West Virginia Department of Natural Resources officials have made no bones about what they want: hunters killing more does killed in the Mountain State.
Officials want to reduce the number of deer in the state and are encouraging hunters to get the job done. They’ve liberalized doe seasons and the ability for non-residents to get permits, along with instituting a “second buck” regulation that might work.
After killing their first buck of the season, hunters will be required to kill a doe before being able to kill a second buck. West Virginia has a tagging check-in system.
Gary Foster, the DNR’s game management supervisor, said agency officials want hunters to kill more deer in order to reduce whitetail populations in many areas of the state. Officials met Feb. 25 during the state’s Natural Resources Commission meeting.
“The overall habitat quality in the state isn’t as good as it was a generation ago,” Foster explained. “Today the state is 79 percent forested. People might think that’s good for deer, but it isn’t. Deer thrive best in diverse habitats. Ideal deer habitat is about 60 percent forested, with 30 percent in open lands or farmlands. In the past 30 to 40 years, about 3 million acres’ worth of farmland has been allowed to revert to forest.”
Veteran outdoor writer John McCoy of The Charleston Gazette has the full report here: Click this link to read