West Virginia Deer News

... minutes later, her baby fawn was born. A West Virginia State Trooper, who responded to the call, told local media that he does not know how the newborn fawn managed to survive the impact of the collision ... The newborn fawn was taken to the Tri Lake Animal Hospital ....

State slowly losing battle with CWD July 26, 2015 West Virginia, Times West Virginian
... “The idea to stop feeding deer in this area is within the agency’s ongoing management efforts to slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). A larger portion of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia has been added to the current area where artificial supplemental feeding and baiting of deer is prohibited,” ...

Fawn causes a stir on my street July 24, 2015 West Virginia, West Virginia MetroNews
... In the rare case of abandonment other does will adopt an orphan.  Gene Thorne, a former wildlife ... once told me he often would have folks show up at his residence on the WMA with a fawn they thought was “abandoned.”  Once they brought it to him it surely was, so he would turn it loose into a field where other deer could be seen grazing and it would usually take up with another doe and be fine...

Baiting deer illegal in Mineral, Grant counties July 22, 2015 West Virginia, Cumberland Times News Homepage
... This action has been taken to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease ... deer feeding naturally in the woods have less chance of rubbing up against a sick herd member than they would if they were all bunched up at a bait pile ... 

... available online at www.wvdnr.gov... Hunters and trappers must follow the new rules for electronic checking of game... A crossbow season for deer and wild boar will run Sept. 26 – Dec. 31 and for bear during the period from Sept. 26 – Nov. 21 and from Dec. 7-31. Additionally, crossbows are legal to use during any big game firearms season...The antlerless deer season will run Oct. 22-24, Nov. 23 – Dec. 5, Dec. 17-19 and Dec. 29-31. Antlerless season bag limits have been reduced in several counties for 2015... The West Virginia Chronic Wasting Disease Containment Area has been expanded to include all of Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties. It is illegal to bait or feed deer at any time in these counties. Additionally, hunters are prohibited from transporting dead deer beyond the boundaries of Hampshire, Hardy and Morgan counties....

... In West Virginia, it is illegal to confine wildlife or secure them in an area where they are not able to roam free or come and go as they please, according to the agency... [phhoto from West Virginia Natural Resources Police]
Authorities say man lived with deer July 8, 2015 West Virginia, KCCI 8 Des Moines
... the two deer had a healthy supply of hay available to them inside the home...
...  Officers saw a deer standing in the middle of the house when they arrived and spoke with a man at the house... he picked the animals up as fawns, thinking they were injured ...
Cabell man says deer weren’t living with him July 8, 2015 West Virginia, Metro News 
... Ronnie Chapman told WSAZ-TV the deer would come as go as they please. He said he nursed the six-point deer back to health a few years ago after finding him “bleeding to death” in his front yard... 
Man charged with raising deer in his home July 8, 2015 West Virginia, WTVY
... Chapman says he's perplexed why he's being persecuted for doing what he felt was the right thing... Chapman says he was in court Tuesday and had to pay a $300 fine...

Social media helps officers make deer poaching bust July 8, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... photos posted to Snapchat allowed an NRP officer in Parkersburg to solve a deer-poaching case in less than an hour.  According to a release from the agency, an anonymous tipster sent three photos copied from Snapchat ...

Lottery hunt aims to control deer population July 7, 2015 West Virginia, WOWK
... As South Charleston resident Cheryl Crigger Morgan tells us, the deer population in the area seems to be getting out of hand.  "But we see them like five and seven at a time there is not one or two deer they are in herds,"  [deer routinely live in small herds]

Bridgeport, Hunters outnumber deer killed at Bridgeport urban hunt June 4, 2015 West Virginia, The Herald-Star 
... 118 hunters killed 52 deer ... The program started in 2009 ...
    Urban deer hunt numbers drop dramatically in Bridgeport June 3, 2015 West Virginia, theet.com
    ...  the bow-only hunt was started to help reduce the deer population in the city.  “They’re having a sociological impact on the city by eating people’s flowers and gardens,”  ... Steve Rauch, wildlife biologist for DNR District 1 ...

Deer in road likely caused by migration, not overpopulation June 2, 2015 West Virginia, charlestondailymail.com
... Division of Natural Resources... combines road deaths with deaths caused by crop damage (farmers shooting deer that eat their crops) ... By that metric, 17,120 deer were killed in 2014, and 19,839 in 2013... 

