Commonwealth Deer Harvest Up Again

More than 231,000 deer were killed in Virginia last season, including almost 99,000 antlered bucks and 21,000 button bucks.

Virginia turns out some nice whitetails!

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries annual deer harvest reports show that 98,770 antlered bucks and 20,738 button bucks were reported by hunters. Another 111,830 does were killed, 48.3 percent of the overall harvest.

According to the department, the fall 2011 deer kill total was higher (up 4 percent) than the 222,074 deer reported killed last year. It is in line with the last 10 year average of 230,850.

Deer kill levels were down slightly in Tidewater (down 2 percent) but were up in all other regions including the Southern Piedmont (up 6 percent), Northern Piedmont (up 5 percent), Southern Mountains (up 13 percent) and Northern Mountains (up 3 percent).

Archers, not including crossbow hunters, killed 17,110 deer. The bow kill comprised 7 percent of the total deer kill. Crossbows resulted in a deer kill of 10,877 deer or 5 percent of the total deer kill.

Muzzleloader hunters killed 55,306 deer, or 24 percent of the total deer kill. More than 166,000 deer (72 percent) were checked using the Department’s telephone and Internet checking systems.

The department’s deer management efforts over the past five years to increase the female deer kill over much of the state, especially on private lands, has been very successful. Female deer kill numbers have been at record levels for the past five consecutive deer seasons. These high and sustained female deer kill levels were intended to eventually lead to a decrease in the statewide deer herd and a decline in total deer kill numbers.

To see the top 10 counties in Virginia and the harvest numbers from 1947-present, click this link