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Big game harvest numbers down across state

Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources have compiled preliminary figures for the 2022-23 hunting season. Not unexpectedly, deer, fall turkey and bear harvests all decreased from the previous season.

“In addition to recent hunting seasons designed to reduce populations in some areas, harvest decreases observed this past season could be related to several factors outside of managers’ control: hunter participation, weather, and particularly, food conditions,” said Dr. Gray Anderson, Wildlife Division Chief.

“This past fall saw an abundant acorn crop that was widespread across much of the state, likely leading game to move less in search of food and making them less visible and vulnerable to hunters,” Anderson added.

Harvest reporting by successful bear, deer and turkey hunters is an important component of DWR’s management programs as harvest data are used to monitor game populations and inform future regulatory decisions, a release stated.


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