The DGIF has released its preliminary figures for this fall’s deer, bear and turkey kills.
There are no shockers.
The deer kill came in at 213,597, a drop of 8 percent from last year’s 233,104.
Most of the drop came from a decline in the doe kill, which was down 13 percent.
The buck kill, which was boosted slightly when my buddy Alfie Hammerstrom killed this Roanoke County 10-pointer while hunting with grandson Tyler in late November, was down just 3 percent.
Hunters in the mountain did our part. The kill was flat in the DGIF’s Northern Mountain region, and down just 3 percent in the Southern Mountain region.
It was a different story east of the Blue Ridge, where the decline ranged from 8 percent in the Southern Piedmont to 15 percent in Tidewater.
What gives? It appears that liberal hunting regs are really having an impact on deer populations in those regions.At the same time, the DGIF has been pulling back on doe days in many Western Virginia counties, so that’s likely contributing to the decline in the doe kill in those counties.
The bear kill was 2,144, with was up 7 percent from last year.
The turkey kill was 4,432, a whopping 28 percent better than 2011.
I’ll take a more detailed look at the numbers in my Sunday column in The Roanoke Times.