SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia hunters entered 105 bucks harvested with modern firearms, muzzleloaders, bows, or crossbows which met the required minimum score for the 2012 Big Buck Contest, according to Gene Thorn, chairman.
Twenty-two bucks with typical antlers scored above the minimum 140 points. 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 of 165.
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. No buck was entered that met the minimum 165 points for the non-typical category.
Bowhunters entered 65 deer that scored above 125 typical points or 155 non-typical points. 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. Light’s buck became the fourth best ever in that category.
The winner in each category will receive a plaque during the 2013 National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration in 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.
Other qualifying bucks from northern and eastern West Virginia were:
• Typical gun, Ryan Ray, Pendleton County, 166 7/8.
• Typical gun, Donald Pratt, Hampshire County, 150 2/8.
• Typical gun, Don Russell, Tucker County, 149 6/8.
• Typical gun, Joshua Merschat, Tucker County, 146 6/8.
• Typical bow, Jason Hart, Monongalia County, 149 5/8.
The contest is co-sponsored by WVDNR, Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, West Virginia Bowhunters Association, West Virginia Muzzleloaders Association, West Virginia Physically Challenged Advisory Board and Toyota.