Urban Bowhunt Off To A Fast Start

The seventh year of the Charleston, W.Va., urban bowhunt is off to a fast start, with archers already taking 20 deer, with all but one being fertile does.

Charleston City Manager David Molgaard told the Gazette-Mail newspaper this week that the 20 deer taken so far this year equals the total number taken in 2006, the first year of the urban bowhunting program.

The number of registered bowhunters–106 so far–is down from 136 last year, and the lowest of any year since 2006.

“We could still have people come in, obviously,” Molgaard told the newspaper. “We haven’t shut off applications.”

The Charleston urban deer harvest has been rising steadily since the process began, with 20 in 2006, 28 in 2007, and 36 in 2008.

The numbers shot up in 2009, after City Attorney Paul Ellis worked with state wildlife officials to raise the individual bag limit to seven, as long as a doe was taken first and at least five of the seven were female. Hunters killed 54 that year, 61 in 2010 and 93 last year.

The goal of the higher bag limit is to kill more females and this impact on the overall urban deer herd.

— The Archery Wire