(01/15/2007)
Data compiled from game checking tags indicate hunters in West Virginia harvested a total of 136,289 white-tailed deer during the combined 2006 deer hunting seasons, according to Frank Jezioro, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The total deer harvest in 2006 was slightly higher than the 135,361 deer taken in 2005.

A total of 66,103 bucks, 37,841 antlerless season deer (including 1,375 harvested in the youth/Class Q season), 24,752 archery deer and 7,593 muzzleloader deer were taken during the 2006 seasons.

The 2006 antlerless deer season harvest was 20 percent below that of 2005, due to the reduction in the number of counties open to antlerless deer hunting and reduced bag limits.

The top 10 counties in antlerless deer harvest were: Wood (2,345), Jackson (2,326), Mason (2,191), Harrison (2,018), Preston (1,902), Monongalia (1,814), Wetzel (1,640), Lewis (1,611), Hardy (1,486) and Marshall (1,463).

The 2006 muzzleloader harvest of 7,593 was 16 percent below the 2005 harvest of 9,074. The lower harvest is a direct result of the reduced number of counties open to either-sex muzzleloader hunting.

Generally, the antlerless deer segment in the muzzleloader season accounts for 80 percent of the harvest.

The top 10 counties in muzzleloader deer harvest were: Lewis (431), Preston (358), Jackson (329), Mason (326), Ritchie (282), Monroe (278), Upshur (266), Berkeley (264), Monongalia (258) and Hardy (247).

The archery deer harvest of 24,752 was 13 percent above the 2005 harvest of 21,949. The top 10 counties in archery deer harvest were: Preston (1,265), Randolph (1,019), Nicholas (796), Greenbrier (764), Mason (762), Monongalia (715), Fayette (642), McDowell (640), Raleigh (640) and Wyoming (607).


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