Season Numbers on Big Game Compiled for WV


The harvest figures from the 2009 big game hunting seasons are finalized.   DNR Biologist say the numbers show an uptick in fall turkey hunting success, another strong year for bear hunting, and a slight drop in the overall number of deer killed in the state. 

WHITETAIL DEER    Hunters killed a total of 154,524 white-tail deer among all the various seasons available to sportsmen.  The figure is about 5-percent lower than the 2008 overall harvest.   Broken down, hunters killed 63,590 bucks during the two-week firearms season.  The antlerless seasons produced 54,617 kills.   West Virginia archery hunters tagged 27, 558 deer and 8,759 were taken by muzzleloaders.

Top Counties for Deer:

Antlerless Season:  Lewis (2,565), Jackson (2,509), Preston (2,419), Mason (2,238), Ritchie (2,098), Wood (2,068), Harrison (1,946), Monroe (1,731), Braxton (1,654) and Hardy (1,612).

Archery Season:  Randolph (1,077), Preston (1,048), Kanawha (930), Nicholas (840), Wood (833), Jackson (815), Greenbrier (813), Fayette (743), Raleigh (731) and Logan (728).

Muzzleloader Season: Preston (450), Lewis (408), Jackson (339), Braxton (331), Randolph (299), Mason (290), Wood (282), Grant (267), Harrison (264) and Ritchie (254).

BLACK BEAR    West Virginia Bear hunters enjoyed the second best year on record in 2009.    West Virginia had 1,828 black bear kills in 2009.  That number is bested only by the previous year’s harvest in 2008. 

“Multiple factors contributed to this most recent bear harvest,” said Biologist Chris Ryan. “West Virginia has a tremendous bear population that allows for a variety of different hunting opportunities. The poor statewide mast conditions allowed archery hunters to better pattern bear movements as the bruins were looking for concentrated food sources. However, poor mast conditions and a larger than normal December snowfall pushed bears into their winter dens, thereby making them unavailable to gun hunters.”

It was the first time in history that archery hunters recoded more than 800 kills as 987 bears were dropped with a bow and arrow.  Gun hunters were somewhat disappointed as many bears headed into their dens early with little to no food sources available.  

Top Counties for Bear:

Archery Season: Randolph (118), Webster (92), Nicholas (77), Greenbrier (77), and Preston (73).

Gun Season:  Randolph (112), Fayette (86), Pocahontas (74), Pendleton (70), and Raleigh (58).


WILD TURKEY     Hunters pursuing fall turkeys in West Virginia enjoyed slightly better success in 2009 than 2008.  The total fall turkey harvest was 1,244 birds, slightly higher than the 1,206 check in during the previous year.  

“The 2009 fall turkey harvest came in as predicted based upon our field reports and data,” reported Paul Johansen, Assistant Chief in Charge of Game Management. “Less than ideal weather conditions occurred in some portions of the state during the first week of the season. However, poor mast conditions served to concentrate birds making them more available to hunters throughout the season.”

Top Counties for Fall Turkeys:
Monroe (116), Nicholas (114), Greenbrier (99), Preston (82) and Mason (81).


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