best time to hunt deer in west virginia


Photo: ThinkStock, “I’m going to hope for the coldest, snowiest weather I can get,” says Schearer. about this web site, I would love to hear from you. Last year, hunters killed 3,283 deer within the county’s borders, an average of 7.41 per square mile. The Gazette-Mail outdoors staff has taken the liberty of putting together a list of counties that combine all the necessary qualities — above-average deer kills per square mile, at least 300 square miles of deer habitat, and at least two substantial wildlife management areas. illuminated. The stump-sitters, the guys who hunt more for the fun of deer camp than the thrill of the actual hunt, have thrown in the towel. The county’s hunters bagged 2,562 deer last fall, an average of 6.20 per square mile. In addition to hunting based on major and minor feeding times, some of the best hunting times are during the Solunar theory of John Alden Knight. Rutting bucks might not be working known food sources and they might stay away from known trails, but the does won’t change their normal routines. Even if a mature buck slips through the gauntlet of rut-crazed deer hunters, you might not see him, either. Because the impact is enormous. Believing is half the battle.”. exceeded my expectations and I am very thankful for that. Hunting land & best counties for deer West Virginia. Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail. However, as you get closer to “the rut” or the theorized peak-week for hunters, activity increases drastically. Tiny counties usually have disproportionately high kills per square mile, but can’t accommodate many hunters. Others might spend that week in the same camp they’ve been returning to year after year. Sitting on the ridge above his boyhood hunting grounds, life-long Fulks Run resident Doyle Ritchie considers what the future of hunting in Virginia will be without deer in the national forests of Virginia. It’s typically hot, sometimes so hot sitting in a treestand is just downright uncomfortable. Please log in, or sign up for a new account to continue reading. A buck that runs fearless across your property is also wandering across your neighbor’s property. Food plots are valuable for attracting deer, turkeys, rabbits, and other wildlife to specific areas for hunting or viewing, but they do not substitute for management activities that improve habitat over large areas. The last weeks of gun season might not be the best choice in some situations. Last year, hunters bagged 3,158 deer within the county’s borders, an average of 8.47 per square mile. hunters That way, I get a good idea of their preferred routes to and from a feed field. Just pick up a copy of the November issue of the nationally syndicated Peterson’s Hunting Magazine and read the article on page 13 entitled, Welcome to Your Public (Waste) Land which, among other things, highlights the deplorable state of deer hunting on the Shenandoah Valley’s own George Washington National Forest. Hunters bagged 2,274 deer in Monongalia last year, an average of 7.34 per square mile. Schedule accordingly so you're in the woods during the best time to deer hunt. Some of those deer came from Monongalia’s share of the aforementioned Coopers Rock State Forest and Snake Hill WMA. Using solunar data is only one factor in deer hunting success. occur when the moon peaks overhead and when the moon is directly beneath a location on the Earth's surface. Time of Day: For whitetail deer the most active times typically occur around dawn and dusk, with periodic increases in activity overnight. “The colder it is, the more the deer need to feed. Planting forage for deer is a popular activity among many hunters and landowners in Virginia. According to Virginia’s Deer Management Plan, even as deer populations began to explode on our national forests in the late 1980s, “ ... timber harvests ... still represented [just] 0.33% of the landscape,” a fact the Department points out to demonstrate that declining timber harvests alone can’t explain the decline. A handful of states protect their bucks by closing the season during the rut. Here you will find the Best Deer Hunting Times as predicted by the Time of Day: For whitetail deer the most active times typically occur around dawn and dusk, with periodic increases in activity overnight. Deer can be found nearly everywhere in West Virginia, and that’s both good and bad for hunters. The numbers are depressing. feeding times Other hunters have filled their tag or their freezer and are done for the year. Upshur, Taylor and Tyler counties are all terrific whitetail-hunting locations. “Deer want to get to some shade early. Many solunar forecasting services choose the new and full moon periods as the best times to hunt, however, Counties with large surface areas don’t usually rank high on the deer-per-square-mile list. signs Solunar Calendar: According to a theory laid out by John Alden Knight in 1926, animal movement is affected by the position and fullness of the moon. You might not see