Preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicates that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season which ran from November 19 through December 1, according to Gary Foster, assistant chief of Game Management with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.
Morgan County hunters took 621 bucks during the two-week firearms season, up 23 percent from the 2017 harvest total of 503 deer.
The 2018 harvest was 1 percent higher than the 2017 harvest. The top 10 counties for buck harvest in 2018 were: Randolph (1,685), Preston (1,607), Greenbrier (1,479), Hampshire (1,471), Jackson (1,379), Pendleton (1,274), Grant (1,217), Hardy (1,212), Kanawha (1,212) and Mason (1,206).
The buck harvest increased in the eastern panhandle (DNR District 2) and in southwestern West Virginia (DNR District 5) and was similar to or slightly down in the remainder of the state.
Deer hunters have several days of opportunity left this year, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow seasons, which run through Dec. 31.
Muzzleloader deer season will open December 10 and remain open through Dec. 16. The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open December 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season. This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season on Dec. 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties.
In addition, the new primitive weapons “Mountaineer Heritage Season” will be open during the period from January 10-13, 2019.
Refer to the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for additional details as well as county and area listings.