The 2009-2010 Hunting and Trapping Regulations were released by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources a few days ago. For all practical purposes, they are unchanged for small game.
The only change that could affect the deer hunting in this area is the anterless firearms season in Randolph County. This will be a limited season only on private acreage from Nov. 23 through Dec. 12, and Dec. 29 through Dec. 31. To get a permit for Randolph County, a person must apply several days in advance on the special anterless application, available soon. The DNR is only issuing 400 permits for Randolph County.
There will also be a special muzzleloader season from Sept. 21 through 26 in several counties only on private acreage. Barbour, Grant and Pendleton are among these counties. Randolph, Upshur and Tucker are not included in this special season. To take a deer, a hunter must have a valid class RM or RRM stamp in his or her possession.
An archery anterless season will be on private land Sept. 14 through 19 in these same counties. The limit is one anterless deer, and the hunter must have in his or her possession a class RB or RRB stamp.
The bear hunting season will not be as liberal in 2009 as it was in 2008. Only four counties, Boone, Fayette, Kanawha and Raleigh, will be open for the Sept. 21 through 26 season. During this season, hunting will be permitted with dogs. Five counties, Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Monongalia and Raleigh, will open for bear hunting Nov. 23 through Dec. 5. Dogs will not be permitted during this season. The regular bear season will open on Dec. 7 through Dec. 31.
I have seen more bear this year than anytime in the past. However, I have said in past columns that I really do not have any desire to shoot a bear. I still would like to wish all bear hunters the best of luck going after "Old Blackie." Bear hunters need to remember that no one may take more than one bear per calendar year.
Calvin Price State Forest in Pocahontas County will be a designated Older-Aged Deer Management Area. All antlered deer taken in this state forest must have a minimum outside spread of at least 14 inches.
The 2009-2010 Hunting and Trapping Regulations should be available anywhere that sells hunting licenses. I would recommend that all nimrods looking forward to this year's hunting season to get a copy and study it thoroughly.
For the past two weeks, I have had some readers to tell me how much they enjoyed the column about the pet crow. That bird was quite a character, and he left behind many happy memories.