SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) has announced the winners of the 2012 West Virginia Big Buck Contest, according to Gene Thorn, chairman of the West Virginia Big Buck Contest Review Committee. The contest is co-sponsored 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, 189 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 entered 105 big bucks harvested with guns, muzzleloaders, bows, or crossbows (Class Y permit holders) which met the required minimum score for the 2012 Big Buck Contest.

Gun Category

Twenty-two bucks entered by gun hunters scored above 140 points (typical) or 165 points (non-typical). In the typical gun category, the winner was Michael Taylor from Jumping Branch, W.Va., with a 15-point buck harvested in Summers County that scored 169 5/8. There was no non-typical buck entered in the gun category this year that met the minimum score.

Muzzleloader Category

One muzzleloader hunter entered a buck that scored above 140 points (typical). No buck was entered that met the minimum 165 points for the non-typical category. William Crothers II of Mineral Wells, W.Va., entered a 14-point Wirt County buck that scored 173 0/8 that won in the typical muzzleloader category.

Bow Category

Bowhunters entered 65 deer that scored above 125 points (typical) or 155 points (non-typical). The winner of the typical bow category was Roger Maynard of Williamson, W.Va., with a 15-point buck from Mingo County that scored 170 1/8. The non-typical bow category winner was Daniel Light from Boomer, W.Va., with a 17-point buck from Fayette County that scored 195 0/8. Daniel's buck took over fourth position for non-typical bow kills in the list that ranks the top five buck scores for all time in West Virginia.

Physically Challenged Crossbow Category

Physically challenged crossbow hunters needed to score above 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical to win. There was no typical or non-typical buck entered that was harvested with a crossbow this year that met the minimum score.

The winner in each category will receive a plaque during the 2013 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/hunting/BigBuckContest.shtm

"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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