The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has announced preliminary figures for deer, bear, and turkey harvests for the 2012-13 hunting seasons.
During the deer season, 213,597 deer were reported killed. This total included 96,712 antlered bucks, 18,061 button bucks, 98,781 does, and 43 whose sex was not documented.
The fall 2012 deer kill total was down 8 percent from the 233,104 deer reported killed in 2011 and below the 10-year annual average of 232,573.
Total deer kill levels were down across most of Virginia, including the northern Piedmont, down 9 percent. Female deer kill was down 13 percent from 2011. Archers, not including crossbow hunters, killed 15,791 deer, 7 percent of the total kill. Crossbows resulted in a kill of 10,596 deer, or 5 percent of the total. Muzzleloader hunters harvested 26 percent of the total kill. Counties with the highest harvest numbers were Bedford (798), Loudoun (672) and Southhampton (660). Albemarle ranked ninth in the state at 377.
A total of 2,144 black bears were harvested, a 7 percent increase over last year’s initial reported kill of 1,997 bears. Bears were harvested in 73 counties/cities. Female bears represented 36 percent of the total harvest. Archery hunters accounted for 513 bears and the statewide one-week muzzleloader harvest accounted for 415 bears.
The top counties were Rockingham (159), Page (82) and Rockbridge (80). Seventy-eight bears were killed in Albemarle and 77 in Augusta.
During the fall turkey season, 4,432 turkeys were harvested, the highest reported over the past five years. Top counties were Bedford (151), Rockbridge (142), Scott (132) and Botetourt (129).