Rockingham - Harrisonburg Chapter
W. Matt Knox - Deer Project Coordinator
During the past deer season, 240,423 deer were reported killed by hunters in Virginia. This total included 108,670 antlered bucks, 22,735 button bucks, and 109,018 does (45.3%). This represents a >7% increase from the 223,775 deer reported killed last year. It is also 13% higher than the last 10 year average of 212,550.
Across the state, deer kill levels were up in all regions including in the Northern Mountains (8%), Northern Piedmont (7%), Southern Mountains (8%), Southern Piedmont (5%), and Tidewater (7%).
Archers, not including crossbow hunters, killed 17,335 deer. The bow kill was up 1% from the 17,160 deer taken by archers last year. The bow kill comprised 7% of the total deer kill.
Crossbows, which were legal for all deer hunters for the first time in fall 2005, resulted in a deer kill of 8,549 deer or <4% of the total deer kill. The crossbow kill was up 21% from the 7,069 reported last year.
Muzzleloader hunters killed 55,434 deer. The muzzleloader kill was up 6% from the 52,386 deer taken by muzzleloader hunters last year. Muzzleloading comprised 23% of the total deer kill.
Nearly 138,000 deer (>57%) were checked using the Department's telephone checking system. This was up from 44% in 2004, 51% in 2005, and 55% in 2006. Approximately 6,300 (<3%) deer were checked by Internet.
White-tailed deer management in Virginia is based on the fact that herd density and health are best controlled by regulating antlerless deer kill levels, and female deer kill numbers have been at record levels for the past five consecutive years. For 2007, the doe kill was up 12% from 2006 and is 21% greater than the average for the past 10 years. In fact, for 2007, the doe kill was greater than the antlered buck kill for the first time since the check station system was initiated in 1947.