DeerBuilder.com
Bowhunter Survey Results
West Virginia
Contributors to this thread:
Little Bear 21-Nov-17
hookman 21-Nov-17
Little Bear 22-Nov-17
hookman 22-Nov-17
David Mitchell 22-Nov-17
Babysaph 22-Nov-17
David Mitchell 22-Nov-17
Little Bear 22-Nov-17
JayD 22-Nov-17
babysaph 22-Nov-17
David Mitchell 23-Nov-17
sundaynwv 24-Nov-17
gobbler 25-Nov-17
Little Bear 25-Nov-17
JayD 25-Nov-17
gobbler 26-Nov-17
babysaph 26-Nov-17
babysaph 26-Nov-17
JayD 26-Nov-17
JayD 26-Nov-17
Rutbuster 26-Nov-17
WV Mountaineer 26-Nov-17
gobbler 26-Nov-17
JayD 26-Nov-17
Rutbuster 26-Nov-17
gobbler 26-Nov-17
JayD 27-Nov-17
sundaynwv 27-Nov-17
sundaynwv 27-Nov-17
Babysaph 27-Nov-17
gobbler 27-Nov-17
woodstick 27-Nov-17
JayD 27-Nov-17
gobbler 27-Nov-17
JayD 27-Nov-17
sundaynwv 28-Nov-17
shakyheadsabol 28-Nov-17
sundaynwv 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
shakyheadsabol 28-Nov-17
Rutbuster 28-Nov-17
woodstick 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
shakyheadsabol 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
shakyheadsabol 28-Nov-17
WV Mountaineer 28-Nov-17
sundaynwv 28-Nov-17
WV Mountaineer 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
WV Mountaineer 28-Nov-17
JayD 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
gobbler 28-Nov-17
shakyheadsabol 29-Nov-17
gobbler 29-Nov-17
Babysaph 29-Nov-17
sportoutfitter 30-Nov-17
JayD 30-Nov-17
sundaynwv 30-Nov-17
sundaynwv 01-Dec-17
JayD 01-Dec-17
JayD 01-Dec-17
sundaynwv 01-Dec-17
gobbler 01-Dec-17
sundaynwv 01-Dec-17
sundaynwv 01-Dec-17
gobbler 01-Dec-17
JayD 02-Dec-17
gobbler 02-Dec-17
JayD 02-Dec-17
gobbler 02-Dec-17
WV Mountaineer 07-Dec-17
sundaynwv 07-Dec-17
WV Mountaineer 31-Dec-17
sundaynwv 01-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 01-Jan-18
sundaynwv 02-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 02-Jan-18
From: Little Bear
21-Nov-17
I tallied my bowhunter survey since it ended on Nov. 20th. Found results kind of interesting. 75 hours spent in the stand. 6 spikes, 6 bucks with at least forks and 23 doe/fawns (some of which may have been buttons). From my observations that would be a 2 to 1 ratio. I hope others will be returning the completed surveys to DNR.

From: hookman
21-Nov-17
I just got mine ready to mail although I don't understand why it don't go to Dec. 31st. I do a lot of late season hunting and in all the seasons you are allowed to with a bow. Probably not worth the extra paper I guess.

From: Little Bear
22-Nov-17
I've asked that a lot and never got a good reason. I thought the observations would be interesting to see if deer sightings dropped off during/after gun seasons. How many bucks seen late season that will probably make it to next year...

From: hookman
22-Nov-17
Exactly.

22-Nov-17
Well, I agree that they should carry it over to the end of the seasons since they ask several questions about gun season hunting. My bow hunting this season is so far the least I have done in all the years I have bow hunted I guess. Several reasons contributed to that. Don't get to hunt with some of my best old hunting buddies any more and not too much of a solo hunter. I still really enjoy archery a bunch though.

From: Babysaph
22-Nov-17
Dave I went through that. I used to have a circle of 8-10 friends that I shot and hunted with. Most no longer hunt. I made a decision to hunt by myself. I enjoy Bowhunting so it was either do that or sit home. I actually found I like it much more. Can do my own thing and don't have to depend on anyone else. I am also waaaay more successful. Don't give it up if you really enjoy it.

22-Nov-17
Thanks, JR. I am trying to recalibrate. :o)

From: Little Bear
22-Nov-17
It's like Dave read my mind. My response on this year's survery was... "What's with all the questions about gun hunting on a bowhunter survey." I know most are multi-weapon hunters but it is a bowhunter survey. I've never participated in the spring gobbler survey but do they ask if the hunter shoots predators or traps?

From: JayD
22-Nov-17
JR totally agree with ya - most everyone I hunted with went to using a crossbow or stopped hunting and my father passed away and Uncle and others we use to hunt with stop because they are up in years so I just hunt by myself now. Step son lives in another state and my youngest daughter hunts some but is so active in other sports she only goes out a day or 2. I miss hunting with others but love bowhunting too much to give it up. I don’t do much traveling to hunt these days but most mornings or evening I am in a tree that is within walking distance of the house.

