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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : January 10, 2007


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381
Curtis Taylor , Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771

West Virginia Hunters Harvest 136,289 Deer in 2006

            Preliminary data complied from game checking tags indicate hunters in West Virginia harvested a total of 136,289 white-tailed deer during the combined 2006 deer hunting seasons, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The total deer harvest in 2006 was slightly higher than the 135,361 deer taken in 2005. A total of 66,103 bucks, 37,841 antlerless season deer (including 1,375 harvested in the youth/Class Q season), 24,752 archery deer and 7,593 muzzleloader deer were taken during the 2006 deer hunting seasons.

            The 2006 antlerless deer season harvest was 20 percent below that of 2005, as predicted due to the reduction in the number of counties open to antlerless deer hunting and reduced bag limits. “A key component of the DNR’s deer management strategy is to harvest appropriate numbers of antlerless deer in counties that exceed their population objectives, and that is exactly what we accomplished in 2006,” noted Director Jezioro. The top ten counties in antlerless deer harvest were: Wood (2,345), Jackson (2,326), Mason (2,191), Harrison (2,018), Preston (1,902), Monongalia (1,814), Wetzel (1,640), Lewis (1,611), Hardy (1,486) and Marshall (1,463).

            “The harvest of female deer controls deer densities, ensures healthier and more productive deer herds, and adjusts deer populations to levels compatible with existing habitat conditions,” Jezioro said. “DNR will continue to implement appropriate antlerless deer harvest regulations that are guided by our White-tailed Deer Operational Plan. Where deer populations have fallen below desired levels, more conservative antlerless deer harvest regulations will be implemented. Where deer populations are above management objectives, more liberal regulations will be established. Appropriate antlerless deer harvests will benefit not only the deer herd, but all wildlife dependent on our state’s woodland habitat."

The special two-day October antlerless deer hunt in Hampshire County resulted in a harvest of 148 antlerless deer. Wildlife personnel projected the harvest to be much higher; however, rain and winds in the 50-mph range on both days contributed to the lower than expected harvest.

            The 2006 muzzleloader harvest of 7,593 was 16 percent below the 2005 harvest of 9,074. The lower harvest is a direct result of the reduced number of counties open to either-sex muzzleloader hunting. Generally, the antlerless deer segment in the muzzleloader season accounts for 80 percent of the harvest. The top ten counties in muzzleloader deer harvest were: Lewis (431), Preston (358), Jackson (329), Mason (326), Ritchie (282), Monroe (278), Upshur (266), Berkeley (264), Monongalia (258) and Hardy (247).

            The archery deer harvest of 24,752 was 13 percent above the 2005 harvest of 21,949. The top ten counties in archery deer harvest were: Preston (1,265), Randolph (1,019), Nicholas (796), Greenbrier (764), Mason (762), Monongalia (715), Fayette (642), McDowell (640), Raleigh (640) and Wyoming (607).

[Editor’s note: Harvest Information for the 2006 Buck, Antlerless Deer, Archery and Muzzleloader Deer Seasons are Provided in the Attached Tables.]


Deer Total Harvest
Deer Antlered
Deer Antlerless
Deer Archery
Deer Muzzleloader

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