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Total deer harvest for 2015: 138,493

DNR PRESS RELEASE

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Preliminary counts of deer registered with the new electronic game checking process indicate West Virginia hunters harvested 138,493 white-tailed deer during the recently completed bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery, crossbow and youth/Class Q/Class XS deer seasons, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Bob Fala.

This year’s harvest was 32 percent higher than the 2014 deer harvest of 104,707 and 10 percent above the 5-year average of

A breakdown of the combined 2015 deer seasons reveals 60,814 bucks harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 39,853 antlerless deer taken during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 32,540 deer harvested by bows and crossbows, 5,179 deer taken by muzzleloader hunters, and 107 deer taken but with an unknown season assignment.

Antlerless Deer

The 2015 antlerless deer season harvest of 39,853, which includes the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 1 percent more than in 2014 and 8 percent below the 5-year average of 43,188.

“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 Director Fala.

In 2015, all or portions of 47 of the 55 counties were open to antlerless firearms season for hunters to harvest one to three antlerless deer depending on the county. Next year, antlerless deer hunting opportunity will depend on the need to increase, decrease or stabilize deer populations in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.

The top 10 counties are: Lewis (1,753), Ritchie (1,622), Mason (1,593), Jackson (1,521), Roane (1,514), Preston (1,437), Wood (1,436), Upshur (1,271), Hampshire (1,240) and Harrison (1,228).

Muzzleloader Deer Season

The 2015 muzzleloader harvest of 5,179 was 6.5 percent less than the 2014 harvest of 5,543, and 21.5 percent below the 5-year average of 6,603. The top 10 counties are: Nicholas (265), Randolph (203), Braxton (189), Fayette (183), Jackson (183), Preston (182), Ritchie (167), Lewis (165), Lincoln (159) and Upshur (155).

Archery and Crossbow Deer Seasons

The bow and crossbow hunters’ take of 32,540 deer was 46 percent more than the 2014 archery season harvest of 22,281, 28 percent above the 5-year average archery season harvest of 25,481.

Archery harvests are correlated to hard mast crops. The above-average acorn crop in 2014, followed by a below-average acorn crop in 2015, likely contributed to the higher 2015 harvest and played a factor in the low harvest in 2014.

“Although there were no additions to a hunter’s bag limit with the addition of the crossbow season, undoubtingly the rise in harvest reflected the use of crossbows, which probably increased hunter participation and success in some counties,” Fala said.

Crossbows accounted for 37 percent of the total harvest for the archery and crossbow seasons combined. The top 10 counties are: Preston (1,415), Kanawha (1,069), Wyoming (1,039), Raleigh (1,032), Logan (924), Randolph (921), Wood (909), Upshur (906), Mercer (817) and Fayette (801).

WEST VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST, 2015
County
Buck Gun
Antlerless
Muzzleloader
Archery/
Crossbow
Total*
Barbour
1281
911
116
623
2932
Brooke
286
346
18
278
929
Hancock
208
210
23
344
785
Harrison
1418
1228
128
702
3478
Marion
1190
984
124
640
2938
Marshall
818
554
76
353
1801
Monongalia
1023
968
117
781
2889
Ohio
290
361
44
272
967
Preston
2046
1437
182
1415
5080
Taylor
732
486
75
346
1639
Tucker
783
47
16
420
1278
Wetzel
1144
957
88
357
2546
Dist. 1 Subtotal
11219
8489
1007
6531
27262
Berkeley
908
813
74
554
2349
Grant
1304
592
112
423
2431
Hampshire
1947
1240
127
457
3771
Hardy
1709
967
80
404
3160
Jefferson
499
442
48
374
1363
Mineral
1335
899
75
394
2703
Morgan
678
551
70
253
1552
Pendleton
1297
547
67
391
2302
Dist. 2 Subtotal
9677
6051
653
3250
19631
Braxton
1660
1193
189
593
3635
Clay
618
184
25
339
1166
Lewis
1875
1753
165
712
4506
Nicholas
1274
607
265
799
2945
Pocahontas
1008
238
77
318
1641
Randolph
1659
533
203
921
3316
Upshur
1704
1271
155
906
4036
Webster
1080
174
28
626
1918
Dist. 3 Subtotal
10878
5953
1107
5214
23163
Fayette
1214
392
183
801
2590
Greenbrier
1816
821
108
739
3484
McDowell
C
C
C
673
681
Mercer
843
337
114
817
2112
Monroe
1462
1220
105
632
3420
Raleigh
895
291
83
1032
2301
Summers
999
689
88
563
2339
Wyoming
C
C
C
1039
1053
Dist. 4 Subtotal
7229
3750
681
6296
17980
Boone
868
93
39
486
1504
Cabell
641
419
45
365
1470
Kanawha
1547
558
88
1069
3262
Lincoln
1312
872
159
643
2986
Logan
C
C
C
924
937
Mason
1488
1593
150
786
4017
Mingo
C
C
C
579
586
Putnam
1114
1048
90
599
2852
Wayne
963
38
31
451
1499
Dist. 5 Subtotal
7933
4621
602
5902
19113
Calhoun
1063
802
71
433
2369
Doddridge
1376
914
104
390
2784
Gilmer
1435
1017
126
448
3026
Jackson
1870
1521
183
759
4333
Pleasants
492
260
34
163
949
Ritchie
2024
1622
167
713
4527
Roane
1846
1514
129
707
4196
Tyler
1064
901
75
366
2406
Wirt
1152
1002
86
459
2699
Wood
1556
1436
154
909
4055
Dist. 6 Subtotal
13878
10989
1129
5347
31344
State Total
60814
39853
5179
32540
138493
* Totals for individual counties include the 107 deer with unknown season designation.
 




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