The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

November 22, 2010

Thousands of hunters expected for state’s biggest deer season

CHARLESTON — The date has been circled on the calendar for many West Virginians for nearly a year: Nov. 22, opening day of the state’s main deer hunting season.

It’s the biggest day of the biggest hunting season in West Virginia — the start of the state’s annual two-week gun season for bucks.

Thousands of hunters are expected to head out before dawn’s early light today in search of a trophy buck or doe. The hunt is a big economic boom. Hunters spend about $233 million on hunting licenses, ammunition, knives, orange jackets and other gear, according to the state Division of Natural Resources.

“This is the biggest event in the state,” said Curtis Taylor, head of the DNR’s wildlife section. “It is our NASCAR or it’s the Superbowl.”

The DNR says an estimated 280,000 licensed hunters will hunt during the bucks season, which runs through Dec. 4. To put that figure in perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to one in five adult West Virginians taking up a gun and going hunting.

The DNR estimates hunters will kill about 117,000 deer during the combined buck and doe firearms seasons, which run through Dec. 11. And more than half those deer will be bucks, some 63,000. The rest will be a mix of does and fawns shot during antlerless season.

“The average person in West Virginia kills right at two deer a year,” Taylor said.

Hunters take significant numbers of deer during the state’s archery and muzzleloader seasons, as well. Last year archers bagged more than 28,000 deer, of which more than 9,000 were taken during muzzleloader season. The last day to bag a deer in the state is Dec. 31, when bow season ends.

West Virginia’s deer herd has good to excellent conditions going into the season, particularly compared with 2009, when food such as acorns was scarce.

“Last year was almost the worst year on record. This year may be almost the best,” Taylor said.

The state’s big deer herd — Taylor says it easily tops 1 million animals — plus online license sales and vast areas of public land also attract about 40,000 nonresident hunters to West Virginia every year.

“Last report we got from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia, believe it or not, was fifth in the nation,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of deer, we have a very liberal season, a very liberal bag limit and we’ve got 1.5 million acres of public land.”

Gun season is open in all counties except Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming, where deer hunting is limited to bow hunting. Sunday hunting is legal in 14 counties, but only on private land.

The DNR has also extended the state’s black bear season to coincide with the two-week buck season. Hunters will be allowed to kill a bear and a buck on the same day in 10 counties where the seasons coincide.

Text Only
Latest News
  • W.Va., 11 other states, ask Supreme Court to declare new EPA rules illegal

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Friday that West Virginia led a bipartisan group of 12 states that are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to declare illegal a settlement agreement in which the EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.

    August 1, 2014

  • Ebola outbreak moving faster than control efforts

    An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met Friday in Guinea's capital.

    August 1, 2014

  • Oak Hill man arrested for selling drugs to police officers

    A Fayette County man is in jail after his arrest Thursday evening for several drug offenses, according to a press release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

    August 1, 2014

  • Suspect arrested, faces felony charges following shooting incident

    A Mercer County man was arrested and arraigned on felony charges Thursday after a domestic altercation led to a shooting incident in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    August 1, 2014

  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday. The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.


    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years.  Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day. A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.


    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014