Local Lifestyle

WVDNR releases 2023 Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey

Hunters getting ready for the fall hunting seasons may now consult the 2023 Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey.

The annual Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey provides details about the abundance of mast, such as wild fruits and nuts, produced by 18 species of trees and shrubs and the 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,” said Holly Morris, furbearer and small game project leader for the WVDNR’s Wildlife Resources Section. “In addition, red and black oak and scarlet oak production was up compared to last year and above the long-term average.”

Soft mast production was mixed this year and hunters should pay close attention to the ecological regions they’ll be hunting.

Hunters should do plenty of scouting to determine how mast conditions will affect their plans. Locating good, natural foods can increase a hunter’s odds of success.

Hunters can find a wealth of facts in the Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey, which is a helpful resource to consult before heading into the field. The report, compiled by the WVDNR’s Wildlife Resources Section with the help of volunteers and other agencies, may be downloaded at WVdnr.gov/mast-survey.