Early antlerless deer firearms season provides benefits for hunters and deer population.

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources today announced that the first split of the antlerless deer firearms season will be open on public and private land in all or portions of the state’s 51 counties open to deer firearms hunting Oct. 26-29. Hunters who want to take advantage of this early deer firearms hunting opportunity are encouraged to purchase their license and deer stamps online at WVhunt.com before the season starts.

“In addition to giving hunters more opportunities to harvest deer, the early antlerless season is designed to control the state’s deer population and promote healthier, heavier and more productive deer herds,” said Brett McMillion, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

An early antlerless deer firearms season provides several advantages for hunters, such as favorable weather conditions for tree-stand hunting and the ability to meet the harvest requirement some counties have for taking a second antlered buck in November. Counties that require hunters to harvest an antlerless deer before taking a second antlered buck include Berkeley, Greenbrier (south portion), Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral (east portion), Monroe, Morgan and Wood.

Early antlerless deer harvests also help the WVDNR manage the state’s deer population. For every antlerless deer harvested in the October season, there will be more food for remaining deer during the winter months, which benefits not only the state’s deer herd but other wildlife dependent on the woodland habitat.

“As much as everyone dreams of a big buck, harvesting antlerless deer is integral to a healthy population and can be just as rewarding,” said James Bailey, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce, which oversees the WVDNR.

Hunters are also reminded to check their game online at WVhunt.com by calling 1-844-WVCHECK or by visiting an authorized license agent. By recording their harvests, hunters play an integral part in helping the WVDNR track deer herd trends, monitor doe harvest impacts and manage the deer population of West Virginia.

Hunters who can’t make it out for the first segment have a chance to participate in three additional segments, scheduled to take place Nov. 20 to Dec. 3, Dec. 7-10 and Dec. 28-31. The antlerless deer firearms season is closed in Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties and portions of Kanawha, Fayette, Raleigh and Wayne counties.

All antlerless deer must be taken on a Class N or NN stamp or with a Class DT license. Landowners hunting on their own property do not have to purchase a Class N or NN stamp. Only one antlerless deer may be taken on each stamp. For more information about the antlerless deer firearms season, consult a copy of the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available at license retailers around the state and online at WVdnr.gov/hunting-regulations.