By Chris Ellis
For The Register-Herald
This past week brought us snow and rain. Like my kids are fond of saying in a very sarcastic tone, “Really?” For the sportsmen in our area, the last couple of days of winter can be a downtime in the action. For those needing to scratch the hunting and fishing itch, I have a little news that might just do the trick.
Attention, hunters, anglers, trappers, landowners, farm groups and others interested in making recommendations for hunting, trapping and fishing regulations. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources wants your comments about the recent proposed regulation changes for the upcoming years. I commend the WVDNR for their efforts and willingness to make it easy for us sportsmen to voice our opinions on our favorite pastime — time afield hunting and fishing.
The WVDNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state this week to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2013 hunting regulations for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bear and boar, proposed 2014-2015 general hunting and trapping regulations, proposed amphibian and reptile regulations and proposed 2014 fishing regulations.
“The public meetings have been designed to use an ‘Open House’ format,’” said DNR Director Frank Jezioro. “This informal meeting style allows people to attend at their convenience during the scheduled meeting times, learn of proposed regulation changes, discuss these proposals with wildlife resources biologists and Natural Resource police officers and comment on the proposed regulations and other wildlife-related issues.”
These meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and the public is encouraged to attend:
n Fairmont, East Fairmont High School (Commons Area);
n Martinsburg, James Rumsey Technical Institute (cafeteria);
n Summersville, Nicholas County High School;
n Lewisburg, Quality Inn (Conference Room);
n Milton, West Virginia Pumpkin Park (office building);
n Harrisville, 4-H Camp.
n Beckley, Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center;
n Glen Dale, John Marshall High School (cafeteria);
n Moorefield, Moorefield Middle School (cafeteria);
n Elkins, DNR Operations Center;
n Logan, Chief Logan State Park Conference Center;
n Parkersburg, City Building (lobby).
For local sportsmen, having the WVDNR public meeting held at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center this year sure does make it convenient. I spoke with our district’s WVDNR law enforcement captain, Larry Case, and he was encouraged that the turnout will be good at this year’s meetings and is excited to hear from fellow sportsmen.
“I would encourage all hunters, fishermen, landowners and anyone else who may have an interest in DNR- and outdoor-related regulations to attend the sectional meetings,” said Case. “The purpose of these meetings is to hear from the public and gather their input on DNR-related regulations. This is your opportunity to be heard.”
I agree with Capt. Case: This is a great opportunity to have your opinions heard and “talk turkey” with fellow sportsmen.
If nothing else, it will give you a chance to try on the new camouflaged pullover you received as a gift for Christmas.
I can’t wait for warmer weather and the chance to go afield in hopes of hearing a turkey, letting the world know that winter is over and spring has arrived. It will be a joyful celebration in the spring woods this year and I, for one, plan on attending the affair graciously.