According to West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologist Randy Kelly, this should be a great year. "Hunting season looks good, we have a lot of deer, it's going to be what the hunter makes it, really. Hunting pressure is going to decide what kind of season we really have, of course that's a lot of times regulated by the weather, in 2010 we had a great mast production but the harvest was down. We had a lot of carry over deer, the mast that year resulted in high recruitment for the 2011 fawning period and there are one and a half year old bucks this year and that makes up the majority of our harvest." says Kelly.
When there's plenty of deer out there, you have a great chance to get one, but the key is going to be hunting and not just sitting in your tree stand. You see, there's also a lot of acorns on the ground, and that means deer don't have to travel out in the fields to eat.
"We had a good mast year in 2011, and we've having another good year this year. That puts the deer in the woods, that means hunters are going to have to hunt, they're not going to field shoot them. You're not going to have a corn feeder and sit in a tree stand and kill deer because the deer are scattered." says Kelly.
But the good news is there are plenty of deer in the woods, not just bucks, there are plenty of doe, too. Now's a good chance to help the DNR manage the herd and fill your freezer at the same time.
"We'd like to encourage hunters to take an antler-less deer, that's how we manage the population. We want to keep a healthy herd, they need to do that and with the number of bucks, you have to buy your RG stamps before the season starts." says Kelly.
And don't forget, there are major changes to the regulations, including expanded antler-less seasons, so be sure and check your regulations before gun season starts.
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