RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has released the harvest numbers for whitetail deer, black bear, and turkey for the 2022-2023 hunting seasons. Harvest numbers for all three species were down.

While a variety of things played into the decline, the primary factor affecting all three appears to be a bumper acorn crop. With acorns abundant, the animals did not have to range widely to forage meals. With animals moving less, there was less contact with hunters.

The base harvest numbers are:

  • Deer 184,968, down 3% from the year prior
  • Bear 2,232, down 25% from the year prior
  • Turkey 1,621, down less than 1% from the year prior

While harvest numbers are down, DWR managers say the populations of all three species remain strong.