan.  Gene Thorne, a former wildlife ... once told me he often would have folks show up at his residence on the WMA with a fawn they thought was “abandoned.”  Once they brought it to him it surely was, so he would turn it loose into a field where other deer could be seen grazing and it would usually take up with another doe and be fine...

Baiting deer illegal in Mineral, Grant counties July 22, 2015 West Virginia, Cumberland Times News Homepage
... This action has been taken to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease ... deer feeding naturally in the woods have less chance of rubbing up against a sick herd member than they would if they were all bunched up at a bait pile ... 

... available online at www.wvdnr.gov... Hunters and trappers must follow the new rules for electronic checking of game... A crossbow season for deer and wild boar will run Sept. 26 – Dec. 31 and for bear during the period from Sept. 26 – Nov. 21 and from Dec. 7-31. Additionally, crossbows are legal to use during any big game firearms season...The antlerless deer season will run Oct. 22-24, Nov. 23 – Dec. 5, Dec. 17-19 and Dec. 29-31. Antlerless season bag limits have been reduced in several counties for 2015... The West Virginia Chronic Wasting Disease Containment Area has been expanded to include all of Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties. It is illegal to bait or feed deer at any time in these counties. Additionally, hunters are prohibited from transporting dead deer beyond the boundaries of Hampshire, Hardy and Morgan counties....

... In West Virginia, it is illegal to confine wildlife or secure them in an area where they are not able to roam free or come and go as they please, according to the agency... [phhoto from West Virginia Natural Resources Police]
Authorities say man lived with deer July 8, 2015 West Virginia, KCCI 8 Des Moines
... the two deer had a healthy supply of hay available to them inside the home...
...  Officers saw a deer standing in the middle of the house when they arrived and spoke with a man at the house... he picked the animals up as fawns, thinking they were injured ...
Cabell man says deer weren’t living with him July 8, 2015 West Virginia, Metro News 
... Ronnie Chapman told WSAZ-TV the deer would come as go as they please. He said he nursed the six-point deer back to health a few years ago after finding him “bleeding to death” in his front yard... 
Man charged with raising deer in his home July 8, 2015 West Virginia, WTVY
... Chapman says he's perplexed why he's being persecuted for doing what he felt was the right thing... Chapman says he was in court Tuesday and had to pay a $300 fine...

Social media helps officers make deer poaching bust July 8, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... photos posted to Snapchat allowed an NRP officer in Parkersburg to solve a deer-poaching case in less than an hour.  According to a release from the agency, an anonymous tipster sent three photos copied from Snapchat ...

Lottery hunt aims to control deer population July 7, 2015 West Virginia, WOWK
... As South Charleston resident Cheryl Crigger Morgan tells us, the deer population in the area seems to be getting out of hand.  "But we see them like five and seven at a time there is not one or two deer they are in herds,"  [deer routinely live in small herds]

Bridgeport, Hunters outnumber deer killed at Bridgeport urban hunt June 4, 2015 West Virginia, The Herald-Star 
... 118 hunters killed 52 deer ... The program started in 2009 ...
    Urban deer hunt numbers drop dramatically in Bridgeport June 3, 2015 West Virginia, theet.com
    ...  the bow-only hunt was started to help reduce the deer population in the city.  “They’re having a sociological impact on the city by eating people’s flowers and gardens,”  ... Steve Rauch, wildlife biologist for DNR District 1 ...

Deer in road likely caused by migration, not overpopulation June 2, 2015 West Virginia, charlestondailymail.com
... Division of Natural Resources... combines road deaths with deaths caused by crop damage (farmers shooting deer that eat their crops) ... By that metric, 17,120 deer were killed in 2014, and 19,839 in 2013... 

West Virginians want elk, but are they ready for them? May 30, 2015 The Charleston Gazette 
... Appalachia’s milder climate and absence of predators allow elk to grow to considerably larger size than they do in their native Rocky Mountains... once we began hunting them hard, they turned into woodland elk. Now they spend more of their time in the timber, living on acorns.” ... they tend to move in large groups — unlike deer, which tend to be much more solitary...

