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Hunting in West Virginia: Top Spots for Hunting in the Mountain State

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 01:57 PM

West Virginia is a state that welcomes hunting enthusiasts, and has a wealth of state forests, parks and private lands were hunters will find all the challenge and action they could want.

Some of the challenge can come from West Virginia’s terrain, with the Appalachians giving the state its nickname, the Mountain State.

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That terrain can wear on the hunter and give the hunted plenty of cover. To increase the odds, here is a list of places where the game populations are large or the track records of taking a harvest are higher than in other parts of the state:

Black Bears: The Charleston-Beckley Corridor
This 60-mile corridor between the West Virginia’s capital and Beckley registers the most black bears per square mile in the state, plus a lot of public land to hunt. These attributes won this stretch a place on Field and Stream’s 100 Next Best Places to Hunt and Fish list in 2014.

In 2014, 532 black bears were taken by archers, and another 1,893 black bears were taken by gunmen of all types combined. Archers took the most in Webster, Preston, Fayette, Nicholas, and Randolph counties, according to reports from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Hunters who used guns took the most bears in Pocahontas, Randolph, Greenbrier, Pendleton, and Webster counties.

Deer: Preston, Randolph, Mason and Jackson Counties
Deer are plentiful in most parts of West Virginia. Their population numbers are greatest in Preston County. They are also high in Randolph, Mason, and Jackson counties, according to figures published in 2013 in West Virginia Game and Fish Magazine.

Trophy Deer: Wyoming, McDowell, and Kanawha counties
If you are looking for trophy deer as opposed to meat or number of deer, you want to hunt at the southern end of the state. In 2014, hunters caught 11 or more trophy bucks in Wyoming and McDowell counties, and between six and 10 in Kanawha County, according to Game and Fish magazine.

Trophy Deer: Panther State Forest, McDowell County
This 7,810-acre forest is home to oak-hickory hardwoods that blanket rugged terrain. Ridges range from an average 500 to 1,200 feet, and deer tend to live a long life, prompting Field and Stream magazine to nominate it as a great place to hunt trophy deer.

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Wild Turkey: District I, the Northern Panhandle and surrounding counties
The Department of Natural Resources’ District 1, in the Northern Panhandle and surrounding counties has the state’s highest concentration of wild turkeys and beautiful countryside, leading Game and Fish magazine to recommend it for hunting.

One can hunt wild areas with rolling wooded hills, streams, farmland, and pastures. Coopers Rock State Forest is located here, in Preston and Monongalia counties.

The DNR reported the top county harvests in 2014 in Preston, Mason, Jackson, Wood, and Harrison counties.

Wild Boar: Logan and Boone counties
Of the 51 wild boar reported taken in 2014, the DNR reports that more than a third were harvested in Logan and Boone counties.

If you’d rather find the best hunting spots close to you, call the nearest DNR field office.The telephone numbers are on DNR website.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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West Virginia is a state that welcomes hunting enthusiasts, and has a wealth of state forests, parks and private lands were hunters will find all the challenge and action they could want.
hunting in west virginia, top spots, mountain state
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2015-57-04
Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 01:57 PM
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