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Hunters in West Virginia harvested 45,155 bucks during the traditional buck firearms season

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. —  Preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicated that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 45,155 antlered deer during the two-week firearm season from Nov. 20 through Dec. 3, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) announced today. 

The 2023 harvest was 7.5 percent below the 2022 harvest, which totaled 48,810 bucks.

“The harvest during the 2023 traditional buck firearm season was expected to be lower than that of 2022,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section. “Average hard mast indices paired with bad weather during the opening few days of the buck firearms season probably hindered the success of many hunters this season. All areas of the state registered an average decrease of 11 percent; with the exception of the southeastern areas that had an increase of 19 percent from the 2022 harvest.”

The top 10 counties for the 2023 buck harvest were Greenbrier (1,892), Randolph (1,604), Preston (1,413), Pendleton (1,413), Monroe (1,396), Braxton (1,394), Hardy (1,329), Kanawha (1,242), Pocahontas (1,236) and Fayette (1,226). 

WVDNR reminds hunters that several days of deer hunting opportunity remain for 2023, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow season, which runs through Dec. 31. Muzzleloader deer season is open from Dec. 11-17. 

The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open Dec. 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season. This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season Dec. 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties. See the 2023–24 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit WVdnr.gov for county and area listings.

Hunting, trapping and fishing licenses and stamps for the 2024 seasons are now on sale. Learn more at WVdnr.gov

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