big bucks for another, more obvious reason, says Schearer — they’ve already been killed. Deer Hunting Day Rating Best Time Zone UTC: -8: 11/30/2020 Sun Data Rise: 6:40 AM Set: 4:44 PM Day Length 10 hrs. Good deer hunting can be found in many parts of West Virginia, but the best whitetail-producing counties share a common set of characteristics — plenty of deer… The true best-bet counties have the highest deer kills per square mile, enough area to accommodate plenty of hunters, and enough public land to allow people from outside the area to get in on the fun. Get the most out of your deer hunting time in the woods and enter your zip code above to get free deer feeding Days when deer feeding times occur further from sunrise or sunset will have a lower rating. They’ve been feeding all night, so they have little reason to move the rest of the day.”. 7 day period every year in a given location, regardless of weather or moon phases. Based on this assumption, Which is why evaluating the wind's strength and direction is vital when determining the best hunting times. Days when a major or minor feeding time occurs close to sunrise or sunset will have a higher rating. Though its reputation as a hunting hotspot isn’t quite as lofty as some other counties’, Ritchie County has been one of West Virginia’s most prolific whitetail producers for more than two decades. Our hypotheses is that this data can be useful to help you pinpoint the whitetail rut in your area and determine peak hunting weeks. Whitetail deer understand the uncertainties and dangers of bad weather. Plentiful sunshine. Log In. The 18,289-acre Stonewall Jackson Wildlife Management Area is the largest, followed by a sizable portion of the 2,985-acre Stonecoal WMA and the 252-acre Smoke Camp WMA. All of that information can be found on the Division of Natural Resources’ website,, in the annual Big Game Bulletin and in the agency’s list of state-managed wildlife management areas. Why? Canadian Postal codes need to have a space in them like A2A 0A1. Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. Deer are in predictable patterns. Days these periods, major feeding times are always in the middle of the day and deer are often nocturnal. In addition he has been a bowhunter for more than 40 years, with deer being his main prey. For some of us, that might be an outfitted hunt at a fabled deer destination like Illinois, Kansas or Texas. Moon Data Rise: 5:09 PM Set: 6:54 AM Overhead: --:--Underfoot: 12:04 PM Moon Phase 100% FULL MOON Major Times--:-- - --:--12:04 PM - 2:04 PM Minor Times 6:54 AM - 7:54 AM 5:09 PM - 6:09 PM Deer Hunting Day Rating Best Time Zone UTC: -8 Find the hot food source and you can have those deer to yourself. Each offers a number of advantages, but all three present a different set of challenges. How many mid-rut days have you sat for hours on end without the first glimpse of a mature buck? Barometric Pressure: Whitetail are very sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and the resulting atmospheric conditions. Of course, no one who takes a precious week off during deer season is eager to sleep through the first hour of daylight. I’ve seen plenty of deer feeding in fields two or three hours before dark, but the biggest bucks tend to be the last ones in the field. You will notice that these periods occur when the moon is approximately 25% or 75% However, despite their large population, these intelligent animals can be quite elusive.      Left unchecked, there is absolutely no reason to believe this trend will ever change. The wind matters, of course, but more important is where you hunt and how you get there in relation to where the deer are. “If it’s going to happen in the morning, it’s usually going to happen within the first 30 minutes of daylight. That way, I get a good idea of their preferred routes to and from a feed field. Guns. Plan on getting to your post by 8:00 a.m. and hunt till dark; remember with the full moon, bucks should move best from 11 o'clock on, either on natural movement or pushed by a hunter. 04 mins. Wyatt killed his early-season Kansas buck 15 minutes into the hunt,” recalls Schearer. If it’s brutally cold, they are more likely to move during legal shooting hours. But don’t take my word for it. Do-it-yourself hunts have a special appeal, particularly when all the pieces fall into place and we notch our tags. Large counties tend to have large harvests — not necessarily because they have better hunting, but because they have more land. They’ll certainly feed, but if they encountered any hunting pressure during the rut, they might wait until dark before they venture out. Located smack in the middle of the state, Braxton has more than 30,000 acres of public land — a feature that makes it a frequent destination spot for deer hunters. Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to continue reading. Generally speaking, every state’s deer season can be broken into three segments: early, middle and late.

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