Some excuses to get out in the woods

Chris Ellis/For The Register-HeraldHere are a few suggestions or excuses to go take a walk in the woods. And if you have a dog who is your hunting buddy, even better.

In a normal year (remember those?), it is easy to get cabin fever this time of year. Add in the stressor of trying to cope with a worldwide pandemic with sheltering at home that may even intensify the effects of cabin fever. Lately, the cold days and snow-covered ground just don’t lend themselves to much outdoor activity. But sprinkled in those cold days, the sun may just come out to play for a few precious hours, and it is in those times you may feel the urge to get outside in the fresh air, if for no other reason than to breathe deep. Sounds simple, but it may just be the therapy you have been so yearning for.

So as a courtesy to you, and perhaps a reminder to me that the hunting season clock is ticking down quickly, I have compiled some hunting season information from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources that may be of help in the coming days of this cold month.

Whether it’s for physical health, a quarantined-15 weight gain, mental health, because you are bored or others in your household may simply need a little break from you or perhaps you from them, here are a few suggestions or excuses to go take a walk in the woods. And if you have a dog who is your hunting buddy, even better.

Squirrel (gray, black, albino and fox) season is open until Feb. 28 with a daily limit of six.

Ruffed grouse season is open until Feb. 28 with a daily limit of four.

Cottontail rabbit season is open until Feb. 28 with a daily limit of five.

Snowshoe or varying hare season is open until Feb. 28 with a daily limit of two.

Raccoon (hunting) bag limit of four is for the 24-hour period of 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. and the season is open until Feb. 28.

Red fox, gray fox (hunting and trapping) season is open until Feb. 28.

Red fox, gray fox none (hunting — night with artificial light/night vision technology, see page 3 of regulations for more details) season is open until Feb. 28.

Bobcat (hunting and trapping) season is open until Feb. 28.

Coyotes may be hunted year-round. Hunting coyotes at night using artificial light will be legal through Aug. 31. Firearms legal for night coyote hunting are shotguns with No. 2 or smaller shot and rifles and handguns of .22 caliber centerfire or smaller and .22 caliber rimfire or smaller. During closed small game seasons, coyotes may only be hunted in open fields. Guns must be cased while being transported to and from the open field. Electronic calls are legal.

There is no daily, annual or season bag limit.

As always, please refer to the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for further details because you never know if or when my fat fingers might have accidentally hit the wrong key.

Good luck and here’s to warmer weather soon.

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