The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Outdoors

February 19, 2012

‘Whitetails foundation of hunting’

“More hunters pursue whitetails than any other species, and whitetail hunters contribute more financially than any other type of hunter. Collectively speaking, whitetails are the foundation of the entire hunting industry,” stated the Quality Deer Management Association in their recent whitetail report.

Every year, the QDMA produces an annual report on whitetail trends. The 60-page report lists information on harvests, species’ range, sex ratio and other popular management topics in the United States and Canada. I have listed below a few facts from the report that I found interesting.

The 2011-12 deer season is closed or nearing so for states/provinces across the whitetail’s range, and biologists will be crunching data in the coming months to assess the outcome of this past season. For the 2012 Whitetail Report, QDMA compared harvest data from the three most recent seasons available: 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.

More bucks were harvested in 2010 than in 2009, according to the data from 35 states compiled in the 2012 Whitetail Report. In general, of the 35 states they received data from for the past two seasons, 54 percent of them shot more antlered bucks in 2010 than in 2009.

Antlered Buck Harvest

n Buck harvest for all the regions of the United States in 2010 was 2,776,867. Canada’s total harvest for six provinces (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan) was 116,147.

n The top five states for the 2010 antlered buck harvest were Texas with 357,378 bucks, Michigan (212,341), Georgia (155,255), Wisconsin (148,378) and Alabama (129,000).

n The top five states for 2010 buck harvest per square mile were Texas at 5.8 bucks per square mile, South Carolina (4.8), Wisconsin (4.4), Indiana (4.3) and Georgia (4.1).

In the Northeast, hunters shot 479,188 antlered bucks. This was 3 percent fewer than in 2009, but nine of 13 states actually shot more bucks in 2010. The lower total buck harvest was largely due to West Virginia shooting 27 percent fewer bucks in 2010. The largest mast crop on record and extreme rain in parts of the state during the first two days of the season significantly reduced West Virginia hunters’ success.

Virginia also shot 12 percent fewer bucks while Pennsylvania (plus-13 percent), Delaware (plus-15 percent) and Rhode Island (plus-28 percent) all enjoyed banner years. Numerically, Pennsylvania shot the most bucks (122,930), followed by New York (106,960) and Virginia (95,831). The Northeast averaged shooting 2.1 bucks per square mile and ranged from 0.4 buck in Maine to 3.8 per square mile in Maryland and New Jersey.

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Outdoors
  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041314 Ellis.jpg Spring break is an attitude

    Finally, warmer weather has arrived to the Mountain State. I’m told, it’s socially acceptable to be late nowadays and there is even a term for it — being fashionably late. Of course, I have also been told that camo is the new black in fashion. I don’t care much for tardiness, or for fashion for that matter, but I am perfectly content with the weather forecaster’s report as of late. And if wearing camouflage is trendy, I will fit in just nicely at any social gathering.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coming soon to a garden near you: Hummingbirds!

    One of the things I look forward to each spring is the northbound migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds. Until 1997, that meant waiting until one showed up at my feeders. But that year a website (www.hummingbirds.net/map.html), began mapping hummers as they moved north.

    April 13, 2014

  • Morel mushrooms are a W.Va. delicacy, but be careful

    The morel mushroom is one of West Virginia’s best-known delicacies that grows wild in the woods statewide. Mushroom hunting is a wonderful way to get exercise and be in the outdoors at the same time. There is no expense involved, and a bag is all that is needed.

    April 13, 2014

  • 041014 Turkey Call Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: the mystical world of calling

    Do you think that calling wild turkeys into shotgun range is some sort of art form that can never be yours?

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing is a good way to introduce kids to the outdoors

    Few experiences are more rewarding than introducing a child to the outdoors. I remember teaching my daughters at the age of 3 to recognize the voice of a barred owl — “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all!” They were amazed they could identify a bird without seeing it.

    April 6, 2014

  • ‘A river runs through it’

    He was a natural at reading water. Whether in a kayak, a whitewater raft or a fishing boat, he simply saw water differently than most. He was good, no doubt about it. When I was learning to row a raft down whitewater, I asked him for his guidance. He would sit in the back of the raft coaching me on waters and their currents. With his help, I too began to see the waters differently and read the river.

    April 6, 2014

  • 040314 turkey feather Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step two — scouting

    So you want more hero pictures this year crouched behind a big gobbler fanning his tail out? Either that or the ever popular gripping him around the neck and straining to hold up his 20 plus pounds?

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • 033014 Ellis.jpg Sportsmen’s tax dollars prove very beneficial

    If you enjoy wildlife recreation and conservation, you may want to find the nearest sportsman in your neighborhood and shake their hand. Ultimately, it’s their spending of dollars on the equipment to fuel the passion of the lifestyle they cherish that brings in millions of dollars to our state for wildlife.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • You may know more bird songs than you think

    Early migrants began returning several weeks ago. Turkey vultures, killdeer, and phoebes were probably as befuddled by the late winter weather as we were. But by early April, we should be safe from any more extended cold snaps. And that means the parade of returning migratory birds will accelerate every week.

    March 30, 2014

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    Click HERE for stories about natural gas and Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    Click HERE for stories about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

    Click HERE for stories about the passing of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

    Click HERE for stories from The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.

    August 6, 2010

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