CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — There’s hunting–and then there’s the first day of Buck Firearms Season.
“It’s the big kahuna–there’s no question about it. I mean, opening day buck season–there’s an awful lot of sportsmen and women out there that look forward to this day”, said Paul Johansen—Wildlife Resources Section Chief with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Even if you’re not successful on the very anticipated first day of this nearly 2-week event—keep trying, because DNR wildlife biologists think the conditions are pretty favorable this year.
“We are predicting a very good deer season this year. I think the actual harvest will probably come in close to what we saw last year, so we’ll have somewhere probably close to 45,000 bucks being taken”, said Johansen.
The reason for this prediction? The mast surveys done, which show a lot of acorns out there—and deer love munching on them!
“What hunters will see this year, because conditions are so good–deer will tend to be back in the woods. They won’t be using the openings. They won’t be using the edges of fields as much as they normally would. Take advantage of the fact that the deer are going to be back in the woods–they are going to be on those oak flats”, said Johansen.
As for the weather that tends to be the best for deer hunting? Johansen says true fall-like weather is the most optimal.
“Basically, any kind of weather that’s reasonably comfortable–not bitter cold or hot either. So, you know–you’ve got near freezing temperatures, no precipitation, wind conditions that are calm. Those are pretty ideal”
That’s good news, because our forecast models continue to suggest those conditions on the first couple of days of the season–thanks to a large area of high-pressure nearby. A little bit of snow on the ground would be icing on the cake, and this may be possible east across the higher terrain.
No matter the conditions where you do decide to hunt, though–just be safe. No deer is worth putting yourself, or others, at risk.
“Blaze orange–first thing. Make sure they have adequate blaze orange on–a vest. Before you pull that trigger, make sure you know what you’re shooting at and what’s behind what you’re shooting at”, said Johansen.