Cumberland Times-News

August 18, 2012

W.Va. eyes bigger daily deer bag

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

— Unless something goes very much awry in the West Virginia legislature, hunters in the Mountain State will be able to kill two deer per day during the 2013 seasons.

That means the archery, muzzleloader and modern firearms seasons — each of them.

Only one buck per day, though, will be allowed. In other words, the daily bag may contain one buck and one antlerless deer or two antlerless deer.

The West Virginia Natural Resources Commission recently approved the idea. Now it is put in the form of a legislative rule to be forwarded to elected representatives. Sometime during the legislative session early next year the official go-ahead is expected.

“This was one of the possibilities we had on a questionnaire to hunters earlier this year and there was overwhelming support for it,” said Chris Ryan of the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Section.

“There are a lot of hunters who don’t have great amounts of time to hunt. Some hunt just on the weekends or just the first two or three days of (the firearms) season.”

Ryan contends that some of those hunters are choosing to let does walk because they want to shoot a buck.

“This will let them knock down a doe first and then wait to take a buck in the remainder of the day,” Ryan said.

Of course it can work the other way around as well; a buck first and a doe second.

Hunters will not be required to check in the first deer before they shoot the second.

“Nope,” Ryan said. “They can check them both in at the same time when they are done hunting.”

The agency is accepting comments about this proposed rule. Send them to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief, Wildlife Resources Section, 324 4th Ave., South Charleston, W.Va. 25303 by Aug. 31.

Ryan said the new rule will be a great management tool in portions of the state where additional deer need to be taken for the health of the herd and the habitat.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.