W.Va. releases 2021 mast survey and hunting outlook

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W.Va. releases 2021 mast survey and hunting outlook
Deer hunting is an increasingly popular sport in West Virginia. (Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce)

Hunters getting ready for the fall hunting seasons can now review the 2021 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook publication available on the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website at WVdnr.gov.

“Beech, walnut, hickory and black cherry production was up dramatically above last year and the long-term average,” said Chris Ryan, supervisor of WVDNR’s Game Management Services.

“Oak production improved over the last year but is still below its long-term average. 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.”

According to the survey, soft mast production was very good in 2021. Apple and hawthorn were especially productive this year and should attract numerous wildlife species. Hunters are encouraged to do plenty of scouting. Locating good, natural foods can increase a hunter’s odds of success.

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

The 2021 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook may be found on the WVDNR website here.

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