SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Preliminary data from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ electronic game checking system shows that hunters in the state harvested 36,796 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7, 2019.
The 2019 harvest was 17 percent below that of the 2018 harvest. The top 10 counties for buck harvest were: Greenbrier (1,511), Preston (1,407), Randolph (1,382), Ritchie (1,244), Hampshire (1,239), Braxton (1,152), Upshur (1,146), Hardy (1,020), Monroe (1,000), and Pendleton (990).
“The harvest during the 2019 traditional buck firearm season was expected to be similar to that of last year; however, the southwestern region of the state had heavy oak mast conditions, which appears to have significantly decreased the harvest in that region,” said Gary Foster, assistant chief of Game Management. “This year’s buck season also opened later and further from the peak of “rut,” which may have contributed to the reduced harvest,” Foster said.
Deer hunters still have several opportunities left this year, including the rest of the archery and crossbow seasons, which run through Dec. 31. Muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 16 and runs through Dec. 22.
In addition, the primitive weapons “Mountaineer Heritage Season” will be open from Jan. 9-12, 2020.