MASON COUNTY — As the sun began to set on the first day of deer season in Mason County, the overall harvest appeared to be down somewhat over this time last year.
This according to numbers reported from some of the local check stations, though not all.
Steve Houchins, a Wildlife Manager with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources was working a deer check station at the Sand Hill Food Mart / Marathon just outside Point Pleasant on Monday. Houchins said he worked the same check station last year on the first day of the season which saw 85 deer checked - as of 5 p.m. on Monday afternoon, only around 40 had been checked. However, Houchins said with the sun going down, more hunters would likely be pouring out of the woods with more deer to be counted before the first day was done.
“We’re expecting a rush at dark,” Houchins said, estimating possibly 25 more to be brought in.
Houchins said out of the deer that were checked at his station, the largest were about 4.5 years old which were trophy age.
Despite the cold weather which could’ve been a factor in some of the hunters staying home on Monday or not staying in the woods as long as they normally would, hunters were definitely out. The Point Pleasant Register called random check stations to see how many deer had been bagged by 5 p.m. on Monday. At that time, of the check stations called, Leon General had checked in the most deer with just over 50.
Other numbers from check stations around Mason County were: Camp Conley Exxon - Food Mart, 3369 Ohio River Road, Point Pleasant, 10 deer; Fast 4 U - Exxon Station/Convenience, New Haven, 14 deer; Hogg and Zuspan, 312 Sixth Street, Point Pleasant, seven deer; Holleys Grocery, 6695 Ashton-Upland Road, Ashton, eight deer; M and D Country Store, 17990 Graham Station Road, Letart, 22 deer; Mason Market LLC, Route 1 Box 521, Milton, 20 deer;Par Mar Convenience and Shell Fuel, 15289 Huntington Road, Gallipolis Ferry, 30 deer; Tri-County Sports Shop, 89 Grandview Avenue, Point Pleasant, five deer.
Other deer check stations in Mason County, according to the WV DNR are: Apple Grove Grocery and Citgo Service, Apple Grove;Marathon Service and Food Mart, New Haven; McClintic WMA, 1163 Wildlife Road, Point Pleasant; Me and Maws Grocery, Leon; Sand Hill Food Mart/Marathon, 4107 Sandhill Road, Point Pleasant; Wattersons Grocery, 12532 Jerrys Run Road, Apple Grove.
The WV DNR estimates 330,000 hunters will participate in the two-week long deer gun season in West Virginia which runs through Dec. 7.