The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Outdoors

July 13, 2014

DNR’s ‘outdoor summer school’

This year’s edition features several changes to state hunting regulations

Attention all West Virginia hunters and trappers. It is once again time for outdoor summer school and the course materials are hot off the presses. Stop by your local sporting goods shop, a W.Va. hunting and fishing license agent counter, a DNR district office or simply go online to retrieve the course materials. It’s time to start cracking the books so that you come into this fall’s hunting season prepared.

Every year around this time, the WVDNR publishes the highly anticipated, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary booklet. This year’s version is a great summer read for the back porch swing or the air-conditioned den and features several changes to the hunting regulations. They also serve as great material for conversation starters at the local barber shop, the gun counter at the pawn shop or wherever hunters may gather. Below is a summary of the regulation changes for the 2014-2015 seasons as listed at wvdnr.gov.

1. All private land in counties having a firearms antlerless deer season (Class N or NN) will be open Oct. 23-25, Nov. 24-Dec. 6, Dec. 18-20 and Dec. 29-31. All public lands having an antlerless deer season will be open Nov. 24- Dec. 6, Dec. 18-20 and Dec. 29-31. Bag limits vary among counties but will be either one or three antlerless deer.

2. Fall wild turkey hunting season has been decreased in 2014 with 13 counties open Oct. 11-18; seven counties open Oct. 11-18 and Oct. 27-Nov. 1; and 14 counties open Oct. 11-18 and Oct. 27-Nov. 15.

3. Black bear gun hunting seasons in 2014 include 16 counties or parts thereof open Sept. 18-20; eight counties open Oct. 4-10; 17 counties open Nov. 24– Dec. 6 by permit only on private and public lands during the Buck Firearms Season and 11 counties open Nov. 24–Dec. 6 without permit during the Buck Firearms Season, and all 55 counties open Dec. 8-31. The daily bag limit is one bear per day with a season bag limit of two bears, provided at least one bear comes from Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Raleigh or Wyoming counties.

4. Trappers checking in beavers beginning April 1, 2015, and hunters checking in turkeys during the 2015 spring gobbler seasons must follow the new rules for electronic checking of game.

5. Voters in several counties approved Sunday hunting recently. Please see the “Sunday Hunting” subheading under “Hunting” on the DNR website for a current list of counties open to Sunday hunting on private land.

In addition, the WVDNR recently sent out a note reminding folks that applications for the 2014 Antlerless Deer Season are available at West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) district offices and the DNR Elkins and South Charleston offices. These applications also may be downloaded from the DNR's Web page.  

Eleven wildlife management areas (Beaver Dam, Big Ugly, Blackwater, Calvin Price State Forest, Elk River, Greenbrier State Forest, Kumbrabow State Forest, Little Canaan, Little River, Potomac and Wallback) and eight counties or portions thereof (Boone, Clay, Fayette, Mercer, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas and Raleigh) will have a limited number of Class N licenses for resident and Class NN licenses for nonresident antlerless deer hunting Oct. 23-25 on private land only, and Nov. 24 through Dec. 6, Dec. 18-20 and Dec. 29-31 on private and public land. Applications must be received by the DNR before the close of business Aug. 15, 2014.  

For complete information on antlerless deer season dates and bag limits, consult the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.  

It won’t be long now until we can hit the hills and hollows of our great state in search of nature’s wonderful bounties. I am looking forward to it.

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