West Virginians want elk, but are they ready for them? May 30, 2015 The Charleston Gazette 
... Appalachia’s milder climate and absence of predators allow elk to grow to considerably larger size than they do in their native Rocky Mountains... once we began hunting them hard, they turned into woodland elk. Now they spend more of their time in the timber, living on acorns.” ... they tend to move in large groups — unlike deer, which tend to be much more solitary...

Finding deer antlers is W.Va. man’s wintertime hobby May 10, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... Buck deer shed their bony headgear shortly after the mating season ends... This year was his best ever. He found 35 antlers, most of them in March and April...

New W.Va. law forbids use of drones to aid hunters March 28, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... amended a section of the state code that prohibits hunting from aircraft to include the use of drones for hunting ... The bill also included a provision that makes the use of night-vision technology illegal for hunting most of the state’s game species ...

W.Va. DNR wants to hear from you March 24, 2015 West Virginia, Huntington Herald Dispatch
... the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources held 12 public meetings across the state to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2015 hunting regulations for white-tailed deer ...  The questionnaire is available for downloading online at wvdnr.gov ... deadline for written comments is April 3 ...

Addition to elk bill clears way for deer crossbow season March 22, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... during the final two days of lawmaking ... The state Senate inserted language into the elk reintroduction bill that ... The commission’s job will be to decide how long the season will last and how many animals crossbow users will be allowed to kill...

DNR hunting for public input on new regulations March 18, 2015 West Virginia, The Register Herald 
...  the division is recommending most season dates, bag and creel limits remain similar to the 2014-2015 season...

DNR announces public meetings March 10, 2015 West Virginia, Independent Herald
...  The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold 12 public meetings across the state in March to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2015 hunting regulations for white-tailed deer ...

Deer baiting might be legal, but it threatens hunters’ image March 8, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... West Virginians who kill big-game animals over bait will destroy the sport of hunting for the rest of us ... the non-hunting public will wake up to what goes on in the Mountain State’s woods and they’ll say, “If that’s how hunting is done, it’s time to do away with hunting.” ...

WV Elk Restoration Program Receives $50,000 grant March 6, 2015 West Virginia, gilberttimes.net
... The rejuvenated WV Elk Restoration Program received a $50,000 seed grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) ... Other changes included some tweaking of the deer seasons in response to the nearly 30% drop across the board for the statewide deer harvest numbers...

Lottery Open for Morgantown Urban Deer Archery Hunt March 4, 2015 West Virginia, WBOY-TV
... This year marks the fifth hunt, which has harvested 405 deer since its inception....

Public Meetings Set on Proposed Hunting Regulations in W.Va. March 2, 2015 February 2, 2015 West Virginia, WSAZ 3
... The Division of Natural Resources has scheduled 12 public meetings across the state on the regulations.  They include 2015 regulations for white-tailed deer ...

... One notable step in the elk effort is the introduction of elk legislation in house bill 2515 which is currently in the House Finance Committee for review. This bill will set the framework for the program and open the door for more formal, and on the ground work to begin ...

WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signs deer farming bill into law February 25, 2015 West Virginia, 13 WOWKTV ·
...  The measure puts deer farm regulations under the scope of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, removing it from the Division of Natural Resources...

Sportsmen press for veto on deer farm legislation February 23, 2015 West Virginia MetroNews
... “We’re hoping for a veto from the governor on the captive cervid bill, ” said Wildlife Federation President Jerod Harman. ... The legislation would transfer control of captive cervids from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture...  the potential for wildlife disease ... the North American Wildlife Model... allows that wild game belongs to everybody...

Antlerless hunting proposals reflect lower 2014 harvest February 23, 2015 West Virginia MetroNews
... The drastic drop in the number of bucks hunters killed in 2014 is reflected in the proposed regulations for the 2015 antlerless deer hunting season in West Virginia... a reduction in the antlerless bag limit in selected counties ...  number of counties where hunters are required to kill an antlerless deer before they could kill their second buck ...

W.Va. DNR proposes more conservative deer regulations for 2015 February 23, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... “The regulation changes are designed to reduce the number of [female] deer that hunters kill.” ... Johansen said a 34 percent drop in last year’s buck kill triggered the DNR’s move toward a more conservative approach...

‘Devil is in the details’ for new deer-farm regulations February 21, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
...  the state Legislature passed a bill that would transfer authority over high-fence hunting operations, deer farms and other so-called “captive cervid facilities” from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture... It will be interesting to see whether West Virginia’s Ag officials write regulations that protect the health of West Virginia’s wild deer, or if they write regulations designed to improve deer farmers’ bottom line...