From: babysaph
22-Nov-17
I hear ya JayD. It has not been the same since my dad passed away. We had lots of tradition. I do the same thing. I just hunt by myself close to my cabin. I like to go get away and hunt scrubby ole mtn deer. I can also hunt out my back door and kill bigger deer but its not the same to me. The area here in Jefferson county has grown up so much and the deer have no where to go so they are really easy to hunt. small wood lots and stuff. I just like getting away. good luck guys

23-Nov-17
I would love to be able to step out of my back door and hunt. If I could no doubt I would go more often, but I have to travel about 40 miles to my hunting spot. That doesn't encourage a quick morning hunt. Just thankful I have a kind landowner who is gracious to allow me to hunt his beautiful place.

From: sundaynwv
24-Nov-17
50% of bucks being spikes? That directly correlates with years of info from previous bowhunter surveys. Ouch.

From: gobbler
25-Nov-17
Sounds like an average afternoon hunt on my farm.

From: Little Bear
25-Nov-17
50% being bucks...sounds like good stock for next year. I'm an optimist.

From: JayD
25-Nov-17

JayD's Link
The 2 weeks before gun season I saw 37 different bucks and about 15 antlerless deer. 2 of the bucks were spikes and there was one little broken forkhorn. The rest were either basket racks or nice mature bucks. Wow find it amazing with all the qdma going on and there are so many spikes.

From: gobbler
26-Nov-17
Why don’t we wait for the other 3-4 hundred out of 150,000 bowhunters reports before we jump to the conclusion that everything is perfect based on one report.

From: babysaph
26-Nov-17
Wow JayD. That is great. You must be doing well on your management plans. I have no where near those ratios on my Jefferson or Pendleton county properties

From: babysaph
26-Nov-17
Wow JayD. That is great. You must be doing well on your management plans. I have no where near those ratios on my Jefferson or Pendleton county properties

From: JayD
26-Nov-17
I don’t know what the link is so don’t hit it. I did not add a link to my previous post

From: JayD
26-Nov-17
JR - don’t get me wrong I work hard at improving my land and work with neighbors here on improving things but the week to two weeks before gun season has always been similar to that for me no matter where I have hunted. Otter Creek Wilderness area, Sleepy Creek or Grace property. I always seem to see more bucks those two weeks than what I see does. Rest of season it is completely opposite though.

From: Rutbuster
26-Nov-17
I believe those sightings would be because of rut activity. Those are the best 2 weeks to be in the woods hunting in my opinion.

26-Nov-17
Those sightings are no doubt a result of rutting activity. Which was the point he was making.

I know I wasn't the only one to read the Charleston Gazette on Tuesday of last week. Seems like the reports from check stations are backing up what the DNR has been saying for a while now. That the majority of gun harvested bucks are 2.5 years old and older.

Seems to me that no matter how many times that gets said by the DNR, some dismiss it repeatedly. Over and, Over, and Over again. Kinda makes me wander about some people.

God Bless men

From: gobbler
26-Nov-17
Since no data has been collected(except for CWD zone) for 2 years I don’t know where The gazette got the data unless they have been aging deer themselves the last 2 years. I tend not to believe everything I read in the paper. This year we will have data from 2 counties. I will still question the data because as they said in article a lot of hunters didn’t know about it and the fact that I think the average hunter is less likely to haul a spike to check station than a nice 10 point.

If someone has any data from last two years outside of CWD zone please share, I think we all would love to see it.

I do think the buck age structure has slowly improved for 3 reasons. The first is that the “earn a buck” regulations is taking some pressure off the bucks and allowing some to live longer and getting more does killed where they need to be killed to balance the herd. The second and good reason is that hunters are becoming more selective in what they kill. The third and bad reason is that we are selling less and less licenses and that is not good for the DNR in the future.

From: JayD
26-Nov-17
My hunch is that with an upturn in WV’s economy that should start happening soon with companies like Proctor and Gamble opening soon and the investment from China in shale - I bet we see in upturn in license sales over the next several years.

Gobbler your list is pretty good: for years management in WV by a good number of people was just putting bait out rather it be corn, apples, a bag of acorn rage or a mineral block. We will continue to see improvement without having to turn our tags or weapons in and just use camera - some groups almost make me think they are a sister group of PETA anymore.

From: Rutbuster
26-Nov-17
JayD

What groups would be comparable to PETA? You lost me on that statement. I think management is cultural mind set that takes a long time to achieve. WV just happens to be one of those states that take longer than most to make changes whether right or wrong.

