SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV — Preliminary data indicates West Virginia hunters harvested 42,674 antlered deer during the two-week firearm season from Nov. 22 to Dec. 5. The harvest is a 10 percent increase over the 2020 harvest of 38,785 bucks.
“The harvest during the 2021 traditional buck firearm season was expected to be similar to that of 2020,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the WV Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section. “Below average oak mast indices may have allowed hunters to better pattern deer movement.”
Johansen explained that only the north central portion of the state had a decline, while all other areas of the state registered increases. The southeastern and southwestern areas of the state had the largest increases from the 2020 harvest at 31 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
The top 10 counties for the 2021 buck harvest are Greenbrier (1,603), Hampshire (1,483), Randolph (1,356), Jackson (1,353), Hardy (1,264), Preston (1,261), Braxton (1,243), Monroe (1,225), Kanawha (1,222) and Roane (1,205). A breakdown of county harvests since 2017 is attached here.
Several days of deer hunting opportunities remain for 2021, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow season, which runs through Dec. 31. The traditional Class N/NN antlerless deer season in selected counties or portions of counties on both public and private land will run from Dec. 9-12.
Muzzleloader deer season will open Dec. 13-19. The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open from Dec. 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season. This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season from Dec. 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties.
The 2021–2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary can be found online at WVdnr.gov and includes county and area listings.
The WVDNR also reminds hunters of the third annual Hunting & Fishing License Giveaway. Anyone who purchases an annual 2022 hunting, trapping or fishing license in the month of December will automatically be entered to win one of several prizes, including the grand prize of a combination hunting, trapping and fishing lifetime license for a WV resident. Information about the giveaway can be found at WVdnr.gov/licensegiveaway.