West Virginia Deer News

Hunters’ habits sometimes slow to change, DNR says March 5, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... “The overall antlerless harvest went from 45,010 in 2012 to 56,636 in 2013, so I think hunters accomplished what we hoped they would.” ... In 2012, the first year of the October antlerless season, hunters killed 3,585 deer, far fewer than state wildlife officials had hoped...

W.Va. lawmakers want DNR chief fired March 27, 2014 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... the lawmakers accuse Jezioro of "excessive lobbying ... refers to a deer-farming bill that, had it passed, would have transferred control of deer farms from the DNR to the Department of Agriculture. The bill was widely expected to pass, but ultimately failed ...

Giving W.Va.'s 400,000 deer hunters a voice March 9, 2014 West Virginia, The Logan Banner
... Most West Virginia deer hunters are strongly opposed to shifting the authority and regulation of deer farms from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture which in all probability would result in relaxation of the regulations on “deer farms” and further jeopardize West Virginia’s 1,000,000 wild deer population to CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease)...

W.Va. Senate approves regulations for deer farming March 8, 2014 West Virginia, San Francisco Chronicle
... Under the bill approved Saturday, the Department of Agriculture would regulate deer raised for meat and for breeding purposes. The Division of Natural Resources would regulate fencing and pen sizes...

Baiting — the taboo subject March 8, 2014 West Virginia, West Virginia MetroNews
...  ripe with ethical questions ... Presently it is legal to position a tree stand over a pile of corn or apples or even a deer feeder and shoot them. It’s almost akin to shooting fish in a barrel.  I don’t hunt over bait, but it’s legal in West Virginia ...

Deer farms March 7, 2014 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
... Southern West Virginia sorely needs new and diverse economic investment, and the jobs that will bring.   But there are concerns about the threat of chronic wasting disease to the wild deer herd in the state. Deer hunting, according to some opponents of deer farm expansion, is already a $250 million a year industry.   Why risk losing that? ...

Wyoming county senator unhappy with DNR commitment to deer farming March 6, 2014 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
... Sen. Daniel Hall ... The senator said Wyoming and Raleigh counties could benefit from captive cervid farming because a huge tract of flat land isn’t necessary.  ...  Currently, deer farms are required to have fences 8 feet high for elk and 10 feet high for all other cervids.... As for chronic wasting disease, Hall said no state deer farm has ever had a confirmed case of the communicable cervid disease ...

Deer farms: Economic boon or wildlife bungle March 2, 2014 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
... the Department of Agriculture is going to be able to regulate the deer farms that have captive cervids (hoofed, deer-like animals) that are used only for meat production ... The risk? Chronic wasting disease, already found in two West Virginia counties, could be imported with the fallow deer, axis deer, red deer, moose, reindeer and caribou that will be trucked in to the new farms ...

Some friendly deer in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. - March 1, 2014



Deer farming bill passes in House unanimously February 28, 2014 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
... the Captive Cervid Farming Act. If passed by the State Senate, the law would allow deer farming, which is legal in neighboring states... Farmers may raise fallow deer, red deer, axis deer, moose, reindeer and caribou, none of them native to West Virginia...

DNR's 'Wall of Shame' racks up 10 sets of antlers February 15, 2014 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
...    Officers confiscated racks from 10 people alleged to have killed trophy-class bucks. The racks will become part of the DNR's "Wall of Shame" traveling exhibit... In a three-county area of southwestern West Virginia alone, convicted poachers paid $18,300 in replacement fees for deer they killed illegally. ...

W.Va. monitoring deer for chronic wasting disease February 11, 2014 West Virginia, Parkersburg News & Sentinel 
... In West Virginia, the first case of chronic wasting disease was found in Hampshire County in 2005 and has only been positively identified in Hampshire and Hardy counties in the years since, although statewide watches are being kept on it. Of those cases, 131 positives have been found in Hampshire and two in Hardy ... Chronic wasting disease is not a bacteria or virus, but results from problems with the prion protein ...

More deer hunters are passing on young bucks February 11, 2014 West Virginia, Herald-Dispatch 
... According to the Quality Deer Management Association’s report, more 1.5-year-old bucks (yearlings) are getting a pass from deer hunt­ers than at any time in modern history ... “The trend is clear, more deer hunters are choosing the benefits that come from protecting yearling bucks and building numbers of older bucks in a deer population,” ...

Winter weather impacting wildlife, too February 8, 2014 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette 
... This winter has been colder and snowier than average, and West Virginia's wild creatures have less to eat than usual. Acorns, a food source for several important wildlife species, were scarce to nonexistent last fall. As a result, deer, bears, turkeys and squirrels went into the cold months without the energy reserves they rely on ...

Helmick wants more W.Va. farm products in schools February 4, 2014 West Virginia, Beckley Register-Herald
... The Commissioner of Agriculture ... aid deer farms should be managed by the Deptartment of Agriculture. “We can move this industry forward and it should be with agriculture,” ... West Virginia venison cannot be sold in the state, which Helmick thinks should change...

