5 yr average of bucks killed = 68,288
5 yr average of antlerless. = 58,979
Now remember that antlerless includes button bucks, shed bucks, and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches and the disparity widens.
WV DNR. has done some excellent things to try and close the gap by allowing concurrent buck/antlerless season, having the so called “earn a second buck “ counties, and even expanding that to include across all weapon choices, and allowing up to 2 does to be killed in one day. There is no doubt that these measures have helped a lot but even with this the gap is not being closed and has remained the same the last few years.
Here are some numbers I just received from WVDNR
This past season a total of 53,518 hunters harvested at least one or more bucks.
A total of 7,050 hunters harvested 2 or more antlered bucks for a total of 14,916 bucks.
The hunters that harvested 14,916 bucks only harvested 5,035 antlerless deer. Essentially 3 to 1 buck over doe. It should be noted that the antlerless deer consisted of 4,603 actual does, 201 button bucks, and 231 bucks with antlers less than 3 inches. So, true buck to true doe it’s 15,348 -4,601. A 3.3-1 ratio. I know there are variations of doe limits in counties but the bottom line is there is a large chunk of WV where doe harvest objectives are not being met.
To me it’s apparent we are not killing enough does. I understand and appreciate the emphasis on getting a buck but a true hunter is also a true conservationist and wants to do what is best for the deer. It’s also apparent that a large number of hunters are focusing on bucks to the exclusion of does by a 3-1 margin. I constantly hear that a very small number of people actually kill 3 bucks and that is true, but my question is how many opportunities at does are not being taken advantage of to get that second or third buck? There’s no practical realistic way to obtain that data precisely but I would suggest that the 3:1 margin as noted above would certainly include many passed opportunities to harvest a doe.
No one wants to take away opportunities but at some point those opportunities have to be balanced with what is best for the deer herd and the habitat. And by habitat I’m not just talking deer habitat, I’m talking about ecosystem. Habitat for other game species and non game species. Plants such as wildflowers, ginseng, and oak tree regeneration.
The DNR has done a good job of trying to steer hunters into taking enough does to meet the doe harvest objectives, but to me it’s clear that while it has helped a lot it’s still not getting the job done with just expanding doe opportunities and not addressing buck opportunities in order to achieve a more natural herd in regard to buck/doe ratios and a proper more natural buck age structure .
Most of us hunt to get back to nature and experience sights and sounds that we don’t get in our everyday home and work environment . We want to experience nature and the thrill of the hunt. Wouldn’t that be a richer more rewarding experience with a more natural deer herd?
First I remember posting an article on here (I couldn’t find it here this morning) that our lead biologist claimed that if we killed at least 70 does for every 100 bucks that is what is needed to maintain the herd size as it is right now. It was also stated that the herd size right now is at a much healthier state than what it was when we were killing close to 100,000 bucks every year. I believe now they say we have around 650,000 and back then it was over a million maybe even 1.25 million is that correct?
So according to your numbers it looks as if over the past 5 years that we are actually killing more than 70 does for every 100 bucks - looks like it is about 85 to 86 does for every 100 bucks killed. So I take it you have a problem with the theory that this is the ratio needed to maintain the deer herd at the level it is now?
So what numbers do you think we should be seeing? So out of 650000 deer we kill about 120000 of them each year as hunters - then I know disease, auto kills and predators also play role. But seriously what numbers do you and your group want to see - I know you want more does than bucks killed so how will that effect size of the herd? I mean I look at OH and KY sites every now and then and hear the complaints that quite a few say they see no deer. So what are the hard numbers you and your group want to see - what size herd would you like to see? How many bucks do you want to see killed? Several years ago I believe we had like 35,000 killed is that a good number for you? How many more does do you want killed? Will the number of does you want killed maintain the herd or lower the overall herd numbers? If you want these changes I sure would like to know how it is going to change things ? I am not trying to be smart here just want to see the hard numbers you all want instead of just asking for higher prices to hunt and for more does to be killed.
1. We are one of only a couple states in our surrounding area and I’m including several states not just OH, that routinely kill more bucks than does each year.
2. The DNR is consistently not meeting doe harvest objectives in a good number of counties each year despite making it easier and easier to harvest does each year.
I think those 2 things are directly related to each other. And as the numbers show some people are shooting their 2nd and 3rd buck and not taking advantage of the antlerless option by a margin of 3:1
The DNR wouldn’t have doe harvest objectives for each county if there wasn’t a valid biological reason for having them. IDK who said 70 does per 100 bucks, but I would suggest getting some more opinions on that number from other independent wildlife biologists both inside and outside the state.
