Lighter deer harvest forecast

Matt Knox, deer project coordinator for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, predicts a 10 to 20 percent reduction in deer harvested statewide compared to last season.

That prediction is based on the number of female deer taken in past seasons, severe weather during the 2009-2010 winter, and a heavy mast (hickory, oak) crop.

Thus far this season 1,070 deer hunted in Rappahannock County have been reported to field check-in stations at Laurel Mills Store (22 deer), FT Valley Store (46), Mayhugh’s Store (131), and Chester Gap (29). The 1,070 figure includes 842 checked in by telephone or Internet.

Last year’s deer harvest in Rappahannock was 2,339. Statewide, 256,512 were killed by hunters. This year’s season runs through Jan. 1. — Roger L. Foster

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