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Hunters killed five wild boar during the 2003 season. Archery hunters took two and firearms hunters killed three. The entire harvest came from the same general area. This represents the fourth year in succession harvests have declined and the lowest since the first boar season began in 1979 when three were killed. The 1979 season was the first weekend in November and only 200 permits were issued.
Biologists do not believe that boar hunting contributed to the population decline. Past seasons have been short and hunter participation restricted by permits. Habitat changes and poor reproduction are likely the primary reasons for the decline. However, season restrictions are the only methods available that might increase populations, and the 2003 boar season was severely restricted for this reason. The single firearms season scheduled October 27 through November 1 was designed to reduce the harvest and provide an increased number of boar the additional time needed to occupy more productive habitats.
Traditionally, hunters have been less successful during the early gun season. Weather conditions are usually warm and dry and leaf fall makes boar and boar sign more difficult to find. It is hoped the season restrictions contributed to the dismal harvest and that it was not just a result of a decimated wild boar population.
Wildlife Resources biologists are conducting an extensive survey in February 2004 to confirm the presence or absence of wild boar in their once 200 square mile range. This survey will dictate future actions necessary to maintain the wild boar resource. The survey results are expected in early March 2004.
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© 2003 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources