During the 2020–21 deer hunting season, hunters harvested 208,131 deer in Virginia, up less than 1% from the 206,976 deer taken during the same time frame the previous season. This year’s total included 100,821 antlered bucks, 1,117 bucks that had shed their antlers, 13,230 button bucks, 91,275 does (44%), and 1,748 deer of unknown sex.
The youth and apprentice deer-hunting weekend resulted in a harvest of 3,159 deer. Archery hunters took 14% of the total deer harvest while muzzleloading deer hunters and firearms hunters took 24% and 63% of the total harvest, respectively. Approximately 88% of the deer were reported using the Department’s electronic harvest reporting systems (telephone, online, and mobile app) through the Go Outdoors Virginia portal.
According to Deer Project Leader Matt Knox, the overall fall 2020 deer harvest numbers were nearly identical to last fall and would have probably been slightly higher if not for several Hemorrhagic Disease events scattered across the state in late summer and early fall 2020. Annual deer harvest totals by county dating back to 1947, including the county specific 2020 deer harvest totals, can be found on the Department’s website.
Data presented in this summary are preliminary and do not include deer taken during the late urban archery or special late antlerless-only deer seasons. Data also do not include deer taken on out-of-season deer kill permits or those deer hit and killed by vehicles. Persons interested in more information on Virginia’s deer management program can find the Department’s Deer Management Plan.