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Outdoors - W.Va. deer harvest has usual numbers

February 04, 2008|By BILL ANDERSON

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources has released the combined totals for the 2007 deer seasons - bow, muzzleloader, antlerless and regular firearms seasons.

The total harvest was 145,577 deer, which is slightly up from 2006 (136,629). Each of the seasons showed slight gains over 2006 with the exception of muzzleloaders (7,593 in 2006 versus 7,423 in 2007).

Since 2003, the numbers for all of the seasons are starting to show a degree of consistency. That makes you believe this is what we can expect going forward, at least in the near term.

Hunters will have to accept the days of the 100,000-buck kills and combined total of 200,000 deer harvested are gone. The total kill in 2003 was 209,441 deer - a number we are not likely to duplicate any time soon.

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The buck kill for the past five years has been:

· 2007 - 67,505

· 2006 - 66,103

· 2005 - 56,901

· 2004 - 63,873

· 2003 - 73,128

In 2002, the buck kill for West Virginia was near 100,000 deer, another figure that will not be duplicated in the near future.

The massive decline in deer population can be easily seen in the data. For example in 2003, the muzzleloader kill (largely antlerless deer) was 17,458 deer, 10,000 more than the count of each of the last two years.

The DNR reports it is pleased with the harvest numbers, which keeps the herd at the proper level. Antlerless deer regulations will be restricted in some lower populations areas and increased in others. But overall, what you see is what you get, at least for the short term.

Ruffed Grouse Society Banquet - The Maryland Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society will hold its 11th annual Sportsmen's Banquet on Feb. 23 at the Lynfield Event Complex in Frederick, Md. The evening begins with cocktails at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30.

The event will feature live and silent auctions, games, drawings and door prizes, highlighted with a selection of firearms, artwork and collectibles.

Tickets are $40 for RGS members, guests and youngsters under age 16. Tickets for new and renewing members are $65, including a one-year RGS membership.

There is also a combination membership dinner ticket and spouse ticket for $85. Banquet, conservation and sustaining sponsorship packages are also available at $250, $500 and $1,000.

Proceeds from the event will be used to restore and protect grouse and woodcock habitat.

For information or tickets, contact Bob Lindgren at 301-253-4202, 301-704-7218, or by e-mail at bbjlin@aol.com.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail. He may be contacted by e-mail at

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