South Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR), Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, West Virginia Bowhunters Association, West Virginia Muzzleloaders Association, West Virginia Physically Challenged Advisory Board, and Toyota are again sponsoring the West Virginia Big Buck Contest for deer taken between Oct. 1 and Dec.31, 2011, according to Gene Thorn, Chairman of the West Virginia Big Buck Contest Review Committee.
During this time, any hunter who bags a deer in West Virginia with antlers having eight or more points, a 26-inch beam length, and points that are more than eight inches long may have a winning buck. Antlers will be measured according to the official scoring system for North American big game animals established by the Boone and Crockett Club.
Plaques will be awarded to eight overall first-place winners for typical and non-typical bucks in gun, bow, muzzleloader, and crossbow (physically challenged) categories at the National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration held at Stonewall Jackson State Park on the fourth weekend in September 2012.
Gun and muzzleloader hunters whose bucks score more than 140 points typical or 165 non-typical will receive certificates commemorating the entry of their buck into the West Virginia Big Buck Contest and Records Keeping Program. Bowhunters or physically-challenged crossbow hunters whose bucks score more than 125 points typical or 155 non-typical will also receive certificates.
There were 66 new entries into the Big Buck Records last year that were taken during the 2010 season. The season total showed 11 bucks taken by gun hunters, one by muzzleloader, 52 by bowhunters, and two by crossbow. Bucks taken in previous years may still be scored for a certificate and entry into the records, if they meet the minimum score.
Hunters wishing to have their deer scored should contact the closest official scorer by checking the DNR’s website www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/BigBuckContest.shtm where there is a list of Official Measurers or through any DNR Wildlife District Office. Phone numbers and addresses are listed in the 2011-2012 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary. Appointments must be made for scoring trophies. Many hunters have their deer scored by a team of official measurers during the West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show, held in late January at the Charleston Civic Center. Hunters will be required to read and sign a Fair Chase Affidavit and must bring their official Game Check Tag with the antlers to be measured.