Deer Forecast-East

Summers County

Mature Mountain State bucks dwell in the state's southern region, says West Virginia Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Jim Crum. "When it comes to locating older-age bucks, you need to look at places that have lower densities of deer, mainly our southernmost counties," he says. Bluestone Lake Wildlife Management Area in Summers County specifically is a top trophy-buck location. But Crum also cites areas that receive low hunting pressure as good go-to places-mainly the remote mountainous regions. An outstanding hot spot is the 900,000-acre Monongahela National Forest in Tucker and Randolph counties. Overall, Crum describes the state's whitetail numbers as "stable to increasing" but notes that they are still well above desired population goals. Consequently, he urges sportsmen to take advantage of the state's liberal antlerless seasons and harvest does. "We really like to see hunters becoming active deer managers by participating in antlerless hunting, which ultimately contributes to the better overall health of our deer herd," he says.