Thousands of West Virginians will soon head into the woods for an annual ritual that brings friends and families together and generates millions for the state's economy - buck firearms season.

The large influx from Ohio and other states has slowed in Calhoun in recent years.

The opening date for the popular hunting season begins Monday and runs through Dec. 2, according to information posted on the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources' website. Buck firearms season opens in all counties in the state except Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming.

Last year, the number of bucks killed during West Virginian's firearm deer season fell 25 percent compared to 2015, The Associated Press reported. Nearly 46,000 bucks were killed during the two-week season.

DNR officials said high winds limited deer activity during part of last year's season.

The AP said the top 10 counties for buck killed were: Preston (1,769), Randolph (1,610), Jackson (1,482), Greenbrier (1,445), Ritchie (1,414), Upshur (1,392), Mason (1,266), Lewis (1,238), Hampshire (1,183) and Wood (1,182).

The DNR said only deer having one or both antlers more than 3 inches in length above the hairline are legal during the buck firearms season.

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