ELKINS — Many area hunters were out early Monday morning for the opening day of buck firearm season in the Mountain State, including many young hunters who scored their first buck.
Matt Higgins, owner of Middle Mountain Sporting Goods, said that even though hunters now can check their deer in online, many hunters still stopped in the store Monday with their game.
Higgins said while he had not seen a “true trophy” as of Monday afternoon, several deer had been checked in, including Ryan Hare’s first-ever buck.
Several other youngsters in the area also reported getting their first bucks.
Austin Teter, 9, killed a three-point buck early Monday morning while hunting with his granddad, Don Thomason, in the Mabie area; while Josh Warner, 13, was hunting with his father, Bryan Warner, in Circleville when he killed a four-point buck.
Buck firearms season will close Dec. 2.
The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources estimates that approximately 330,000 deer hunters will be in the woods this season across the state.
In the state of West Virginia, hunting contributes $500 million annually to the state’s economy. It is estimated that $230 million is spent by deer hunters in the state, and hunting is responsible for 5,400 job and $35 million in sales tax on goods and services spent in the Mountain State, according to information from the DNR’s website and information provided by Southwick Associates,
The West Virginia DNR offers a number of safety tips and regulations for hunters this season.
Deer may be hunted a half-hour before sunrise until a half-hour after sunset. A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all archery and firearms seasons combined. Once a person has killed his/her legal daily limit of deer, he/she may not continue to hunt deer for the remainder of that day. This includes hunting with either a bow or firearm.
For safety reasons, hunters are required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze-orange outer garment for visibility and safety. A blaze orange hat is not required.
Resident Deer Hunting License Privileges allow hunters to take one deer during archery or crossbow season, one antlered deer during buck firearms season and one deer during muzzleloader season.
Classes subject to these privileges include the following: Annual Classes X, XJ, and AHJ, Lifetime Classes A-L, AB-L, and XS, Military, Disabled Veteran, former POW, Senior Citizen and Underage.
Further, additional stamps must be purchased in order to hunt an additional antlered deer in the buck firearms season (Class RG), to archery hunt an additional deer (Class RB), hunt antler-less deer in antler-less season (Class N), hunt with a handgun (Class A-1), or to hunt an additional deer with a muzzleloader in muzzleloader season (Class RM).
It is illegal to bait or feed any wildlife on public land between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.
A full list of hunting regulations can be found online at the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources website at www.wvdnr.gov.