Steve Rauch, a biologist with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, says hunters could see some big deer this year. "Last year, the buck harvest was down which means there will be some carry over to this year and those bucks will be a year older and potentially have better antlers on them this year."
And Steve says since there is a lot of food on the trees, and on the ground, the deer in the woods will be especially healthy. Surprisingly, he says good mast doesn't make much of a difference in hunting bucks.
"Hunting this year for buck season is looking pretty good. We're expecting a similar harvest to last year, good mast conditions, but that doesn't typically have much impact on buck season because there are so many people in the woods. Those first couple of days, there are 350 thousand people in the woods."
With that many hunters looking to harvest a buck, it pays to do your homework. Steve says you should scout, pick a good spot, and keep your eyes out for does if you want to get a big buck.
"Do some pre-scouting, look for those oak ridges. Oak did real well this year, the deer will tend to be there, the one thing with bucks, is look for does and the bucks will be there and the does will tend to be in the oak areas where the mast was good."
Remember, when you hit the woods, wear your blaze orange, follow the regulations in your county, and make sure you see what you're shooting at. Follow those tips and you should be fine.
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