Alabama Rut Kicking, Police Dog Saves Deer Hunter from Icy River, and More Deer Hunting News

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Harvest numbers in from Missouri and West Virginia deer seasons, and famed Buck 140 shot by Mississippi hunter

The latest deer hunting news. Image by Tom Reichner

West Virginia Buck Harvest Up 18%  

Hunters in West Virginia killed 49,662 bucks during the firearms season that ran Nov. 21 to Dec. 4, 2022. That’s an 18% increase as compared to 2021. While the deer kill was up across the state, the largest increases were reported in West Virginia’s central and western areas. Top counties for buck harvest were Greenbrier (1,856), Preston (1,760), and Randolph (1,667).

“Loki” Finds Michigan Hunter

An 80-year deer hunter who got lost and fell into the Au Sable River was rescued after a police dog tracked down the soaked man. The hunter’s wife called Michigan State Police one evening last November after her husband failed to return home. German Shepard Loki tracked the hunter to a bank on the Au Sable River, where troopers pulled him from the icy water. He was cold and wet but unharmed.

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Mississippi Hunter Kills Famed Swimming Buck

In a 2021 news roundup we reported on “Buck 140,” which amazed researchers with the Mississippi State Deer Lab as the GPS-collared deer left his home range in Mississippi and traveled into Louisiana, covering 40 miles and swimming across the mighty Mississippi River two times. "This guy is an extreme case of mobile personality on steroids," said one of the MSU researchers. 

Alas, Buck 140’s traveling and swimming days came to an end one day last December when Mississippi hunter Trevor Martin pulled the trigger on the big-racked 8-pointer. “"I was so shocked," Trevor said. "I didn't even know he had (ear research) tags when I shot him.

Missouri Bowhunters Have Solid Season 

Data from the Missouri Department of Conservation shows that bowhunters checked 56,525 deer last season. Solid numbers, but the harvest was down some 3,000 deer from the 2021 archery season. Top counties for bow harvest were Jefferson (1,391 deer), Franklin (1,182) and St. Louis (1,068). 

Alabama Rut Going Strong

While deer seasons are winding down or over in most parts of the country, things are just getting good down in Alabama. “With the rut starting, the bucks are getting interested. This is the time to be out hunting if you’re in the lower two-thirds of the state,” says Chris Cook, Deer Program Coordinator with the Alabama Department of Conservation. “If we get normal weather for the rest of the season, I suspect a lot of deer will be killed.” 

In most regions of Alabama, deer season runs through February 10, 2023. Visit Outdoor Alabama  for details. 

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