From: gobbler
26-Nov-17
Yes, that is confusing

From: JayD
27-Nov-17
I am saying we will continue to see improvement even though there are certain groups/group that wants you to believe WV should follow some magical myth theories we should rely on because a couple of other states do it. WV Mountaineer was correct no matter how many times something is shown - some will not believe it or deny it. Heck we still have many on here who believe there are a slew of WV hunters who kill 3 spikes each year - when the numbers say otherwise. So if they know this is being done more than what is reported than it is a poaching problem and not a limit problem. So I say this tends to follow the gun control crowd in where we banned guns from all even though it is outlaw that is the problem and won’t follow any bans or additional laws. I just think some groups here in WV have more in common with their ways of thinking with PETA.

From: sundaynwv
27-Nov-17

sundaynwv's embedded Photo
sundaynwv's embedded Photo
PETA? Sensationalism? Magical myth? I'm not sure if lowering a limit is a myth or a biological practice of population dynamics. Surely, Kentucky didn't feel as if they were following a magical myth when they lowered their buck limit around 1990. Surely, they don't feel their results are products of unicorns and rainbows but rather sound biological decisions.

Probably not many hunters killing three spikes a year but we still have many seasoned hunters that are killing small bucks because they can still kill another or even a third. Many times that Hunter takes that small buck instead of a doe because that small buck was included on the base license but harvesting a doe cost that Hunter more money.

Adding a doe on the base license allows meat hunters to put their money where their mouth is and truly hunt for meat without paying additional for a class N stamp.

That alone would probably shift to finally taking more doe's than bucks because we have been living in a magical myth of unsound biology by killing more Bucks than does since 1993.

From: sundaynwv
27-Nov-17

sundaynwv's embedded Photo
sundaynwv's embedded Photo
Is it getting better? Here's some check station results before going electronic.

54% of harvest are yearling bucks at that check station? At the absolute minimum 20% of harvest are spikes and we don't even have info for a year.

From: Babysaph
27-Nov-17
Oh that makes sense JayD

From: gobbler
27-Nov-17
JayD, PETA? Really? You are better than that !

From: woodstick
27-Nov-17
That's a thought, Sundaynwv. Why can't firearms tags be like archery and muzzleloader? Let base license be either sex ,as allowed by current populations, and sell additional deer tags. Set buck and doe limits per county and tags are either sex until limits are reached (if they are reached).

From: JayD
27-Nov-17
Seriously gobbler - asking if better than that - let’s see peta doesn’t want me shooting deer - another group doesn’t want me shooting a second buck - ummm they sort of lean that way. Good gracious is this forum becoming snowflakes? Sunday - your example of hunter not killing younger buck if there is a limit - in that scenario is there any thoughts on the 75 to 80% of hunters that are not successful passing on the same buck that you or I might pass on? You know I read an interest blog on KY and the one buck limit - a highly know deer manager was talking with a former KY biologist about the state and how rampant poaching had KY in dire situations in the 80’s - said Now the limit would not matter you would see the same results right now - talked of lack of public land and high percentage of private land and large parcels of land and hunters or practicing better land management were the key factors. So when bucks don’t have to travel far to be on your neighbors land, we have twice as much public land, areas that we do have some large parcels of land but have hundreds of hunters on it and you really think we will get same results and not the results PA had under one and done before they applied AR’s.

Sunday - the past several years did KY harvest more does than bucks?

Also on wv harvest - maybe you can answer this gobbler - I saw the report for last year and it showed bucks harvest during firearms season and then antlerless but then it lost muzzleloader and archery kills without the breakdown between does or buck for the later two. So when you include muzzleloader and archery kills are more does killed than bucks then???

From: gobbler
27-Nov-17
JayD, I like and respect you but I still think you are in left field on the PETA comparison. I’m 100% confident that hunters wanting a lower buck limit would kill a 140 10 point if given the chance and be proud of it. Having seasons and any limit at all is restricting people’s ability to kill Deer. In your scenario people wanting anything less than a year long season with no limits would qualify someone as a “snowflake”. Give me 1 scientific study that shows that a 3 buck limit is some type of “gold standard “ as the “perfect” number for a buck limit. But I’ll save u some time and tell u that no such study exists. It is 100% subjective. On the other hand there are examples and studies that suggest a lower buck limit along with adequate doe harvest results in a healthier, more balanced buck/doe ratio, better buck age structure, as well as improved natural habitat and a better diversified forest in terms of plant and tree species.

As far as the archery and Muzzleloader question , I would like to see the breakdown on that also. I have requested a breakdown on buck/doe numbers the last 2 years to be included in the annual big game report. It hasn’t and the reason I received is that it would require too much space. For the record, I don’t accept that as a valid reason. I think the public deserves to be provided that information.

