In 2008, 95 clubs, three clubs who did not give the number of members and 341 individuals responded to the West Virginia Division of National Resources Annual Questionnaire. This compares to 67 groups, two groups who did not list their members and 146 individuals who responded in 2007. The total number of members for 2008 was 5,409 to 31,233 in 2007. I have to admit this is down considerably.
All of the proposed regulations changes by the WVDNR for 2009-2010 were approved by large margins (some by more than 90 percent). I do not think any of these changes will have any effect on hunting or fishing in Randolph or adjoining counties in the next two years.
Some of the individual recommendations I think would be of interest to all sportsmen and sportswomen in this area are listed below: Two individuals and one group with unlisted numbers say that the DNR is doing a great job and for them to keep up their good work. Three individuals would like the DNR to increase all the non-resident license fees. One person would like landowners to have a property tax reduction when they open their acreage to public hunting. To be able to implement a program like this, I think it would require a vote of approval by the state legislature. Another person would like to see more youth hunts.
In the Deer-General column, some of the recommendations were: eight individuals and one group of fifty members would like crossbow hunters to be required to purchase a separate stamp. One person would like Kumbrabow State Forest to be a quality deer management area, and another person would like the youth deer firearms season to be open for either bucks or does.
In the anterless column, some of the individual recommendations were: three people would like to have an anterless season in Randolph County, and three groups with a total of 476 members want an anterless season in Randolph County on private acreage.
Several individuals and groups would like to have an early muzzleloader season with traditional muzzleloading firearms. This would be quite difficult to enforce.
Seven persons would like to be able to hunt spring gobblers all day, and a few others would like the fall turkey season to be open statewide. Two groups totaling 46 members would like the DNR to prohibit rifles during the spring gobbler season.
In the black bear column, a few individuals think that the bear season is terrific and for the bear biologists to keep up their good work. Five individuals do not think that Randolph County should have an early bear season. Six persons would like to have an early bear season for three days in November instead of the six-day season in September. Three individuals would like to be able to bait the bears during the bow season.
Several anglers would like the DNR to establish a trout season because too many people are following the stock trucks. A few people would like the DNR to stock more brown trout, and others would like the state to stop announcing when and where trout will be stocked.
Fifty-five people attended the sectional meeting, held in Buckhannon this past March. This compares to 39 in 2007 and 30 in 2006. When the meetings were held in Elkins, there were 69 in 2005, 63 in 2004, and 70 in 2003.
I think that it would be in the best interests of sportsmen and sportswomen for the DNR to bring the sectional meeting back to Elkins using the old captive-audience-type format.
More people attended this meeting and responded to the questionnaires under this old system.