2020 "good year for deer hunting," says DNR biologist

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Deer hunting is an increasingly popular sport in West Virginia. (Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce)

Hunters in West Virginia harvested 38,776 antlered deer during its two-week buck firearms season in 2020, according to preliminary data collected through the electronic game checking system managed by the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources.

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Gary Foster, assistant chief of game management for the division, said state game biologists felt positive about the harvest, which was six-percent higher than the 2019 harvest, when hunters took 36,796 bucks.

"It's been a good year for deer hunting in West Virginia, and these preliminary numbers for the buck season harvest are really encouraging," Foster said.

The top 10 counties by harvest are Preston (1,469), Randolph (1,428), Hampshire (1,380), Greenbrier (1,317), Pendleton (1,296), Hardy (1,169), Braxton (1,089), Grant (1,088), Pocahontas (1,082), and Jackson (1,063).

Buck harvests in West Virginia's north-central region, eastern panhandle, and in its southwestern counties saw increases of 9 percent, 17 percent, and 43 percent, respectively.

Excellent harvests in these regions offset declines in the state's central mountain region and western and southeastern counties, where the harvest decreased by 2 percent, 5 percent, and 7 percent, respectively.

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A comparison of the past four years of buck firearms season harvest with the 2020 preliminary data is available for download here.


Current and Upcoming Deer Hunting Opportunities in West Virginia

Deer hunters still have several days to hunt this year. 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.

]The Class-N/NN antlerless deer season will reopen on Dec. 28-31 in select counties or portions thereof.

The Mountaineer Heritage season will be open from Jan. 14-17, 2021.

To learn more about hunting opportunities in West Virginia, check the 2020-21 West Virginia Hunting Regulations or visit wvdnr.gov.

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