From: JayD
27-Nov-17
Well first off gobbler - I understand why you think I am in left field because you are one that favors one and done - and that is fine we have a difference of opinion. You know studies and research are funny things - how much research from years ago has been debunked during these days? You know these fellas today doing the research learned from the guys who told us spikes were inferior deer - right? I totally agree with you that too many deer ( normally does and fawn) is not a good thing. But where we disagree is how you get the buck to doe ratio closer together. These days people always want to use KY and OH - there are so many reasons why they produce nice bucks but prove to me that the one lucky charm reason was a one buck limit. So we eliminate that they have very little public land? Do we eliminate that most of the land is private and large parcels? Pretty easy to control numbers when you can allow who hunts where! Seriously - we have twice as much public land as either - if I recall even if you put both KY and OH together that fall just short of WV with public land available for hunting and they each are almost twice the size of WV! Here in WV - where would you say the best hunting is for deer is - on public land or private land? So back to eliminating things because one buck limit is that lucky charm wonder drug management practice - read where a lot of the qdma stuff started in KY - when did it start in WV? Heck I think it just started here! And another thing let’s talk about land type: and I am not saying WV cannot grow big deer but do you really think that WV being close to 75 to 78 % forest will compete with KY and OH which I think are like 45% and 31% forest? Do our forest have good mast years every year? Seriously saying a one buck limit was the turn around for those states cracks me up! I said it before and I will say it again - to most WV Hunters even to this day - deer management is throwing a bag of corn out on the ground but it is changing and we will see steady improvement with more of us improving our timber and land management. I do think both states were leaps and bounds ahead of us there. Until a certain groups understand it is more than buck limits - there will be people like me reminding them everyday. Of course it would be a lot cheaper for me to agree with the one buck limit - same for you gobbler because we can forget about all that work we do on our land to improve it because age is all that matters - all we will have to do is go out and sing happy birthday to the bucks each year.... oh and maybe click our heels together 3 times! ROFL almost forgot I can tell all my farming friends to forget about feeding their herd or fertilizing their field - age will make their animals massive! Since it works with deer it should other animals as well right?

From: sundaynwv
28-Nov-17
So about Kentucky, a one buck limit, land available to hunt, percent forested, etc.

Kentucky was just like wv until they implemented a one buck limit. It's the only variable that changed. Had same amount of land before and after, relatively same amount of hunters as a trend, same amount of private/public land, same amount of forest BUT DIFFERENT RESULTS.

As far as your example with a one buck limit what about 75 to 80% of hunters that are not successful passing on the same buck that you or I might pass on? Please prove to me that in that same scenario they are NOT being killed with a two or three buck limit. I would reason that deer I pass on are more likely to be killed by another Hunter if that Hunter has the opportunity to take two or three bucks than if that Hunter has the opportunity to harvest one buck.

JayD, you argue we won't see the results of other states with a one buck limit but fail to correlate your own arguments with why a multiple buck limit fails.

As far as snowflakes, you are the one bringing up PETA and comparing a sect of hunters than want more out of their hunting experience with a sect of people that want no hunting experience. Dramatic don't you think?

28-Nov-17
wv will never, ever, be a tropy state, with exception of the bowhunting counties and that is only because there is what, 2 deer per square mile? you could put the limit at one buck and make it 4 points on each side and the very best you would see is what you are seeing now with whats going on today with lower hunter participation and people being more selective. we have too many deer and our foundation is nothing but rock underneath the soil. we will never compare to the Midwest, ever. all those tropy bucks back in the day were a product of very few deer per square mile. 6000 acres here in moco virtually untouched by human footprint and the best the landowners can do is 150? why? too many dam deer. that same property in iowa? over 200 inch deer, easy. 6000 acres here and MAYBE 3 people hunt it. nobody is shooting spikes, nobody is shooting their 3 bucks a year. I cant understand why there is not more focus on stopping the stuff like dnr busting a person for having 7 bucks in possession last week. we need to support the dnr, our officers, and figure out a way to stop the rampant poaching before even thinking about making this a state for you trophy hunters to play in.

From: sundaynwv
28-Nov-17

sundaynwv's embedded Photo
sundaynwv's embedded Photo
Wyoming County had an archery harvest of 1.8 deer per square mile in 2016 so I hope the area has more than two deer per square mile.

I agree we have too many deer in places. How do you reduce that? By taking does. Take some pressure off bucks and put pressure on does.

I'm not concerned about 200 inch deer. Mature deer would be nice though. An adequate buck to doe ratio would be nice.

As far as poaching, it's our job as sportsmen to turn them in. It's the nr po job to arrest them with a magistrate conviction. We already have laws so that is not the answer.

As far as soil and nutrition, here is an interesting pic.

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
Sabol, if u look at bowhunting county totals u will see that a couple of the bowhunting counties are in the top 10 as far as harvest and that is with a max yearly limit of 1 buck and 1 doe. As far as poaching efforts, I, along with some help was able to get the enhanced penalties for trophy Deer passed several years ago, and got a Wanton Waste bill introduced last session and hope it will make it thru this year. Every state has poaching problems and all u can do is make it hurt when they get caught.

