Last week, I barely touched bases on how the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources was going to hold the antlerless firearms seasons this year. I said there were no individual counties that would have limited antlerless gun hunting on private land for this year. This is very true, but hunters need to remember that all antlerless deer taken with a firearm during the antlerless season (Nov. 21 to Dec. 10, and Dec. 28 to Dec. 31) must be on a Class N or NN license or stamp.
Taking an antlerless deer and not having a Class N stamp in your possession could result in getting cited for a game violation by the WVDNR police if checked. There are some exceptions to this including:
- Resident landowners may hunt antlerless deer of their own land without a license, provided the acreage is in a county or part of a county open to antlerless hunting.
- Resident landowners, their resident children, or resident parents do not have to live on the acreage. However, resident tenants must live on such land.
- Resident stockholders of resident corporations formed for the primary purpose of hunting or fishing who own in fee no less than 1,000 acres may hunt antlerless deer on own land, provided the land is in a county or part of a county open to antlerless deer hunting.
- Residents or nonresidents who hold Class DT licenses are not required to purchase a Class N or NN stamp, but must comply to all other antlerless regulations.
In counties of local interest, Monongalia County will have a season bag limit of four antlerless deer. Lewis, Marion, Pendleton (private land) and Taylor counties will have a season bag limit of two antlerless deer. Barbour (private land), Grant (private land), Pocahontas (private land), Randolph (private land), Tucker (private land) and Upshur will have a season bag limit of one antlerless deer.
This year, Teter Creek Lake Wildlife Management Area will have limited antlerless deer hunting. The DNR is only going to issue 10 permits for this small (137 acres) tract of land. Other WMAs that will have limited antlerless hunting will be Bluestone, Elk River, Stonecoal and Stonewall Jackson Lake. Grant and Tucker counties will have limited antlerless hunting on public land. Anyone wishing to hunt antlerless deer in these locations must apply by filling out the computer selection card and mailing it to the DNR before Aug. 19.
About 12 years ago, I went antlerless deer hunting on the Teter Creek Lake WMA for the first and only time. I feel this location is just too close to civilization to be hunting with a centerfire or high-powered rifle. I have made the recommendation in the past that this WMA be closed to all firearms hunting except for maybe muzzleloader. