2017 West Virginia Deer Forecast
September 22, 2017
Today's most-successful deer hunters have a strong knowledge of the total deer picture. This includes contemporary deer management and philosophies, such as buck-to-doe ratio, urban deer management, social acceptance, diseases and the intense attention the species receives from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
While successful deer hunters must be adept at locating bedding areas, escape routes and food sources, and developing and maintaining good landowner relationships, the total deer hunter also understands the complete picture.
DEER MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHIES
According to WVDNR Wildlife Biologist James Crum, one of the most important factors in deer management is evaluating the deer-to-habitat relationship — comparing deer numbers to available habitat to support those densities. Over the past 40 years, there have been declines in antler growth and the average weight of yearling bucks. The percentage of fawn breeding has dropped from 20 to 30 percent, to zero to 10 percent. Parasites have increased, and woodland plots protected behind fencing have indicated deer are over-browsing available habitat.