Sunday’s , map is interesting. The DNR did this map about 3 years ago. It shows that the majority of WV has high quality Deer habitat. There were a number of factors that differentiated high quality vs low quality habitat.

I think the biggest take away from the map is that some of the lowest quality deer habitat is producing the majority of the biggest deer in the state.

28-Nov-17
because the ratio is closer to one to one and there are way way fewer deer in these areas, but with adequate food to feed what is there. correct me if im wrong but didn't the state introduce non wv deer to this area many moons ago? like MI deer or something? I applaude your efforts in helping with the poaching. you are absolutely right, the only way to reduce or deter is to put the fear of god in them.

From: Rutbuster
28-Nov-17
This subject may be better than debating religion or politics. LOL. I can't wait until the off season gets here and things really heat up.

From: woodstick
28-Nov-17
Part of the reason we have a balanced ratio is because we have a balanced bag limit. 2 deer can be taken only one can be antlered. The whole point of antlered only hunting was to raise the population while allowing hunting.

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
Sabol, I may be wrong but I think the majority of the Deer introduced to this area came from Blennerhassett island which is an island in the Ohio river not far from Parkersburg. So they technically were WV Deer although they were very close to OH.

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
JayD, I am not hard core one and done. I think there are several options available. I do think the limit should be less than 3 however.

28-Nov-17
oh okay. when I was a kid a friend shot one on cold knob and that thing looked like it came out of Canada lol. we called the warden and, don't quote me because it was 30 years ago, but I remember something about him saying they brought some in from somewhere up that way like MI or somewhere. whatever this thing was, it definitely was not from wv. kinda muley looking and it had to be 300 plus pounds. darker head and the rack, well, it was massive.

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
To the best of my recollection there were some Michigan Deer released in the cold knob area many, many decades ago, maybe in the 50s??? I thought u were asking about the 4 bow counties.

28-Nov-17
I was. I just figured maybe they planted them both places

28-Nov-17
Jay D, your question about killing more does than bucks is a good one. And, one that I have addressed over the years. By my redneck, hillbilly calculations, we have been killing more does than bucks since about 2009.

It has been stated that buck to doe ratio's are way out of whack in this state. I'm smart enough to know that ratio differs from area to area. But, if we use a 1:7 statewide ratio, which many claim is way to low for their area, it starts to become very apparent that gap of killing more does versus bucks is getting large when that ratio is applied to the muzzleloader and bow harvests.

In 2016 there were 46, 071 bucks killed during firearms season. 32,508 antlerless deer, 4997 muzzleloader deer, and 28,808 bow and crossbow kills.. To start off with, the bucks killed equaled 13, 562 more than registered antlerless deer. But, when you apply a 1 buck kill for every 7 does killed to the muzzleloader and bow tally of 33805, you end up with 5071 bucks and 28734 does killed. That brings the tally to a grand total of 51142 bucks killed with all weapons and, 57542 does killed with all weapons.

Now, that is using an unknown number but, it is the only way to surmise a number without the true data. But, with the "horrible" sex ratio of our deer herd a HUGE component of the regulation change group, I don't see why this isn't a relevant way of figuring it. Better herd health is what we all claim to want. And, sex ratio is a big factor in that. So, if it is good enough to be used as their indicator, than it has to be considered good enough to be used to estimate this in my mind. Besides, if the buck to doe ratio is as bad as some on here claim in their areas, that gap just widened even more for more does harvested versus bucks.

God Bless men

From: sundaynwv
28-Nov-17
Did you miss the DNR's own deer harvest graph? I have no idea why you used a 1 to 7 ratio for muzzleloader and archery. Archery is buck heavy. Muzzleloader is doe heavy. I posted last year's numbers on here before for archery and muzzleloader.

28-Nov-17
Post them again. I don't spend much time here anymore due to the endless broken record. So, yes, I missed it.

Just a couple more things, do the ratio with whatever realistic number you want. It still comes out killing more does than bucks. The reason I used the 1:7 was based on the responses from members here in the past. People have had a bad habit of deleting thread responses, etc... So, I tend to copy and paste certain posts and save them in Word document for further use. Hence, the average I came up with. One last tid-bit of relevant info, regardless of what the harvest is per segment, the average applies on the sex ratio. That's why it is an average.

If the DNR has released what they think buck to doe ratio is, paste it please and we will use their estimate. Warning though, for everything 1:4 and worse, the harvest numbers favor more does being killed. And, since our DNR has done such a dismal job of management, I'm pretty sure that we likely aren't 1:4 statewide. If the DNR proves me wrong, then the discussion is over. Problem solved. Right?

