Antlerless deer firearms season begins

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – The first segment of the antlerless deer firearms season opened Oct. 20 for the 51 participating West Virginia counties.

While the seasons give hunters more opportunities to take deer, officials say it’s designed to control the deer population and promote healthier and more productive deer herds.

“The antlerless season, especially this earlier season in October, is extremely important because the main way we control deer populations in West Virginia and across North America is by harvesting antlerless deer, which are female deer, so you control those populations by having the appropriate number females to keep that population under control with what the habitat will support,” said Chris Ryan, WVDNR game management services supervisor.

For every antlerless deer harvested in October, there will be more food for the remaining deer during the winter months.

To take an antlerless deer, a free license or stamp of class N or NN is required, in addition to the basic license, and only one can be taken with each stamp. Landowners who hunt on their property do not need to purchase a Class N or NN stamp. For county bag limits, hunters should consult Summary of Hunting and Hunting Regulations.

The first segment of the antlerless deer firearms season closes on October 23rd. Hunters who do not succeed in the next three days can participate in the next three segments.

“By having a lot of different segments, you tend to increase enthusiasm, so you have more opening days, which gets people more excited that way. You also remove the impact of bad weather, so you basically have four opening days, that would help reduce or it minimizes, you know, really bad weather over the course of a day. Of course, the weather this week should be beautiful for deer hunting so I expect a lot of guys to come out … people to come out,” Ryan said.

The final three segments of the antlerless firearms season:

  • Nov. 21-Dec. 4
  • 8-11
  • 28-31

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