2012-2013 Deer Kill Summary
During the past deer season 213,597 deer were reported killed by hunters in Virginia. This total included 96,712 antlered bucks, 18,061 button bucks, 98,781 does (46.3%), and 43 "unknown" deer. The fall 2012 deer kill total was down 8% from the 233,104 deer reported killed last year. It is also 8% below the last 10-year average of 232,573.
Total deer kill levels were down from last fall across most of Virginia including Tidewater (down 15%), the Southern Piedmont (down 8%), the Northern Piedmont (down 9%), and the Southern Mountains (down 3%). Deer kill levels were stable in the Northern Mountains. Most of the decline in 2012 deer kill was in the female deer kill which was down 13% from 2011. The antlered buck kill was only down 2% from 2011.
Archers, not including crossbow hunters, killed 15,791 deer. The bow kill comprised 7% of the total deer kill. Crossbows resulted in a deer kill of 10,596 deer or 5% of the total deer kill. Muzzleloader hunters killed 54,808 deer or 26% of the total deer kill. Nearly 160,000 deer (75%) were checked using the Department's telephone and internet checking systems. The youth deer hunting day in September resulted in a deer kill of 1,977 deer.
The Department's primary deer management effort over the past five years has been to increase the female deer kill over much of the state, especially on private lands. Female deer kill numbers have been at record levels for the past six consecutive deer seasons. These high and sustained female deer kill levels were intended to eventually lead to a decrease in the statewide deer herd and a decline in total deer kill numbers. Deer kill totals over the past three years would appear to suggest that these management efforts have been successful.
Total deer kill levels declined in 76 of 97 (78%) major deer management units. Five management units saw declines in the antlered buck kill of more than 20% from 2011 including King George (down 34%), Caroline (down 27%), Patrick (down 26%), Henry (down 26%) and Stafford (down 24%). In nearly all these counties, a significant outbreak of hemorrhagic disease is thought to be a major contributing factor in the declines.
Data presented in this summary are preliminary and do not include deer taken during the late urban archery or special late antlerless-only deer seasons.
- Deer Kill Data, 1947-2011 (not yet updated with 2012-2013 data)
Top 10 Counties:
|Augusta and Shenandoah||3630||Caroline||3640|