God Bless men

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
You actually copy and paste posts and save them in word document? Buddy, I think you need to get a hobby. Have you ever tried golf? :^)

28-Nov-17
No, I do not need any more hobbies. However, the internet is a place that gives a lot of people bravado. I'm a running encyclopedia of info and, wise cracks. Plus insults and, insinuations. Another reason I do it is, I have dedicated a lot of time to the math and research of this subject in a lot of states. And, frankly got tired of doing it again every three or four months when this topic would be brought back up. It is simply cliff notes basically. But, the biggest reason is about three years ago, I called Cory a liar indirectly. Claiming something I had confused him as saying when he didn't. I don't like to be wrong but, I hate to incorrectly label someone with something they didn't say or didn't do. Gracefully, he accepted my apology. I'll never be that person again by my own doing. That's important to me. God Bless men

From: JayD
28-Nov-17
Watch the golf comment there - your better than that! LOL jk

I can tell you what I have observe here for a bit - I think our DNR does a pretty good job. I don’t agree with all they do but I trust them. I think there are some here that don’t and would rather put there trust in politicians of all things and that is scary to me! Occasionally I glance at certain hunting sites on social media and it actually scares me to see the direction that hunting is headed for. I think our DNR tries to give us the best bang for our bucks and tries to keep hunting affordable for the average joe. I think others could actually careless for the average joe because they want to see their ideas adhered to and if not they stir the hornets nest. From what I have seen a one buck limit cost the hunter more for less product to put it in business terms. Just like on this site - in another post on here how someone has put another hunter down - its pretty common to see that on a certain site because someone does not follow their idea of deer management even though it was a legal kill. Again it scares me to see the direction we are heading towards...

As to buck limits - can you tell me there are not states that are not just as good and/or better than KY or OH that have multiple buck limits?

Gobbler i agree with some of the things you said about what is helping to improve deer management here: I like the earn a buck program - I think it would be great to require a picture of the doe to be quite honest with you. I will take things a step farther I would love to see a button buck counted towards your buck limit. But most important of all - I want to see the timber and land management policies improve in our state.

Unlike some on here who think more regulations and money is needed - I think more education and stricter punishment toward poachers would help substantially. I think government run agencies have been a great help for our wildlife but i think the greatest contributors towards our wildlife has been the private individuals (landowners and hunters). I think here in WV we were behind in that area but it is getting better.

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
Sabol, here is a good article about stocking out of state Deer and the results. The Case of the Vanishing Wisconsin Deer Genetics August 14, 2012 | By Lindsay Thomas Jr. georgia_dnr_restocking__large

“We’ve got big whitetails because this area was restocked with deer from Wisconsin.”

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a statement like this one, and if you hunt in the South like I do, you’ve heard it too. There’s probably no genetic connection whatsoever between Wisconsin stockers and present-day deer, but facts rarely get in the way of a good story.

That’s right, I said there’s probably little or no genetic connection between Wisconsin deer stocked decades ago in the South and the deer that exist at those sites today. That statement will shock some people, so let me introduce you to the DNA research that supports my argument.

In the mid 1900s, whitetails were restored to much of their former American range through restocking efforts. According to restocking records, most of the deer did not cross state lines: The majority were captured and moved from one area to another within a single state. However, out-of-state transfers occurred as well, and Wisconsin was the leading donor, especially in the South. For example, Wisconsin donated 309 deer to Arkansas, 616 to Florida, 439 to Georgia, 300 to Kentucky, 363 to Louisiana, 358 to Mississippi, 167 to North Carolina, 662 to Tennessee, 369 to Virginia, and 447 to West Virginia. These deer weren’t dumped in one location in each state but scattered out in small stockings in several locations over time (the counties of the stockings, and numbers of deer, are listed for each state in A History of White-Tailed Deer Restocking in the U.S.).

Restocking was huge news among hunters in these states at the time, and many older hunters still fondly recall the first deer track they saw in their area as deer populations recovered. Word spread among hunters about local stockings, especially if the deer came from Wisconsin, and those stories passed into legend. Decades later, hunters still refer to those old stocking events with reverence and as a way of explaining big whitetails killed today.

To believe there is a genetic connection spanning 50 years or more, you first have to assume the Wisconsin deer survived and thrived. Then you have to assume they dominated reproduction in the local area despite competition from other genetic strains of deer. Most hunters don’t realize there was a lot of competition.

Records clearly reveal that the majority of stocked deer came from in-state sites where deer had managed to hold on in sustainable numbers. For example, Tennessee got 662 deer from Wisconsin but trapped and transferred 7,679 deer within its own borders. Georgia got 439 from Wisconsin but moved 2,204 within the state. Kentucky: 300 vs. 8,710. Arkansas: 309 vs. 2,702. North Carolina: 167 vs. 3,319. And so on. Every single southern state accomplished restocking by relying far more on deer from within its own boundaries than on deer from out of state. In most cases, deer from both in-state and out-of-state sources were released in the same counties.

