West Virginia Deer News

Deer Hunters in West Virginia harvest 37,277 bucks during the buck firearms season December 12, 2014 West Virginia, Huntington News Network
... lower than last year’s with decreases occurring in all DNR districts. The largest percentage decreases occurred in the western counties of the state, while the buck harvest in the mountain and southeastern counties had smaller decreases... 33 percent below the previous five-year average of 55,902... 

Buck kill plunges 34 percent, DNR says December 12, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... Snow and rain also played a part, but wildlife officials believe the 50-mph winds that whipped across the Mountain State on opening day contributed most heavily to a whopping 34 percent decline in the 2014 buck kill...

Researchers say preventing deer-vehicle collisions costly November 27, 2014 West Vigrina, charlestondailymail.com
... from 2008 to 2012, more than 68 deer were struck by vehicles between mile markers 4.3 and 16.4 on U.S. Route 19... The report outlines several mitigation techniques, including the installation of more wildlife fencing, enhanced deer crossing signs that flash yellow when deer are near the roadway, and setting lower nighttime speed limits... report can be found online at www.njrati.org/research

2014 West Virginia deer gun season fact sheet November 26, 2014 West Virginia, Coal Valley News 
... n 2013, hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,523 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, an increase of less than 1 percent from the 2012 harvest. This is 3 percent less than the five-year average bucks-only firearm season harvest of 58,070 and ranks 27th among all past years...

... The United States Department of Agriculture has a comprehensive Chronic Wasting Disease program for the movement of farmed elk and deer. To control and prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, the USDA program, by federal and state law, states that farmed elk and deer must be monitored for CWD for at least five years in order to be approved for interstate transit... 

More death defying buck battles November 25, 2014 West Virginia, gilberttimes.net
... · in Wyoming County report a pair of trophy bucks that battled to the death there. The horn-locked duo apparently drowned and were noticed freshly dead by a school student instream and all but in downtown...

Deer hunting season kicks-off with discussions of elk restoration in West Virginia November 24, 2014 West Virginia, Allegheny Mountain Radio
... The last native elk was killed in West Virginia in the late 1800s... If elk are restored to the southern part of state, they would be live-trapped in Kentucky and brought to West Virginia ...  a series of public meetings to hear public comments about re-introducing an elk herd in the southern counties of the state...

Deer season off to good start November 24, 2014 West Virginia, charlestondailymail.com 
... expecting this year’s deer harvest to be similar to last year’s. He said 56,523 bucks — an increase of less than 1 percent from the 2012 harvest — and 56,636 antlerless deer were killed in 2013... DNR officials hope the increased antlerless deer kill will help better control West Virginia’s deer population... 

Size of W.Va.’s buck harvest largely hinges on weather November 23, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... last year’s severe shortage of acorn mast brought deer out into fields and along field edges to search for food, and because of that they were much easier to find than they otherwise would have been,” he explained. “We believe that without the acorn shortage, the kill probably would have been substantially lower than it turned out being.”  This year, acorns are considerably more abundant ... 

Is there really a need for deer farms? November 23, 2014 West Virginia, theet.com
...  If the deer herd is crippled, rural economies will crumble ... state and federal officials in Iowa killed 356 deer at a deer farm suspected of harboring an outbreak of CWD. Of those 356 deer, 284 (79.8%) tested positive for CWD... If just one infected deer escaped and joined a wild population, the disease could spread and jeopardize the health of deer in an entire county or even a state...

Deer season begins Monday November 21, 2014 West Virginia, Point Pleasant Register
... in 2013, hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,523 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, an increase of less than one percent from the 2012 harvest. This is 3 percent less than the five-year average bucks-only firearm season harvest of 58,070 and ranks 27th among all past years...

Bridgeport, Urban deer hunt update on Bridgeport Council agenda November 21, 2014 West Virginia, theet.com 
... 45 harvested as of Friday. Numbers are down ... He is hoping that the fifth year’s harvest will surpass the 2013 total of 89.  There were 107 deer killed in 2012, 42 in 2011 and 22 during the initial year of the city bow season ...

Antlered (buck) firearm season begins Monday in West Virginia November 19, 2014 West Virginia, Herald-Mail Media
... Approximately 330,000 deer hunters are expected to be in West Virginia's woods during this season... hunters may harvest two deer on the same day, but only one of those can be a buck...

