W.Va. releases 2019 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook

A young hunter enjoys the autumn season in West Virginia. Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce.
A young hunter wanders the autumn landscape in West Virginia. (Photo: W.Va. Dept. of Commerce)

A bounty of apples, black cherries, and red and black oak acorns will affect hunting in West Virginia this year, according to a report released today, while white and chestnut oak acorns are fewer and well below their long-term average.

The fluctuation in food sources will greatly affect hunting, according to officials at the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources, which today released its 2019 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook publication, now

“The availability of fall foods has significant impacts on wildlife populations and harvests,” said Chris Ryan, supervisor of the Game Management Services for the division’s Wildlife Resources Section.

“It is very important for hunters to scout and consider the type and amount of food available in the areas they hunt. Hunters can find a wealth of facts in the mast survey and hunting outlook, and it should provide them valuable information before heading into the field.”

The information included in the outlook analyzes mast conditions and wildlife harvests also available on the website.

Since 1971, the Wildlife Resources Section, in cooperation with volunteers from other agencies, has conducted a fall mast survey to determine the abundance of mast produced by 18 species of trees and shrubs.


“Death by Hunter,” a buck considers the approach of winter

A  buck forages during winter.

Another long winter lay just ahead. Daylight was now longer coming and sooner leaving. The warmth of the sun did not soothe his body or calm his mind, even though the cold of the night kept him restless, on the move, wandering constantly.

During the day, his mind carried him where his legs could not, into his past — to his hurried birth and abandonment, his constant struggle to survive and to search for food and danger, his great battles with other bucks, his rise to the top…


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