To find out if those Wisconsin deer survived, thrived, competed, produced offspring, and left genetic traces still visible in today’s deer, you’d need to study whitetail DNA. Researchers did that.

Collaborators from Mississippi State and Texas A&M Universities, as well as the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Oklahoma, studied the DNA of hundreds of deer harvested by hunters at 16 different locations scattered all over the state of Mississippi (which historically, by the way, received 358 deer from Wisconsin and moved 2,491 deer within its own borders).

They found that the 16 deer populations could be separated into two distinct genetic groups.

One of these groups was genetically similar to deer from the Leaf River Refuge in southeast Mississippi – which had been one source of live deer restocked throughout the state. Leaf River itself had previously been restocked with whitetails from Mexico before it served as a source of deer for additional restocking efforts in other areas of the state.

The other distinct group was genetically similar to deer at sites in Mississippi where whitetails had never been wiped out – in other words, native Mississippi deer.

The researchers did not find a single population that was genetically similar to the Wisconsin stocking source, despite the fact that more than 350 deer were brought from Wisconsin during the restocking era and released at sites in Mississippi.

Why did Wisconsin genetics fade out while deer from Leaf River Refuge (with Mexican whitetail genetics) and from other sites within Mississippi dominated? Dr. Randy DeYoung, a doctoral candidate at Mississippi State University when he conducted the study and now a professor at Texas A&M-Kingsville, offered these thoughts in a 2004 Quality Whitetails article:

“One reason may be that northern deer are known to be more highly susceptible than southern deer to some diseases, such as hemorrhagic disease. The Wisconsin deer and their offspring may have died out before they could influence the genetic makeup of local populations. Or it may be that big-bodied Yankee deer wearing heavy fur coats just didn’t fare as well as their smaller southern cousins in steamy Mississippi.

“Whatever the reason,” Randy said, “time seems to have erased any contribution the Wisconsin deer may have made.”

While this study only looked at Mississippi, I believe it’s likely such studies would find the same thing in other southern states. Throughout the South, the recipe was the same: a handful of Wisconsin whitetails sprinkled in with much larger numbers of deer that were native to the state or at least to the South. These “local” deer were much better equipped and adapted to survive and thrive after the move.

Hunters who believe they see Wisconsin deer today in the beds of Southern pickup trucks are making the assumption that any deer shipped in from an exotic location and turned loose will not only survive but reproduce, and that over time those genes will thrive and compete with genes from locally adapted deer. Considering the Mississippi study, this is a leap we just can’t make.

So, how do we explain those outstanding bucks in pickup beds? They are as much or more a product of quality year-round nutrition and age. Wherever your local deer genetics came from, you can’t change them. But you can change nutrition and age through Quality Deer Management: increase numbers of mature bucks by protecting young ones, balance the sex ratio, and provide quality nutrition year-round through sound habitat management techniques. Then you can say:

“We’ve got big whitetails in this area because we produce them on our own through Quality Deer Management.”

From: gobbler
28-Nov-17
JayD, yeah I know, the golf comment was kinda weak. LOL

29-Nov-17
interesting article, thank you for sharing

From: gobbler
29-Nov-17
You’re welcome

From: Babysaph
29-Nov-17
I think the key to quality deer management is getting rid of all of those inferior spikes so they don't pass on their spike genes to the rest of the herd. I am doing my part. LOL

30-Nov-17
Careful. We're evil doers if we kill a spike. :)

From: JayD
30-Nov-17
Sportoutfitter - hunting in todays world is confusing - sort of like how the cops are the bad guys now and the bad guys are super heroes. First off we all need to understand that hunting is just a recreation sport like football, soccer or baseball. I was taught this by friend on here last night. So deer are just like a ball or better yet like a PlayStation. You see the ball analogy was probably wrong on my part (because i still am in the learning stages of becoming a hunter in todays world) because with balls you can play with any size ball and it is normally ok - whether it be a big ole beach ball or little ole ping pong ball. So again the ball was a bad analogy even though it is a form of recreation because with hunting as you just pointed out in your post - size is suppose to matter in today’s hunting world. You see in today’s world - hunting for meat is like the furthest thing away in the world for the the reason why we hunt - again hunting is like a PlayStation when you play like a zombie killing game and you play just to kill things - that is what hunting is about and the reason you play it is to score a lot of points! Oh and if you happen to kill a ball — crap I mean if you happen to kill a deer - you get some meat out of it but who really cares because the reason for hunting is because we WANT to play a sport and just kill something for the fun recreational sport hunting has become! ROFL sorry guys just couldn’t help myself after some of last night posts. All of the above was written in jest so I hope I don’t offend anyone!

From: sundaynwv
30-Nov-17
Yet another misconstrue and run with it.

From: sundaynwv
01-Dec-17
WvMountaineer,

Why would you use a made up buck to doe ratio as a kill ratio for archery and muzzleloader.