Deer, bear and fall turkey totals January 25, 2014 West Virginia, Register-Herald
... “Preliminary counts of game checking tags indicate West Virginia hunters harvested a total of 150,268 white-tailed deer during the recently completed bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery and Youth/Class Q/Class XS deer seasons, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro. This year’s total harvest was 14 percent above the 2012 deer harvest of 132,261.” ...

Setting deer-hunting regulations 'a huge undertaking' January 18, 2014 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette 
... "For each county - and sometimes for different parts of counties - we look at the number of bucks killed per square mile, which we consider our index overall deer numbers. We also look at the available habitat, the number of crop-damage permits being issued, the number of deer-vehicle collisions that have taken place, population data from our spotlight surveys, and deer-health information gathered from our biological check stations." ...

Always an attraction at Oglebay are the deer that wander the park and golf courses, and some even will eat from your hands. - January 18, 2014



Preliminary counts of game checking tags indicate West Virginia hunters harvested a total of 150,268 white-tailed deer during the recently completed ... This year’s total harvest was 14 percent above the 2012 deer harvest of 132,261... The 2013 antlerless deer season harvest of 57,350, which includes the Youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 28 percent above 2012 and 24 percent above the five-year average of 46,105. “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 Jezioro. Antlerless hunting seasons were liberalized in many counties in 2013 ... The bow hunters take of 28,574 deer was 11 percent above the 2012 harvest of 25,714, and 6 percent above the five-year average harvest of 26,994...

Charleston Urban Deer Hunt Sets Record January 3, 2014 West Virginia, wsaz.com 
... Charleston's ninth urban deer hunt set a record with at least 100 deer killed...  there was an uptick in deer activity a few years ago after dog leash laws were enacted ...

White deer attract park visitors December 29, 2013 West Virginia, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
... two white fawns stole the show at Grand Vue Park near Moundsville, W.Va. They were hard to miss and soon became favorites of park visitors... "They seem to be pure albinos," said Grand Vue operations director Rick Vargo, who has frequently photographed the deer, "but their eyes vary from pale to gray." ...

Could buck kills be higher? December 21, 2013 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette 
... Paul Johansen, the DNR's assistant wildlife chief, said the state's pre-season deer herd contains roughly 1 million whitetails.  "And that's a pretty generous estimate," he added. "With the population reductions we've had in recent years, the actual number may be closer to 900,000." ...

State deer hunters harvest 56,333 bucks December 18, 2013 West Virginia, The Fayette Tribune
... Preliminary data collected from game checking stations across the state indicate deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,333 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 25 through Dec. 7 ... The 2013 buck harvest was slightly higher than the 2012 harvest of 56,276 ... 

Buck harvest higher than last year in Berkeley, Morgan counties December 16, 2013 West Virginia, Herald-Mail Media
... The higher harvest tallies were attributed to the lack of acorn production across West Virginia, which forced deer from the forests into more visible areas along field edges to look for food, said Paul Johansen, game management assistant chief of the DNR...

W.Va. deer farm continues after spouse's death December 15, 2013 West Virginia, San Francisco Gate 
... Kathy Rose said that, before his death, her husband lobbied aggressively for the expansion of deer farming in West Virginia.  And even though it's clear she would rather name fawns than argue for legislation, it seems that in her husband's absence, Kathy Rose will continue to champion his cause.... Currently, deer farms fall under the jurisdiction of the state's Division of Natural Resources. This means ... deer farmers can't sell their venison ...

Higher buck kill surprises W.Va. DNR December 13, 2013 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... Preliminary statistics from state wildlife officials show that hunters killed 56,333 bucks during the Nov. 25-Dec. 1 season, almost exactly the same number killed the previous year... Normally, more than two-thirds of the annual whitetail harvest occurs during the season's first three days....  "Given the weather conditions ... we were expecting the kill to be less than it was," ...

 Plentiful deer harvest dependent on several factors during winter December 10, 2013 West Virginia, Huntington Herald Dispatch
... By all indicators, this season was predicted by many to be right on track or slightly higher in the number of deer taken over last year.  One of the main reasons for the optimistic forecast was the lack of acorns this fall. When acorns are abundant, deer can feed in the comforts of the back woods where they can easily hide or escape quickly ...

West Virginia ag commissioner to propose deer farm legislation December 4, 2013 Cumberland Times-News 
...  Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick.... said he plans to present a bill to legislators in January to move deer farming from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture and at the same time make it legal to sell venison in West Virginia... “Deer that are farmed for meat are much larger than the wild deer we see in West Virginia. They are domesticated. Some are a strain of red deer and some are white tail,”  ...

Deer Killed With Spear In Grand Vue Park December 4, 2013 West Virginia, 
Intelligencer 
... one of the deer was apparently killed by a spear that was found in the area. Cecil said the spear apparently did not kill the deer, but did wound the animal to such an extent that it later died. The sheriff's department took the spear as evidence...

