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This is the region where the Department continues to maintain liberal seasons.The female deer kill has been fairly high here for the past nine consecutive years.Some areas in eastern Virginia have had HD three of the past five years (2012, 2014, and 2016). Third, many deer hunters also blame predators (bear, bobcats, and coyotes) for the recent deer herd decline.I do not blame predators for the decline in the deer herd at this time.These reductions should allow Tidewater deer herds to stabilize or slowly recover.Hemorrhagic Disease hit the south-central Piedmont like a sledgehammer in the fall, 2014, and the Department reduced the number of firearms either-sex deer hunting days in many Southside counties back in late 2015.Annual deer kill totals by county dating back to 1947 can be found on the Deer Kill Data section of the DGIF website.
To address this decline, the number of either-sex deer hunting days on public lands was cut significantly.These past changes have been successful in reducing the female deer kill, and the western public land deer hunter and deer kill declines appear to have bottomed out and plateaued. Either-sex deer hunting days on National Forest and Department-owned lands in western Virginia are being cut again effective this fall to very low levels in many counties.The best way to compare deer populations in Virginia is based on the antlered buck deer kill per square mile.Figure 2 indicates the relative densities of deer on private lands in counties across Virginia.This is the best map of where deer are in the state.
These changes have been successful in reducing the female deer kill.