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Outdoors

Reports indicate deer kill numbers appear good

Reports indicate deer kill numbers appear good

November 26, 2006|by BILL ANDERSON

As of Friday afternoon, the early results for the West Virginia firearms season have not been released. A quick and unofficial check with several popular checking stations seem to indicate that the first-week buck kill was pretty good - at last in the Eastern Panhandle.

Several factors are very important to the deer-kill totals. First and foremost is always the weather, and it was good in the past week with the exception of the rain on Wednesday.

Wildlife officials in West Virginia are hoping for a rebound in the buck harvest after a steady trend downward over the past few seasons.

Maryland hunters were be able to take advantage of some unusually mild weather for the opening day Saturday.

A lot of people say that really mild weather hurts deer movement, which would hold true if it were bow season. During the firearms season, the intense hunting pressure creates its own deer movement patterns, and the nice weather will make it more comfortable for the hunters to stay on stands. The result is usually a very high kill.

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Look for very high opening-day numbers in Washington County.

Hunters should keep in mind that there will be many additional opportunities to fill a deer tag after the general firearms seasons are over in Maryland and West Virginia.

In West Virginia, there will be antlerless deer hunting in certain counties right up through Dec. 30. The regulations are very specific to counties and areas within counties, so please review the regulations.

In addition, West Virginia offers a statewide muzzleloader season that will be open Dec. 11-16. Again, bag and legal sex regulations vary by county.

Maryland offers a late muzzleloader season that will be open Dec. 16-30 in Region A. The legal sex varies according to hunting on private or public lands, so be sure to review the regulations.

In Maryland Region B, there is a late muzzleloader season segment from Dec. 16-30. In addition, there is a late segment of the regular firearms season, open Jan. 5-6, 2007.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail. He may be contacted via e-mail at bill@weekend-sportsman.com

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