Hunters concerned about high mountain deer December 3, 2013 West Virginia, Metro News
 “The deer herds here have crashed by half or more from a year ago ...“We are aware of that and the primary issue there relates to habitat and habitat conditions,” said DNR Game Management Supervisor Gary Foster. “In a lot of the National Forest we’re not seeing the amount of forest management like timber sales and timber harvest we were seeing in the 70′s and early 80′s. We’ve lost a lot of that early successional and browse habitat.” ...

Severe winter could take drastic toll on white-tailed deer November 30, 2013 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... Food for deer has been scarce for two years in a row. Acorns, a whitetail staple, were scarce during the fall of 2012 and are almost nonexistent this year. The lack of acorns will probably send hundreds of thousands of whitetails into the winter months in poorer-than-usual nutritional condition... 

Police Search for Poacher Who Killed Deer in Park November 28, 2013 West Virginia, 
Wheeling News-Register 
... A deer poacher who shot a buck on the grounds of Oglebay Park on Tuesday is being sought by state National Resource officials... Anyone with information about the incident at Oglebay or any other concerns can call Haines' district office at 304-825-6787.

Deer Kills Up In Wetzel County November 27, 2013 West Virginia, Wetzel Chronicle
... In Wetzel County, the first day totals of deer season were up slightly from last year's first-day total of 735... reporting, 896 deer ... "Seventy-six percent of the counties are still above the buck harvest objective outlined in the DNR plan and further reduction in the deer population is needed," ...

Deer hunters brave the cold in search of prey November 26, 2013 West Virginia, Parkersburg News
... The local deer habitat has changed over the years, becoming a lot more mature.  Some areas need clear cuttings to get locations back to the brush stage that deer like, McCrady said... In 2012, hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,276 bucks during the two-week firearms season, which is six percent less than the 2011 harvest of 60,157 and is six percent below the previous five-year average of 60,236.  DNR officials are forecasting the buck firearms season harvest should be similar to the 2012 harvest  ...

 ... The DNR estimates this year's buck kill should be similar to 2012, while the overall number of deer killed in 2013 should be higher than a year ago...

Deer season heads into second day November 25, 2013 West Virginia, Metro News
... By and large, the deer populations (in West Virginia) are at or, maybe, slightly above our management objectives ...

New regulation could bolster deer harvest November 23, 2013 Gazette-Mail, West Virginia, 
...As recently as 20 years ago, 70 percent of all bucks checked during the firearm season were just 1 1/2 years old and had tiny antlers ..."In 2012, more than half the bucks checked in - 58 percent, in fact - were 2 1/2 years old or greater,"  .. The trend began when DNR officials began allowing hunters to kill antlerless deer during the buck season ...

Deer as prey - Scott Shalaway  November 22, 2013 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... Coyotes are the top deer predator in the East. Some studies have shown that coyotes are responsible for up to 80 percent of fawn mortality, and small packs of coyotes chase and kill adult deer. ...

DNR officers uncover major deer poaching operation November 19, 2013 West Virginia, West Virginia MetroNews
... A three month investigation by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries resulted in the arrest of six West Virginia residents in an extensive deer poaching ring...

Deer hunt numbers start to pick up November 19, 2013 West Virginia, Roanoke.com
... Statewide, 10,475 hunters used their phone or the Internet to report deer ... Through the weekend, the electronic check number of 66,856 was tracking 2 percent behind last year’s total... one factor in a delayed rut can be deer condition. The woods are largely devoid of acorns this fall, which means bucks and does aren’t as fat as normal...

The science behind the rut November 18, 2013 West Virginia, Metro News 
... Bucks will expand their home range during the rut. Research nationally indicates a buck will move as far as 500 yards from his home territory or he will move five miles. The distance largely depends on the availability of does to be bred... “The trigger started with the daylight changes. The daylight shortens and increases testosterone levels in bucks,” ...

... The 2013 WV Wildlife Calendar states that buck season begins on Nov. 18 but ... the actual start date is Nov. 25...



Search for news and information by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic. 

West Virginia Data: Deer population of about 900,000 to 1,000,000 prior to hunting season, may be closer to 900,000 given downward population trend in recent years.  A low of about 1,000 deer in 1910.  The poor acorn acorn crop in 2013, forcing deer to move around more contributed a the 14 percent increase in the deer harvest. The increase also reflects an increase in the antlerless deer harvest designed to reduce the deer population.  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. 

Other useful links: 
-  West Virginia Wildlife Management Area Maps
-  West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection
-  West Virginia State Parks and Forests …to “promote conservation by preserving and protecting natural areas of unique or exceptional scenic, scientific, cultural, archaeological, or historical significance and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for the citizens of this state and its visitors.”

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.



Friendly Deer Near Blackwater Falls - A Great Tourist Attraction