Finding deer antlers is W.Va. man’s wintertime hobby May 10, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... Buck deer shed their bony headgear shortly after the mating season ends... This year was his best ever. He found 35 antlers, most of them in March and April...

New W.Va. law forbids use of drones to aid hunters March 28, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... amended a section of the state code that prohibits hunting from aircraft to include the use of drones for hunting ... The bill also included a provision that makes the use of night-vision technology illegal for hunting most of the state’s game species ...

W.Va. DNR wants to hear from you March 24, 2015 West Virginia, Huntington Herald Dispatch
... the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources held 12 public meetings across the state to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2015 hunting regulations for white-tailed deer ...  The questionnaire is available for downloading online at wvdnr.gov ... deadline for written comments is April 3 ...

Addition to elk bill clears way for deer crossbow season March 22, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... during the final two days of lawmaking ... The state Senate inserted language into the elk reintroduction bill that ... The commission’s job will be to decide how long the season will last and how many animals crossbow users will be allowed to kill...

DNR hunting for public input on new regulations March 18, 2015 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
...  the division is recommending most season dates, bag and creel limits remain similar to the 2014-2015 season...

DNR announces public meetings March 10, 2015 West Virginia, Independent Herald
...  The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold 12 public meetings across the state in March to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2015 hunting regulations for white-tailed deer ...

Deer baiting might be legal, but it threatens hunters’ image March 8, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... West Virginians who kill big-game animals over bait will destroy the sport of hunting for the rest of us ... the non-hunting public will wake up to what goes on in the Mountain State’s woods and they’ll say, “If that’s how hunting is done, it’s time to do away with hunting.” ...

WV Elk Restoration Program Receives $50,000 grant March 6, 2015 West Virginia, gilberttimes.net
... The rejuvenated WV Elk Restoration Program received a $50,000 seed grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) ... Other changes included some tweaking of the deer seasons in response to the nearly 30% drop across the board for the statewide deer harvest numbers...

Lottery Open for Morgantown Urban Deer Archery Hunt March 4, 2015 West Virginia, WBOY-TV
... This year marks the fifth hunt, which has harvested 405 deer since its inception....

Public Meetings Set on Proposed Hunting Regulations in W.Va. March 2, 2015 February 2, 2015 West Virginia, WSAZ 3
... The Division of Natural Resources has scheduled 12 public meetings across the state on the regulations.  They include 2015 regulations for white-tailed deer ...

... One notable step in the elk effort is the introduction of elk legislation in house bill 2515 which is currently in the House Finance Committee for review. This bill will set the framework for the program and open the door for more formal, and on the ground work to begin ...

WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signs deer farming bill into law February 25, 2015 West Virginia, 13 WOWKTV ·
...  The measure puts deer farm regulations under the scope of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, removing it from the Division of Natural Resources...

Sportsmen press for veto on deer farm legislation February 23, 2015 West Virginia MetroNews
... “We’re hoping for a veto from the governor on the captive cervid bill, ” said Wildlife Federation President Jerod Harman. ... The legislation would transfer control of captive cervids from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture...  the potential for wildlife disease ... the North American Wildlife Model... allows that wild game belongs to everybody...

Antlerless hunting proposals reflect lower 2014 harvest February 23, 2015 West Virginia MetroNews
... The drastic drop in the number of bucks hunters killed in 2014 is reflected in the proposed regulations for the 2015 antlerless deer hunting season in West Virginia... a reduction in the antlerless bag limit in selected counties ...  number of counties where hunters are required to kill an antlerless deer before they could kill their second buck ...

W.Va. DNR proposes more conservative deer regulations for 2015 February 23, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... “The regulation changes are designed to reduce the number of [female] deer that hunters kill.” ... Johansen said a 34 percent drop in last year’s buck kill triggered the DNR’s move toward a more conservative approach...

