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.
Top Counties for Deer:
Antlerless Season: Lewis (2,565),
Muzzleloader Season: Preston (450), Lewis (408),
BLACK BEAR West Virginia Bear hunters enjoyed the second best year on record in 2009.
“Multiple factors contributed to this most recent bear harvest,” said Biologist Chris Ryan. “
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:
Gun Season: Randolph (112), Fayette (86), Pocahontas (74), Pendleton (70), and Raleigh (58).
WILD TURKEY Hunters pursuing fall turkeys in
“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