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Eastern Panhandle deer kill down slightly

January 14, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Hunters in the Eastern Panhandle bagged slightly fewer deer this past buck hunting season and one wildlife official is saying the weather partly contributed to the lower count.

There was more snow during the 1995 deer season, which made it easier to spot bucks, said Larry Hines, wildlife manager of the Sleepy Creek Wildife Management Area, which straddles the Berkeley County and Morgan County line.

Hunters killed 2,260 deer in the Eastern Panhandle during the firearms season, down from the 2,463 deer taken in 1995, according to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.


In Berkeley County, 747 deer were killed, down from the 781 deer bagged in 1995. In Morgan County, 1,165 deer were killed, down from the 1,272 taken in 1995. And in Jefferson County, 348 were killed, down from the 410 deer taken in 1995, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Deer kills are usually higher in Morgan County because it is a more remote area, making it a popular habitat for deer, according to Hines.

Statewide, the 1996 deer kill totalled 183,359, state wildlife officials said. That includes all seasons, including firearm, bow and muzzleloader seasons.

Although this past year's harvest was 11 percent lower than the record year of 1992, in which 205,924 deer were killed, it was the third highest deer kill in West Virginia, wildlife officials said.

Although the number of deer killed with gun dropped slightly in the Eastern Panhandle, the number killed with bow increased.

In Berkeley County, bow hunters killed 210 deer, compared to the 209 deer bagged the previous season. In Jefferson County, 195 deer were killed with a bow compared to the 183 that were taken the previous year. And in Morgan County, bow hunters killed 243 deer compared, to the 224 bagged the previous year, wildlife officials said.

Muzzleloaders in Berkeley County killed 116 deer, up from the 91 killed in 1995. In Jefferson County, 48 deer were killed with a muzzleloader, down from the 65 taken the previous year. In Morgan County, muzzleloaders bagged 173 deer, down from the 182 taken the previous year, wildlife officials said.

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