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Buck harvest drops more than 7% in 2023 season

SOUTH CHARELSTON — The West Virginia DNR reports the overall harvest during the two-week buck hunting season in West Virginia was down 7.5% from the 2022 harvest.

West Virginia hunters killed 45,155 antlered deer during the season Nov. 20-Dec. 3.

“The harvest during the 2023 traditional buck firearm season was expected to be lower than that of 2022,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section. “Average hard mast indices paired with bad weather during the opening few days of the buck firearms season probably hindered the success of many hunters this season. All areas of the state registered an average decrease of 11%, with the exception of the southeastern areas that had an increase of 19% from the 2022 harvest.”

The top 10 counties for the 2023 buck harvest were Greenbrier (1,892), Randolph (1,604), Preston (1,413), Pendleton (1,413), Monroe (1,396), Braxton (1,394), Hardy (1,329), Kanawha (1,242), Pocahontas (1,236) and Fayette (1,226).

WVDNR reminds hunters that several days of deer hunting opportunity remain for 2023, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow season, which runs through Dec. 31.

The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open Dec. 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season. This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season Dec. 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties. See the 2023–24 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit for county and area listings.