2014 West Virginia deer gun seasons fact sheet November 18, 2014 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
... The West Virginia buck firearms season is Nov. 24 – Dec. 6, 2014. It is open in all counties except Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming.  Approximately 330,000 deer hunters will be in West Virginia's woods during this season... regulations are available at license agents, DNR district offices or online at www.wvdnr.gov .
A list of official game checking stations in West Virginia can be found online at http://wvdnr.gov/hunting/check_stations.asp   The buck deer bag limit during the two-week buck firearms season is two (one on the base license and one on an RG [resident] or RRG [nonresident] stamp). A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all archery and firearms seasons combined.

Wheeling, Police Say Man Found Hunting Deer Using Bow in Residential Neighborhood November 12, 2014 West Virginia, WTRF
... officers responded about 6:44 a.m. to Vista Avenue in Woodsdale after receiving calls from residents stating that a man shot a deer from his car using a compound bow in the neighborhood...

Restoration Of Elk In WV Topic Of Upcoming Public Meeting November 7, 2014 West Virginia, WCHS-TV8
...  ...  a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 at Chief Logan Lodge in Logan County ... public comment ...  by email DNR.Wildlife@wv.gov. Written comments must be submitted by Dec. 5, 2014...  management plan

W.Va.’s whitetail rut sparks myths, misconceptions November 1, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... “What they refer to as ‘The Rut’ is really just the ‘chasing phase’ that is really intense for a few weeks. The actual rut is a very complicated three- to four-month process.”  Crum said rutting behavior begins in September, when bucks begin to rub the velvet off their antlers and polish that bony headgear for upcoming mating-supremacy battle ...

Sunday hunting on ballot in two more counties November 1, 2014 West Virvinia, Metro News 
... Sunday hunting is actually legal statewide. The Legislature enacted a measure which made it so, but allowed individual counties the option to vote on whether they would like to close it. Voters in 41 counties rejected the idea in 2002 ...

W.Va. deer program a success October 25, 2014 West Virginia, The Inter Mountain
... In 1900, the white-tailed deer population in West Virginia was estimated to be around 1,000 animals. Today the state's game biologists estimate the white-tailed deer population in the state to be around three quarters of a million animals... 

W.Va.’s October antlerless-deer season catching on with hunters October 18, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... “From a biological perspective, when you remove females before they have a chance to engage in breeding activity, you compress the breeding cycle,... Does will drop their fawns at the proper time of the year, and that ensures that the fawns will have the entire summer to grow ... having the fawns drop all at once will reduce the impact of predation ... predators can only eat so many in such a short time frame...

Bridgeport's Urban Deer Hunt underway October 17, 2014 West Virginia, theet.com
... There were 107 deer killed in 2012, 42 in 2011 and 22 during the initial year of the city bow season ...  there are 116 hunters participating this year...

Martinsburg, Limited bow hunting of deer to be allowed at old landfill property October 13, 2014 West Virginia, Herald-Mail Media
... The decision came in response to a request by two hunters, but also could be helpful to neighboring property owners, said Clint Hogbin, chairman of the solid waste authority.  "We're being told about gardens being ate," ...

When the acorns fall, it's time to go nuts October 12, 2014 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
...  Compared to last year, indices for all oak species increased over 100 percent indicating a substantial increase in oak production. Scarlet oak increased 262 percent compared to 2013... the 2014 index almost mirrors the indices for 2012... Last year an acorn could hardly be found ...

W.Va. DNR observes increase in average deer antler size October 11, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... On average, the bucks West Virginia deer hunters kill nowadays are older than they were just few years ago. Last year, two-thirds of the bucks killed during the firearm season were 2 ½ years or older... Those statistics are a far cry from those compiled before 1999, when more than 80 percent of the bucks killed were scrawny-antlered yearlings ...

W.Va.’s mast outlook ‘a lot more promising’ than in 2013 October 4, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... this year’s statewide crop of nuts, fruits and berries is about average when compared to the 42 other surveys done since 1971... Last year, acorns were almost nonexistent. The oak mast index plummeted to the lowest level ever recorded. Deer, bears and turkeys could find little to eat ...

West Virginia Deer Hunting Forecast for 2014 October 2, 2014 gameandfishmag.com
... deer harvests are down in general from the peaks of the early to mid 2000s ...
during the 2013 seasons DNR personnel examined 3,262 deer from 28 counties to determine age composition of the antlered bucks and found that 34 percent of the bucks were yearlings and 26 percent were 3.5 years of age and older...

... “This year’s archery opener is the earliest one we’ve ever had,” ... , DNR officials have set up what they call ‘older-age deer management zones’ in six state forests and wildlife management areas. Only bucks with antler spreads of 14 inches or more — the width of the deer’s outstretched ears — may legally been taken...

