SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the winners of the 2010 West Virginia Big Buck Contest, according to Gene Thorn, Chairman of the West Virginia Big Buck Contest Review Committee. The contest is cosponsored by the DNR, Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, West Virginia Bowhunter’s Association, West Virginia Muzzleloader’s Association, West Virginia Physically Challenged Advisory Board and Toyota to recognize sportsmen and women who take an extraordinarily big antlered buck in West Virginia.
This past year, 292 hunters had their deer antlers scored at one of the six DNR district offices, field offices, or during the West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show in Charleston. Sixty-five (65) hunters qualified for the 2010 Big Buck Contest by entering their legally-harvested bucks into one of four categories (gun, muzzleloader, bow or crossbow). Contestants were required to meet certain conditions to participate: deer antlers needed to meet or exceed a minimum score established for the respective category, an Official Game Check Tag had to be presented, and a Fair Chase Statement had to be signed.
Eleven bucks killed by gun hunters scored above 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical. In the Typical Gun category, the winner was Jeffery Whitman from Hurricane, W.Va.
, with a 10-point buck killed in Ritchie County that scored 157 7/8. There were no entries this year in the Non-typical Gun category.
Muzzleloader hunters needed to score above 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical to win. There were no typical or non-typical bucks taken with the muzzleloader this year that met the minimum score.
Bowhunters killed 52 deer that scored above 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical. The winner of the Typical Bow category was Bucky Sargent of Blair, W.Va.
, with an 11-point buck from Logan County that scored 163 6/8. There was no non-typical buck taken with the bow this year that met the minimum score.
Two bucks killed by physically-challenged crossbow hunters scored above 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical. The Typical Crossbow category winner was Carl Pate of Williamstown, W.Va.
, with a 16-point Wood County buck that scored 149 3/8. The Non-typical Crossbow category winner was Joe DeBerry of Rockport, W.Va.
, who took a big 18-point buck in Wood County that scored 171 4/8.
The Boone and Crockett Club or Pope and Young Club rating systems are used to score bucks, depending upon the method of harvest. The Boone and Crockett Club guidelines are used to score deer harvested with a firearm, muzzleloader, or crossbow (used by physically-challenged hunters with a Class Y Permit). Certificates are presented for racks scoring at least 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical for firearms and muzzleloaders, and scoring at least 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical for crossbow. Deer harvested with a bow are measured according to Pope and Young Club standards, and they are recognized with a certificate for racks scoring at least 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical.
The winner in each category will receive a plaque during the 2011 National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration, held the last weekend of September at Stonewall Resort State Park. A list of bucks meeting the minimum qualifications will be posted on the DNR’s website: www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/BigBuckContest.shtm
The Big Buck Contest Committee thanks all the hunters who participated in this year’s contest.
Gene Thorn, Wildlife Resources Section