SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) has announced the winners of the 2011 West Virginia Big Buck Contest, according to Gene Thorn, chairman of the West Virginia Big Buck Contest Review Committee. The contest is cosponsored by WVDNR, Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, West Virginia Bowhunters Association, West Virginia Muzzle Loaders Association, West Virginia Physically Challenged Advisory Board and Toyota to recognize sportsmen and women who take an extraordinarily big antlered buck in West Virginia.

This past year, 242 hunters had their deer antlers scored at one of the six WVDNR district offices, field offices, or the West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show in Charleston. Hunters who took 106 big bucks with gun, muzzleloader, bow, or crossbow (Class Y permit holders) that met the score minimums and other requirements participated in the 2011 Big Buck Contest.

Gun Catergory

Twenty-eight bucks killed by gun hunters scored above 140 points (typical) or 165 points (non-typical). In the Typical-Gun category, the winner was Jonah Adkins from Branchland, West Virginia, with an 11-point buck killed in Lincoln County that scored 163 1/8. The winner this year in the Non-typical Gun category was Brandon Dishner from Athens, West Virginia, with a big 19-point buck from Mercer County that scored 165 4/8.

Muzzleloader Category

Two muzzleloader hunters killed bucks that scored above 140 points (typical) or 165 points (non-typical). William Fry of Loudonville, Ohio, took a 12-point Ritchie County buck that scored 149 5/8 and was top of the list in the Typical-Muzzleloader category. There was no non-typical buck taken with the muzzleloader this year that met the minimum score.

Bow Category

Bowhunters killed 73 deer that scored above 125 points (typical) or 155 points (non-typical). The winner of the Typical-Bow category was David Miller of Hurricane, West Virginia, with a whopper 12-point buck from Mingo County that scored 171 6/8. David's buck took over the Number 4 position for Typical Bow kills in the list that ranks the top five buck scores for all time in West Virginia. The Non-typical Bow category winner was Charles Daniel from Hurricane, West Virginia with a big 15-point buck from Cabell County that scored 169 1/8.

Physically Challenged Crossbow Category

Two bucks were killed by physically-challenged crossbow hunters that scored above 125 points (typical) or 155 points (non-typical). The Typical-Crossbow category winner was Freddie Houchins of Pineville, West Virginia with a 10-point Wyoming County buck that scored 151 1/8. There was no non-typical buck taken with the crossbow this year that met the minimum score.

The Boone and Crockett Club or Pope and Young Club rating systems are used to score bucks, depending upon the method of harvest.

The Boone and Crockett Club guidelines are used to score deer harvested with a firearm, muzzleloader or crossbow (used by physically-challenged hunters with a Class Y Permit). Certificates are presented for racks scoring at least 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical for firearms and muzzleloaders and scoring at least 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical for crossbow.

Deer harvested with a bow are measured according to Pope and Young Club standards, and they are recognized with a certificate for racks scoring at least 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical.

The winner in each category will receive a plaque during the 2012 National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration held the last weekend of September at Stonewall Resort State Park in Lewis County.

A list of all bucks meeting the minimum qualifications is posted on the Big Buck Contest page of the WVDNR's website   www.wvdnr.gov

"The Big Buck Contest Committee congratulates all the hunters who took bucks that qualified for this year's contest," Thorn said. "We also thank all the hunters who participated and had antlers scored this past year."

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