‘Devil is in the details’ for new deer-farm regulations February 21, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
...  the state Legislature passed a bill that would transfer authority over high-fence hunting operations, deer farms and other so-called “captive cervid facilities” from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture... It will be interesting to see whether West Virginia’s Ag officials write regulations that protect the health of West Virginia’s wild deer, or if they write regulations designed to improve deer farmers’ bottom line...

Bill would open hunting seasons to crossbows February 16, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Daily Mail
... A bill making its way through the state Legislature seeks to allow West Virginians to use a crossbow during any hunting season and designate a special season for the weapon... Jenkins said the Division of Natural Resources did not have a position in terms of the allowance of crossbow hunting...

Amended deer farming bill passes February 15, 2015 West Virginia, Times West Virginian 
...  Passage means the Department of Agriculture will be completely in charge of deer farming regulation.  The act will allow for venison to be commercially sold... 

W.Va. wildlife biologists calculate deer numbers to set hunting regulations February 1, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... “The key component in our [calculations] is the buck kill per square mile ... We use that as an index to estimate the size of the deer population.”  Last year, the buck kill fell by 34 percent statewide. By extension, the buck kill per square mile also fell 34 percent... “We use a two-year running average,” [Paul Johansen, the DNR’s assistant wildlife chief]

West Virginia Data: Deer population around 825,000 in 2015, up because of a good acorn crop and reduced hunting of antlerless deer in 2014.  Fewer acorns in 2015. Deer population of about 750,000 in 2014 pre-hunt, down from 900,000 or higher prior to hunting season in 2013.  A snowy winter in 2013-14 reduced food sources.  The deer harvest declined by 34 percent in 2014, a newly appointed DNR chief has a goal of rebuilding the deer population.   The good acorn crop that provided ample food and weather conditions, including high winds on opening day along with rain and snow during the 2014 season are also thought to have contributed to the decline. The poor acorn acorn crop in 2013, forcing deer to move around more contributed to the 14 percent increase in the deer harvest.  The acorn crop was also very low in 2012. The 2013  harvest increase also reflects an increase in the antlerless deer harvest designed to reduce the deer population.   In 2013, 76 percent of counties were still above population goals. Deer populations are down by as much as one half in the high mountain areas where reduced logging has resulted in a more mature forests and less deer browse.  A low of about 1,000 deer in 1910.   Click to enlarge the West Virginia deer harvest graphic below from the 2014 Big Game report.  About 300,000 deer hungers in 2014, about 330,000 in 2015.
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in a road killed deer in 2005 in Hampshire County. The disease continues to spread slowly throughout the state with 29 of 591 tissue samples testing positive in the county in 2014. A total of 183 positives into 2015.
   The DNR has encouraged balanced demographics in the herd.  Twenty years ago 70 percent of the bucks taken in the firearm season were 1.5 years, by 2012 bucks of 2.5 years or older were 58 percent. Antlered deer were about 50 percent of the 2013 harvest, the goal in 2014 is to increase anterless deer killed somewhat to reduce the population..  About 330,000 deer hunters in 2014. 
     As a result of over hunting, deer populations declined and were becoming somewhat scarce by 1941.  In 1909, the West Virginia legislature passed laws to preserve the herd.  By 1910 there were only about 1,000 deer remaining in the state.  A restocking effort began, the herd slowly grew, but deer hunting was closed in 1924 - 1926.  A large deer kill in 1951 depleted the herd there were large changes in the deer harvest over the next decades as the state varied policy from buck only to hunter's choice.  Sources: Keeping today’s deer hunting in perspective,  Restocking deer in West Virginia.
    The last native elk was killed in the late 1800's.

Other useful links: 
-  West Virginia Wildlife Management Area Maps   - Elk Management Plan [PDF]

Tweet on this timeline using #WestVirginia #Deer

Tweets about deer in West Virginia


News from WVDNR


Deer Management: There are two components of deer management: harvest management and habitat management. Both are important in determining the quality and quantity of the deer population; however, harvest management is the component which is most often overlooked in a good deer management program...

Source:  WDNR


Fundamentals of Deer Management File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat . . . developing an ideal deer management program. Different objectives may require totally different management actions ... basic deer management programs.