Bill would open hunting seasons to crossbows February 16, 2015 West Virginia, Charleston Daily Mail
... A bill making its way through the state Legislature seeks to allow West Virginians to use a crossbow during any hunting season and designate a special season for the weapon... Jenkins said the Division of Natural Resources did not have a position in terms of the allowance of crossbow hunting...

Amended deer farming bill passes February 15, 2015 West Virginia, Times West Virginian 
...  Passage means the Department of Agriculture will be completely in charge of deer farming regulation.  The act will allow for venison to be commercially sold... 

W.Va. wildlife biologists calculate deer numbers to set hunting regulations February 1, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... “The key component in our [calculations] is the buck kill per square mile ... We use that as an index to estimate the size of the deer population.”  Last year, the buck kill fell by 34 percent statewide. By extension, the buck kill per square mile also fell 34 percent... “We use a two-year running average,” [Paul Johansen, the DNR’s assistant wildlife chief]

W.Va. dodges deer-farm disease bullet January 31, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... In the fall of 2013, the owner of a Greenbrier County facility asked the DNR for a permit to import a prime whitetail from World Class Whitetails ... He discovered that the facility’s records weren’t exactly current .. wanted the deal done in fairly quick fashion, so eventually the owner here decided to go another route ... On Oct. 21, a CWD-infected buck was discovered in the World Class herd ...

Captive cervid legislation advances in Charleston January 31, 2015 West Virginia, MetroNews
... Senators voted 28-5 in favor of the legislation... Captive cervid breeders believe there is a market for venison. The facilities already engage in a lucrative business selling semen from genetically superior deer and large antler bucks to paid hunting preserves... 

Deer farming bill passed the Senate January 31, 2015 West Virginia, thedpost.com
... allows farmers to breed and sell deer and deer byproducts... sell venison, and permit hunting on the farms...

Total deer harvest is down 31 percent January 24, 2015 West Virginia, The Inter Mountain 
... preliminary figures for the combined antlerless, archery, bucks-only, muzzleloader, and youth doe seasons. The 2014 total deer harvest was 104,223. This is a 31 percent decrease from the 150,877 total deer harvest in 2013 and 23 percent below the five-year average of 136,168....

Deer harvest totals exceed 100,000 January 20, 2015 West Virginia, Independent Herald
... Preliminary counts of game checking tags indicate West Virginia hunters harvested 104,223 white-tailed deer ...  31 percent less than the 2013 deer harvest of 150,877 and 23 percent below the five-year average of 136,168...

Senate ready to take up deer farm bill after remake January 19, 2015 West Virginia, The Register Herald
... Sen. Daniel Hall, R-Wyoming, as he has for is for the last several years, is sponsoring a bill that would allow state residents to keep "captive cervids" on their property. Hall is now the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and as he'd promised, deer farming is one of the first bills to move this session...

Senate committee defers milk, deer action January 19, 2015 West Virginia, charlestondailymail.com
... Hall’s legislation on captive deer farming was slowed down when it was discovered there were several technical corrections and mistakes included in the originally drafted legislation...

... West Virginia hunters harvested 104,223 deer in 2014 ...  This year's total was 31 percent less than the 2013 harvest of 150,877 deer and 23 percent below the five-year average of 136,168...

2014 deer kills in West Virginia down 31 percent January 16, 2015 West Virginia The Exponent Telegram
... killed 104,223 deer during the bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery and youth/Class Q and Class XS deer seasons.  That's down from 150,268 in 2013 and 23 percent below the five-year average of 136,168...

...  Preliminary counts of game checking tags indicate West Virginia hunters harvested 104,223 white-tailed deer ... 37,766 bucks during the traditional buck firearm season, 39,514 antlerless deer during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 21,653 deer during archery season, and 5,290 deer during muzzleloader season...

Hail to new chief, decline of deer populations January 6, 2015 West Virginia, Beckley Register-Herald
... The new DNR chief, appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, told us the 37,000 bucks taken by hunters in 2014 was a 34 percent decline over the previous year. Fala hopes that with proper deer herd management we can start rivaling the 102,000 bucks taken in 1997...

Urban hunts maintain popularity though deer kills remain stagnant January 4, 2014 West Virginia, charlestondailymail.com ·
... In Charleston, hunters killed 100 deer — 30 bucks and 70 does — from 29 parcels open to public hunting, tying 2013’s record-setting season... Crossbows are now permitted for use in the Charleston hunt ...

