ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — The 2023 Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey is now available to hunters looking to join the fall hunting seasons.

Mast refers to the small pieces of food that wildlife scavenge, with hard mast being things like nuts and seeds while soft mast includes fruits and berries.

According to a West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) release, the document includes details related to the mast of 18 species of trees and shrubs as well as their “forecasted impacts to West Virginia’s wildlife.”

“Beech, walnut and hickory production was up compared to 2022 production and above average across all ecological regions,” Holly Morris, furbearer and small game project leader for the WVDNR’s Wildlife Resources Section, said. “In addition, red and black oak and scarlet oak production was up compared to last year and above the long-term average.”

The WVDNR warns hunters to mind their environment and scout ahead of time due to a mixed soft mast production this year. “Locating good, natural foods can increase a hunter’s odds of success,” the release said.

The 2023 Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey was compiled by the WVDNR’s Wildlife Resources Section alongside volunteers and other agencies.