2023 WV Deer Hunting County Harvest Results

2022 WV Deer Hunting Harvest

The 2023 WV deer hunting harvest results are in. During the 2023-2024 West Virginia deer hunting season, WV hunters harvested a combined total of 118,606 whitetail deer. This represents a 12.7% increase for deer hunting harvest success across the entire state of WV.

To further break down the total number of deer killed in West Virginia, results show that hunters harvested 45,155 bucks during the traditional buck firearm season. 31,669 antlerless deer were taken during all WV antlerless firearm hunting seasons. Bowhunters harvested 32,850 deer during urban and regular archery and crossbow seasons. Only 4,566 deer were killed by hunters during the muzzleloader season. The remaining 583 deer came from the Mountaineer Heritage season.

The 45,155 bucks killed during the 2023 WV buck firearm season from November 20 to December 3 represents an 7.5% decrease over the 2022 buck firearm hunting season. With just over 48,000 killed in 2022 that is only a slight decrease for the year.

Some of the factors contributing toward West Virginia deer hunters harvesting a significantly larger number of deer in 2022 is a noted reduction in mast conditions along with rainy weather to start the season. These are most likely two of the biggest causes contributing to the decreased success rate of West Virginia deer hunters in 2023.

Read on to see the county by county breakdown for deer hunting success in West Virginia. This type of information can be useful when planning a future hunting trip. Some areas have an increase in deer density when compared to others. Use this to your advantage to help ensure a successful 2024 hunting season in West Virginia.

2023 WV Deer Hunting

West Virginia Counties With Highest Deer Harvest in 2023

Across all hunting seasons in West Virginia, these counties had the highest 2023 WV deer hunting harvest.

  • Preston County – 5,056
  • Jackson County – 3,957
  • Ritchie County – 3,817
  • Randolph County – 3,774
  • Mason County – 3,619
  • Upshur County – 3,564
  • Greenbrier County – 3,491
  • Lewis County – 3,345
  • Wood County – 3,376
  • Hampshire County – 3,111

Top 10 Counties for the Buck Firearms season In West Virginia

The following West Virginia counties had the most successful rifle hunters during the 2023 WV Buck Firearms Season.

  • Greenbrier County – 1,892
  • Randolh County – 1604
  • Preston County – 1,413
  • Pendleton County – 1,413
  • Monroe County – 1,396
  • Braxton County – 1,394
  • Hardy County – 1,329
  • Kanawha County – 1,242
  • Pocahontas County – 1,236
  • Fayette County – 1,226

how to interpret the numbers

How can we use the results from the 2023 WV deer season to our advantage? One statistic that sticks out to me is the low number of deer killed yearly during the West Virginia Muzzleloader season. Across the entire state only 4,566 deer were killed by hunters with a muzzleoader.

Sure that is 9 times higher than the WV Mountaineer Heritage Season, but that a special type of weapon is required for that season. Not all hunters may be proficient with a traditional bow or primitive firearm. In fact, 583 deer killed during the Mountaineer Heritage Season in 2022 sounds impressive to me.

The 2023 results are lower than the five year average. Muzzleloaders these days are incredibly accurate and easy to use. If anything, deer harvest rates should be increasing. Shots ranges are no longer limited like you would expect during the Mountaineer Heritage Season.

If we were to learn anything helpful from the 2023 WV deer hunting harvest results, it would be to increase the focus during the WV Muzzleloader Season.

With such a reduced overall harvest rate, it would seem that you have the woods to yourself. It could be hunter burnout as we near the end of a long season. It could also represent a shift in priorities as the holidays approach and hunting takes a back seat. I myself have been guilty of this in the past few years.

Either way, a lot less hunter pressure means an overall enjoyable hunt can be had without exerting too much energy. Save some enthusiasm this year for the WV muzzleloader season.

Good luck during the 2024 West Virginia deer season. Punch your tag in one of the many opportunities available to hunters in the Mountain State.

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