I looked up the 2016 breakdown of archery and my. Archery 64% buck, 16,975 bucks and 9548 does.

Muzzleloader 37% buck, 1848bucks and 3148 does

That's a total of 18,823 bucks and 12,696 does in archery and my season.

Ad that to your gun kills and you get a total of 64,894 bucks and 45,204 does. That's a 58.9 percent buck harvest.

From: JayD
01-Dec-17
How do the 2016 figures compare to KY?

From: JayD
01-Dec-17

JayD's embedded Photo
JayD's embedded Photo
Never mind I found it.

From: sundaynwv
01-Dec-17
Different state and different goals. They have less deer per square mile so they don't have a biological need to harvest more doe's than bucks. If they had a three buck limit it would be even greater. And you can't say but the average Hunter only kills 1.33 deer a year because that is a partial byproduct of their one buck limit.

I'm just glad they have such info readily available.

From: gobbler
01-Dec-17
JayD, KY has 4 different Deer zones . Based upon increasing deer herd , decreasing deer herd , or maintaining deer herd. In zone 4 which covers about a third of eastern KY there is no gun season for does(except a youth hunt) so it’s not comparing apples to apples.

From: sundaynwv
01-Dec-17

sundaynwv's embedded Photo
sundaynwv's embedded Photo
If you are trying to correlate to a one buck limit, here's some other states with one buck limits.

From: sundaynwv
01-Dec-17

sundaynwv's embedded Photo
sundaynwv's embedded Photo
Or Ohio numbers. Both one buck states with a heavy doe harvest.

From: gobbler
01-Dec-17
Maryland, even with a higher buck limit of 3 with the 3rd requiring st least 3 points on one side killed 30,326 bucks last year and 54,867 antlerless Deer. But in most of state hunters are required to kill 2 antlerless Deer after first antlered before they can take a 2nd antlered Deer .

From: JayD
02-Dec-17
When it comes to Maryland I don’t know what to actually believe - I only live minutes from Maryland and have quite a few friends and Family there - would not believe how many times I have heard just this year alone how many called in a fake doe kill so they could continue to hunt bucks. I know its hearsay but I have heard it often enough to realize it has got to be happening.

From: gobbler
02-Dec-17

gobbler's embedded Photo
gobbler's embedded Photo
I’m sure it happens, just as I’m sure it happens here in our “earn a buck” counties. A poacher or a law breaker is going to break the law no matter what type of system is in place. Since my brother died I’ve only hunted MD one time but my 2 nephews hunt it pretty regularly in southern MD. They have noticed a more balanced Deer herd the last several years. They don’t see the big groups of does anymore and they see some good bucks so it must be working to some degree.

The buck one of my nephews got with bow this year

From: JayD
02-Dec-17
You don’t see those type of bucks the further west you go in Maryland.

From: gobbler
02-Dec-17
No, you are right. About central MD and east. Which is also where they have the most liberal doe seasons. But there are other factors too. More consistent acorn crops, good food in crop fields where they still exist. Eastern MD with exception of eastern shore has gotten more and more populated with people every year and DNR has become more liberal with antlerless tags. In region B where he hunts extra archery antlerless tags are unlimited and extra gun antlerless tags are a limit of 10.

Despite intense hunting pressure with the extremely liberal doe tags, and with the effort to give the bucks more protection with the earn a buck criteria and point restrictions on 3rd buck they are still able to pump out a lot of trophy bucks every year.

07-Dec-17
"WvMountaineer, Why would you use a made up buck to doe ratio as a kill ratio for archery and muzzleloader".

I wasn't aware that they broke it down like that. Thank you for providing that. Please provide a link to where it can be viewed because I can't find it.

From: sundaynwv
07-Dec-17
DNR info. It's from calling and asking.

They have been asked for years to break down archery and muzzleloader kills.

31-Dec-17
Cory, I've tried to call and get that info directly from the horses mouth multiple times. No dice. Would you mind sharing the contact info for the person with whom you talked with? I'd love to be able to get the most accurate info available. God Bless men

From: sundaynwv
01-Jan-18
Not positive because of older info but I will say Gary Foster does a great job at providing information.

01-Jan-18
"I looked up the 2016 breakdown of archery and my. Archery 64% buck, 16,975 bucks and 9548 does.

Muzzleloader 37% buck, 1848bucks and 3148 does

That's a total of 18,823 bucks and 12,696 does in archery and my season.

Ad that to your gun kills and you get a total of 64,894 bucks and 45,204 does. That's a 58.9 percent buck harvest."

2016 older info?

Thanks, I'll try Gary and see it that works.

From: sundaynwv
02-Jan-18
I go through so much info with Sunday hunting and better buck management it would astound most.

Getting info last January or February compared to the last few weeks is older info.

02-Jan-18
You do well man. I was just under the impression that when you said old, it was dated more than that.

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