I understand that you want more does killed than what there are bucks but it has been stated by our biologist that we need to kill 70 does for every 100 bucks to maintain the herd level to where it is now. So since you want to see more does killed are you saying we need to reduce the herd size even further? Or do you think the ratio of 70 to 100 is hogwash? I think in some areas there is still some over population but at least from what I hear on here and on other social media - a lot of hunters are not seeing deer. Is lowering the population with a higher doe kill needed at this time?
Shouldn’t there be a hard number for the number of does and bucks that you would like to see harvested ? I mean I know there are some out there who have recently stated on social media that WV hunting licenses are set up in a way that every buck - down to the very last one could be killed. Which I don’t buy into and I think was foolishly said. I would like to know the numbers for herd size and harvest numbers that you all think is needed for WV. I would think you should want to know the hard numbers before stating what ratio of harvest numbers need to be. I will try to look for that article again on here that I posted where they said 70 to 100 was needed to maintain the herd size. As to getting others to say if that was correct or not - shouldn’t the estimated herd size for the past several years tell us if It is working or not? I mean is our herd size growing again - as a state do we have an over population of deer again? I can tell you right now - there are quite a few that think WV does not have enough deer anymore. I am not one of those believers but I think all within the DNR including yourself and other commissioners would be on the chopping block if you were to drop the herd size anymore!
And the earn a buck counties have little to no rhyme or reason. Some of the highest doe concentration counties are not an earn a buck county.
I most certainly do not see that here. Heck I was told quite a few on the Facebook page of your one group that most people were complaining about not seeing any deer not just bucks.
So from your previous post I can take it is that you think that 650,000 deer is too much for WV and you want to see less deer. That’s all I wanted to know sorry it took so long to find that out.
Again you were the one who stated that the idea is to get the population decline - those are your answers not mine. I am trying to understand your answers - I am trying to understand what you and your group want but you all get ticked every time someone ask you questions and then you twist things around and try to make the other person look bad - then you use your sarcastic comments. So yes I am up for a fair discussion - all I ask is what your goal is for the deer herd - do you want less deer in WV? Yes I agree in some areas there are too many deer - but I don’t think it is a common problem through out WV - so the estimated figure the last I heard from DNR is 650,000 deer in WV - is that too many?
Again i was just reading your answers and took it that you thought we needed less deer - now I don’t know what the heck you want.
And you talk about putting words in someone’s mouth - what about you saying I thought the director wasn’t providing good leadship? So I don’t want to hear your misguided allegations!
And I do read the regulations for my county so stop with the stupid logical discussion remark - it is hard to have a logical discussion with two guys on here that constantly will tell half-stories and say the other half can’t be told at the time because of one excuse or the other.
I apologize to the rest of you all on here but I am tired of Gobbler and Sunday coming on here and accusing me of things that just are not true! And if you are a part of the BBM group you would understand they do this stuff constantly to people who don’t agree with their way of thinking.
So gobbler and Sunday I will apologize to you two as well - just as gobbler did above - I am sorry that you two accuse people of doing things they haven’t done. IDK why you do it? And yes I would be up for a civil discussion as well!
Here's some numbers. I'd like to see Preston County kill a total of 5,089 deer. 2021.5 bucks 3067.5 does Of which 1500 bucks taken with a rifle, 275.5 bucks taken with traditional archery, and 124.5 with a crossbow, And 125.5 taken with a muzzleloader(100.5 in the December season and 25 in the heritage). 1000 does in early rifle, 1000 in rifle, 500.5 with traditional archery, 500 with crossbow., 65 in December muzzleloader, and 2 in heritage. A total of 60 percent does for one year then cut back in the doe harvest, even though no biological surveys conclude a 2 doe limit is better than a 3 doe limit.
I actually made a suggestion to the director - for starting some research in WV to put in place a 2 buck limit in 2 counties in each district and follow the results for 3 to 5 years or whatever our biologist deem necessary to get viable info.
I also suggested to make the research even more interesting (and I know this will rattle some cages) but to up the limit in one of the bow only counties to 2 bucks for the same period of time. I think a safe guard could be put in place for the bow only county that if the harvest became more than what the DNR thought it should be they could drop the limit back to 1 for the remainder of the season. I just don’t think it will make much difference as it is hard enough to get one buck with a bow let alone two.
I would love to see the results - I think getting the research would help in setting the best to follow instead of trying to make an educated guess at it.
If anyone has any questions you can PM me