Some changes to 2018-19 WV hunting regulations
Attention all West Virginia hunters and trappers. It’s once again time for outdoor summer school and the course materials are hot off the presses.
Don’t think of this assignment the same way you remember the schoolwork of your past. Instead, think of this assignment as a guide book to your fall/winter outdoor activities and your path to satisfying days afield and freezers full of fresh protein.
Every year around this time, the WVDNR publishes the highly anticipated, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary booklet. Inside that booklet, is a page that outlines the summary of the changes for the upcoming season. Following is a sneak peek.
1. Sunday hunting will be legal on public lands throughout West Virginia. See page 8 for more details on public lands that are open to Sunday hunting.
2. Season dates and open counties for antlerless deer, fall wild turkey, and black bear hunting seasons have changed. See appropriate sections for details.
3. The black bear archery and crossbow seasons will no longer be split seasons and will run September 29-December 31 statewide.
4. The wild boar seasons will be split seasons. See page 43.
5. The muzzleloader deer season dates have changed, and the season will run December 10-16.
6. Bow and crossbow hunting is prohibited on Bright McCausland Homestead Wildlife Management Area.
7. The Mountaineer Heritage Season for deer and bear will be open January 10-13, 2019.
8. The daily bag limit for raccoon hunting will be four during a 24-hour period from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. the following day.
9. Seniors who previously have made a resident purchase through a license agent or at a DNR office may buy a senior lifetime license online at www.wvhunt.com.
10. Non-resident, full-time students of any West Virginia college or university are eligible to purchase lifetime licenses.
11. Berkeley and Mineral counties have been added to the CWD carcass transport regulations and will have designated CWD sampling stations (see pages 12 and 13).
12. Traps used for taking game or furbearing animals now may be identified with a durable plate or tag with either the owner’s name and address or his or her DNR identification number used for checking game.
If any of these changes caught your eye and made you curious, be on the lookout at your local sporting goods shop, a West Virginia hunting and fishing license agent counter, a DNR district office (Aug. 1 projected timeline for hard copies) or go online at wvdnr.gov to retrieve an electronic copy of the new Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary booklet. It’s time to start cracking the books so that you come into this fall’s hunting season prepared.
I, for one, have always been in favor of any increased opportunity afforded to hunters, anglers and trappers and agree that it helps to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters and anglers. I applaud the WVDNR for expanding our opportunities to go afield and enjoy nature’s glory and her bounties.
It won’t be long now until hunting season is in full swing.
Chris Ellis of Fayetteville, W.Va., an outdoorsman and Marshall University graduate, is owner of Ellis Communications, a public relations agency serving the outdoor industry. Contact him at email@example.com.