Archery season arrives in West Virginia September 27, 2014 West Virginia MetroNews
... The 2014 Mast Survey published by the DNR reported an increased amount of acorns in all areas of the state. All species of oaks are up from last year and are above the 43 year average. Typically an abundance of mast would slow deer movement at least in the early part of the season...

W.Va. Ranks First for Drivers vs. Deer Crashes September 16, 2014 West Virginia, WSAZ 3
... If you drive in West Virginia, you have a 1 in 39 chance of hitting a deer.  The national average is 1 in 169...

Albino Deer Near Charleston - September, 2014



Shepherdstown. Deer Management Hunt to take place at NCTC August 30, 2014 West Virginia, The Shepherdstown Chronicle 
... The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting applications for persons to hunt deer on the National Conservation Training Center property in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This fall season will mark the twelfth year this managed hunt has been held... the use of archery, muzzleloader rifles, and shotguns with rifled slugs will again be allowed ...

Charleston, Cities preparing for urban deer hunts August 7, 2014 West Virginia, Charleston Daily Mail
... Deer hunting season in Charleston and South Charleston city limits is fast approaching and each city is preparing for an increase in participation.  Meanwhile, Dunbar officials are considering starting an urban deer hunt ... Charleston’s hunt is for bow and arrow hunting only ...

DNR to ‘spotlight survey’ deer herds August 3, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... The process, called “distance sampling,” helps biologists to fine-tune whitetail population estimates ... Sampling procedures call for workers to drive rural roads at speeds of 8-10 miles per hour, with spotlights shining out both sides of the vehicles...



Deer farmers fire back on CWD issue July 21, 2014 West Virginia, West Virginia MetroNews
... When the virus was first discovered in West Virginia in 2006, emergency rules were enacted by the Division of Natural Resources Director to prevent the transport of the live animals. ... “The deer farmers of West Virginia have never discovered a CWD-positive animal in their herds despite testing 100% of eligible mortalities since 2006.” ...

Slow spread of CWD continues in West Virginia July 11, 2014 West Virginia, West Virginia MetroNews
... ‘We tested 591 hunter harvested deer and we had 29 that we detected the abnormal protein for chronic wasting disease,” ... Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, was first discovered in Hampshire County in a road killed deer in the community of Slanesville in 2006...

Chronic wasting disease affecting deer July 5, 2014 West Virginia, Times West Virginian
... “We detected (CWD) in 2005 in West Virginia ... from a road-kill deer,” ... The percent of deer infected by CWD has increased over the years, affecting almost 25 percent of the surveyed deer in Hampshire County... The deer won’t show clinical signs of the disease for as long as (one) year to five or maybe even longer ...

Chronic wasting disease spreads in W.Va. June 29, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... “Of the 591 tissue samples we extracted from hunter-killed deer last fall in Hampshire County, 29 were positive for CWD,” Crum said. “That’s the highest number of positives we’ve ever had... They had agency sharpshooters kill additional deer each spring to help monitor the disease’s prevalence.  Despite their efforts, CWD continued to spread slowly but steadily...

What W.Va. law says about deer-chasing dogs June 21, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... “Dogs that chase or harass deer can be killed by law enforcement officers, but not by just anyone.”  ... said Capt. Kaven Ransom of the state Natural Resources Police...

Bridgeport urban deer hunters can get licenses next month June 20, 2014 West Virginia, theet.com 
... Despite a drop in deer kills last year, Bridgeport is not ready to give up on its urban hunt, officials say... That drop came despite the police department issuing more permits ... “If you skip a year, you’re going to go back to the prehunt numbers” ...

Deer Farms May 9, 2014 West Virginia, texasdeerassociation.com
... Ohio has approximately 700 such farms and generates $60 million annually from them. In Pennsylvania, there are approximately 1,000 deer farms that plug $80 million into the Keystone State’s economy. In West Virginia we have 26 deer farms and they are struggling to survive...

Shooting preserve's closure could take years May 3, 214 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... the Dream Mountain Game Ranch. The 1,187-acre facility has been in operation for 17 years or thereabouts, but its owners are preparing to close it down ... At least 30 elk and 100 white-tailed deer live inside ... The first order of business would be to “depopulate” the enclosure — in other words, kill all the deer and elk...

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? ...

West Virginia Data: 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 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. 
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in the state in 2006 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.
   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.  
    The last native elk was killed in the late 1800's.

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

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.