It’s getting cooler than it has been, days are getting shorter, and the smell of fall is in the air. That can only mean one thing! Deer hunting season must be right around the corner.
And with that in mind a number of agencies, organizations and corporate entities have announced a “Big Buck” contest for West Virginia.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, the West Virginia Bowhunters Association, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR), the West Virginia Muzzleloaders Association, West Virginia Physically Challenged Advisory Board, and Toyota have announced that they are once 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.
Big Buck contests are rampant across America during the deer hunting seasons. Everyone from newspapers, corporate organizations, sportsmen’s clubs, and sometimes even a few local governments get involved in the hoopla over big bucks. Sometimes there are cash prizes, plaques, and most get their photo in the local newspaper.
As we know, to every good thing there are rules, and this sponsored contest is no exception to that. According to the press release 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 & Crockett Club, an organization dedicated to preserving our hunting heritage.
Plaques and certificates will be awarded for the different sizes of racks and different types of hunts, i.e, Rifle, Bow, Crossbow, and Muzzleloader. The Department of Natural Resources says that last year (2010) there were 66 new entries into the Big Buck Records. The awards will be at the National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration held at Stonewall Jackson State Park on the fourth weekend in September 2012
OK, so you’ve killed that buck that has a rack that can hold a thousand hats (the writer giggles here), so now what do you do if you are a WV hunter? Well, according to the WVDNR, you need to go to their website where there is a list of “Official Measurers” for the contest and make an appointment to have the rack measured. Simple enough, right!
So, if you are a hunting fanatic in WV, start scouting the areas you like to hunt. What? You mean you’ve already begun that task! OK then! Get er’ done!