SOUTH CHARLESTON — Preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicates that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season which ran from Nov. 19 through Dec. 1, 2018, according to Gary Foster, assistant chief of Game Management with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.
The 2018 harvest was 1 percent higher than the 2017 harvest. The top 10 counties for buck harvest in 2018 were: Randolph (1,685), Preston (1,607), Greenbrier (1,479), Hampshire (1,471), Jackson (1,379), Pendleton (1,274), Grant (1,217), Hardy (1,212), Kanawha (1,212) and Mason (1,206).
The buck harvest increased in the eastern panhandle (DNR District 2) and in southwestern West Virginia (DNR District 5) and was similar to or slightly down in the remainder of the state.
Deer hunters have several days of opportunity left this year, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow seasons, which run through Dec. 31. Muzzleloader deer season will open Dec. 10 and remain open through Dec. 16. The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open Dec. 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season. This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season on Dec. 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties.
In addition, the new primitive weapons “Mountaineer Heritage Season” will be open during the period from Jan. 10-13, 2019.
Refer to the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for additional details as well as county and area listings.
Information provided by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.