Thursday, March 08, 2007

Virginia Game and Fish Harvest Numbers

Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have compiled preliminary figures for bear, deer and turkey harvests for the 2006-2007 fall seasons.

White-tailed deer
During the 2006-2007 deer season, 223,198 white-tailed deer were reported as harvested in Virginia, 4 percent more than last season. This figure is 7 percent higher than the 10 year average. This year's total includes 105,595 antlered bucks, 19,652 button bucks, and 96,951 does. Females made up 43 percent of the overall harvest.

  • Black bear: Tracking with the population growth, Virginia's black bear harvest for this past fall increased to the highest annual level ever recorded at 1,633 bears. Over the past decade, the black bear harvest has been increasing at an average annual rate of 7.5 percent per year. The 2006-2007 harvest was 13 percent higher that last year's harvest of 1,439 bears and exceeded the previous 2003-2004 record of 1,511 by 8 percent.

  • Wild turkey
    Fall wild turkey hunters reported a harvest of 4,143 birds in the 2006-2007 season. This figure was 6 percent below last year's reported harvest. In the counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains the harvest declined 2 percent. Counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains saw a 9 percent drop in harvest. The decrease in the fall turkey harvest was likely due to a combination of effects. Population levels in wild turkeys have declined in recent years with poor recruitment, or reproduction, since 2001. Department research has identified inclement weather during spring nesting and brood rearing as factors related to poor recruitment.

    For more information visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Web site at