The numbers are in for the recently completed deer season and are just about what the Department of Natural Resources expected – with only a few surprises.
Statewide 56,333 bucks were harvested with firearms this year, surpassing last year’s total by just 57. Pocahontas totaled 976 deer taken which is down somewhat from the 1,152 taken in 2012. In fact all of the traditional mountain counties were down a bit. Webster, Pendleton, and Greenbrier counties were down significantly.
Randolph County hunters also saw lean times and secured only 1,328 trophies, down from 1,804 last year and more than 2,000 in 2011. District II which includes most of the mountain counties was down by about 420 bucks.
Some sections of the state did well. In particular, the north central and Ohio River counties increased their numbers from the year before with Jackson County leading the state with 1,912. District VI which also includes Ritchie, Roane and Wood counties was up by more than 3,000 deer.
The weather was bad in the mountain regions with pouring rain all day on the second day of season.
No doubt this helped to keep the number of hunters lower than would have been expected.
There are still lots of opportunities for hunters to secure that deer. Archery season runs through the end of the month and there will be an antlerless hunt upcoming.
Bear season is in full swing now, and we hope to have some reports there in the coming weeks.
Dr. John Eilers reported seeing five eagles together down on Dry Branch a while back. They flew up from some carrion along the side of the road and under the tree canopy where he could get a good look. Three were adults with white heads and the other two were sub-adults. They were probably migrating through the area, although many eagles will winter in the vicinity.