What 2015 has in store for sportsmen December 28, 2014 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... Each year’s antlerless limits are set according to a pretty cut-and-dried formula. The driving force behind that formula is the number of bucks killed per square mile in any given county over a two-year period.  This past year, the buck kill dropped 34 percent... the fall-off in bucks killed per square mile will force DNR biologists to propose more conservative antlerless regulations for the 2015 season...

W.Va. hunting, fishing licenses going electronic on Jan. 1 December 28, 2014 West Virginia, Washington Times
...  “Traditional paper licenses aren’t even the predominant way licenses are sold anymore,”... Under the new system, hunters will be allowed to check animals in by making a phone call or by going online.  “(Checking kills) will still be mandatory ...

2014 buck season is the lack of the bucks in the field, back of trucks December 26, 2014 West Virginia, Herald-Dispatch
... The largest percentage decreases occurred in the western counties of the state, while the buck harvest in the mountain and southeastern counties had smaller decreases... The excellent acorn crop this fall also contributed to lower hunter success, just as a similar abundant acorn crop in 2010 led to a 31 percent decline in buck harvest followed by a 38 percent rebound in 2011...

Expect deer hunting opportunities in 2015 December 24, 2014 West Virginia, Independent Herald 
... The recent gun buck kill of 37,000 is a throwback to some forty years ago... starting about the New Millennium, disease outbreaks, mast failure and the return of normal winters all took their tolls. Managers had to adapt to these factors plus the continuing decline of deer habitat on the “landscape” or statewide basis. This decline is the result of our ever maturing forests ...

Hunters harvest fewer bucks; New WMAs open in Preston December 20, 2014 West Virginia, State Journal
... Preston County led the state in number of deer harvested during the buck firearms seasonn... 1,531 of the 37,277 bucks taken statewide in the two weeks around Thanksgiving...  down 34 percent from the 2013 harvest of 56,523.

Deer Hunters in West Virginia harvest 37,277 bucks during the buck firearms season December 12, 2014 West Virginia, Huntington News Network
... lower than last year’s with decreases occurring in all DNR districts. The largest percentage decreases occurred in the western counties of the state, while the buck harvest in the mountain and southeastern counties had smaller decreases... 33 percent below the previous five-year average of 55,902... 

Buck kill plunges 34 percent, DNR says December 12, 2014 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette 
... Snow and rain also played a part, but wildlife officials believe the 50-mph winds that whipped across the Mountain State on opening day contributed most heavily to a whopping 34 percent decline in the 2014 buck kill...

West Virginia Data: Deer population of about 750,000 in 2014 pre-hunt, down from 900,000 or higher prior to hunting season in 2013.  A snowy winter in 2013-14 reduced food sources.  The deer harvest decined by 34 percent in 2014, a newly appointed DNR chief has a goal of rebuilding the deer population. The poor acorn acorn crop in 2013, forcing deer to move around more contributed to the 14 percent increase in the deer harvest.  The acorn crop was also very low in 2012. The 2013  harvest increase also reflects an increase in the antlerless deer harvest designed to reduce the deer population.   In 2013, 76 percent of counties were still above population goals. Deer populations are down by as much as one half in the high mountain areas where reduced logging has resulted in a more mature forests and less deer browse.  A low of about 1,000 deer in 1910.   Click to enlarge the West Virginia deer harvest graphic below from the 2014 Big Game report.
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in the state in 2006 in Hampshire County. The disease continues to spread slowly throughout the state with 29 of 591 tissue samples testing positive in the county in 2014.
   The DNR has encouraged balanced demographics in the herd.  Twenty years ago 70 percent of the bucks taken in the firearm season were 1.5 years, by 2012 bucks of 2.5 years or older were 58 percent. Antlered deer were about 50 percent of the 2013 harvest, the goal in 2014 is to increase anterless deer killed somewhat to reduce the population..  About 330,000 deer hunters in 2014. 
     As a result of over hunting, there were only about 1,000 deer remaining in the state by 1900.  Restocking deer in West Virginia.
    The last native elk was killed in the late 1800's.

Other useful links: 
-  West Virginia Wildlife Management Area Maps   - Elk Management Plan [PDF]

Tweets about deer in West Virginia


News from WVDNR


Deer Management: There are two components of deer management: harvest management and habitat management. Both are important in determining the quality and quantity of the deer population; however, harvest management is the component which is most often overlooked in a good deer management program...

Source:  WDNR


Fundamentals of Deer Management File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat . . . developing an ideal deer management program. Different objectives may require totally different management actions ... basic deer management programs.