WV revises deer hunting rules for 2012
May 1, 2012 ·
Due to changing deer populations in the state, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is revising female deer hunting regulations this year. The proposal was approved by a commission.
The Natural Resources Commission recently approved the scheduling of a three day hunting season for female deer in October.
The season’s rules will be released on the DNR’s website soon, perhaps in the next two weeks.
Curtis Taylor, Wildlife Resources Chief, says some West Virginia counties have a large population of deer, others have low populations, and the revised regulations will vary county by county.
"It will be in selected counties, and you have to refer to the regulations to see which counties will be open," he said.
"We look at this very closely, it just depends on what county you plan on hunting and what you can or can’t take."
The season will take place on October 25, 26, and 27 this year, on private land only, in certain counties.
This season is just before the “rut,” the term referring to deer mating season.
"Normally the peak of the “rut” is the week before Thanksgiving, the week or two before Thanksgiving, the peak of the rut may depend on food sources," Taylor said.
"For example if there’s a lot of acorns out there, then the rut is usually stretched out because the deer are usually in better physical condition. In years when food supply is limited, you see a rut come and go very quickly."
During the three-day October season hunters can use firearms.
It’s been approved for this year, but that doesn’t mean it will keep taking place in the future.
Year to year, the DNR proposed hunting rules to the commission.
Sometimes the commission approves, sometimes it doesn’t.
Taylor says the proposals are always meant to fit into the general flow of the state’s changing deer population.
"Deer management is a very complex issue in this state; we’ve taken all the available technologies that are out there to develop this plan," Taylor said.
"I guess the main part of the plan is that it enables it to go with the flow so to speak. In other words, we can adjust the harvest up; we can adjust it down on a year to year basis, based on harvests from previous years, and weather conditions, food conditions. All that is taken into consideration."
The commission also looked at proposals that would allow hunters to kill more than one deer in a day.