Antlerless only gun deer hunting very successful

By Fred Pace

October 28, 2013

ALKOL — Jacob Bragg is becoming a phenomenal sportsman.

Last week he and his father Derrick took to the woods to take part in the earliest split of antlerless only gun deer hunting that happened on Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 24 through 26, over a broad swath of all or parts of 45 of the Mountain State’s 55 counties.

“He was so excited last night he did not go to sleep until about 1 a.m. the morning we went out to hunt,” Jacob’s dad, Derrick, said. “I was trying to rush him to shoot because the deer were getting nervous and were about to run, but he would not shoot until it was just right and he got a perfect heart shot and the deer only went a short distance from our location.”

Jacob uses an AR-15 223 caliber with the adjustable stock.

“It was the only one I could find that would fit his frame and be a legal weapon that did not have a large recoil,” Derrick said. “He has practiced with his weapon and become a very proficient marksman.”

As many West Virginians take to the field during the annual deer hunting seasons, they gain more than just an enjoyable day with family and friends. Many will successfully harvest a deer and fill their freezers with an ample amount of “heart-healthy” venison.

“Venison is an excellent alternative to beef for those concerned with healthier choices in their diet,” said Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “Venison is a healthy source of protein for many West Virginia families and has fewer calories and less fat than an equivalent serving of beef. With the changes in the 2013 deer harvest regulations, hunters this fall will have additional opportunities to harvest a deer.”

“Jacob loves the different recipes I prepare throughout the winter,” Derrick said. “The extra meat really helps us get through the winter months. One of his favorites is a marinade called southwest with a spicy kick but it’s not too much heat even for the little guy.”

Jacob Bragg is a fifth grader at Duval Elementary and lives in Alkol. The deer was harvested in Alkol, early in the coldest morning we have had so far this fall.

Hunters are not the only West Virginians who benefit from deer harvested in the state. Over the past two decades, DNR has sponsored the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program. Since its inception in 1992, hunter-donated venison has provided more than 1.1 million meals for needy West Virginia families.

For more information about the HHH program or West Virginia’s various deer hunting seasons and regulations, consult the 2013-2014 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary available at all DNR offices and license agents or visit the DNR website at

Early reports of the antlerless only gun deer hunting have yet to be posted by the DNR, but indications are that is was very successful for many.