DNR PRESS RELEASE

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Preliminary counts indicate hunters harvested 108,160 white-tailed deer in West Virginia during the 2017 seasons. The 2017 harvest was 4 percent below the 2016 harvest of 112,384 deer, and 15 percent below the five-year average of 127,803.

A breakdown of the combined 2017 deer seasons reveals 44,127 bucks were harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 33,584 antlerless deer were killed during all antlerless firearm seasons, 26,206 deer were harvested by bows and crossbows, and 4,243 deer were taken by muzzleloader hunters.

 

Antlerless Deer Season
The 2017 antlerless deer harvest, which includes those taken during the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 3.5 percent less than in 2016 and 22 percent below the five-year average of 43,145.

“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 Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,703), Upshur (1,300), Ritchie (1,290), Lewis (1,258), Jackson (1,122), Roane (1,101), Wood (1,087), Braxton (1,083), Mason (1,052), and Harrison (1,014).

Hunters are reminded that the DNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state and 13 to gather comments on fall 2018 antlerless deer hunting seasons in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.

 

Muzzleloader Deer Season
The 2017 muzzleloader harvest of 4,243 was 15 percent below the 2016 harvest of 4,997, and 26 percent below the five-year average of 5,768. The top 10 counties were: Preston (203), Randolph (194), Upshur (163), Nicholas (162), Lewis (146), Jackson (138), Greenbrier (130), Braxton (127), Harrison (126), and Fayette (124).

 

Archery and Crossbow Deer Season
The bow and crossbow harvest of 26,206 deer was 1.2 percent less than the 2016 harvest of 26,524, and 4 percent below the five-year average of 27,420. Archery harvests are affected by hard mast crops. The average acorn crop in 2016, followed by a better-than-average acorn crop in 2017, likely contributed to the slightly lower 2017 harvest.

More deer were harvested with a crossbow than in past years. For the first time, more deer were taken with a crossbow than a bow. The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,469), Kanawha (894), Randolph (883), Wyoming (824), Raleigh (789), Fayette (765), Wood (738), Greenbrier (722), Upshur (694), and Monongalia (694).

 

 

 

WEST VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST, 2016
CountyBuck FirearmsAntlerlessMuzzleloaderArchery/CrossbowTotal
Barbour9848731195342,510
Brooke17523613155579
Hancock15716318282620
Harrison1,0171,0141266342,791
Marion735809825092,135
Marshall624437643001,425
Monongalia825673826942,274
Ohio18015234202568
Preston1,9471,7032031,4695,322
Taylor485533593611,438
Tucker817332734821,704
Wetzel823723713111,928
District 1 Subtotal8,7697,6489445,93323,294
Berkeley753730645592,106
Grant1,194599753632,231
Hampshire1,386959893812,815
Hardy1,198717743212,310
Jefferson419450464081,323
Mineral1,011706433812,141
Morgan503490382421,273
Pendleton1,018424483161,806
District 2 Subtotal7,4825,0754772,97116,005
Braxton1,2331,0831275392,982
Clay48110934243867
Lewis1,2161,2581465383,158
Nicholas9874361626352,220
Pocahontas1,040249573241,670
Randolph1,6338491948833,559
Upshur1,0251,3001636943,182
Webster777562745111,924
District 3 Subtotal8,3925,8469574,36719,562
Fayette9272861247652,102
Greenbrier1,6287731307223,253
McDowell574574
Mercer593547626251,827
Monroe1,2959981075422,942
Raleigh592226707891,677
Summers809682784502,019
Wyoming824824
District 4 Subtotal5,8443,5125715,29115,218
Boone658172743771,281
Cabell40429032208934
Kanawha1,046478648942,482
Lincoln569338462581,211
Logan507507
Mason8671,0521085352,562
Mingo277277
Putnam624612633971,696
Wayne44813430179791
District 5 Subtotal4,6163,0764173,63211,741
Calhoun740557662831,646
Doddridge947731953282,101
Gilmer875727873342,023
Jackson1,0961,1221385152,871
Pleasants31729820162797
Ritchie1,3381,2901095013,238
Roane1,1861,101904892,866
Tyler817781633281,989
Wirt734733913341,892
Wood9741,0871187382,917
District 6 Subtotal9,0248,4278774,01222,340
State Total44,12733,5844,24326,206108,160

 

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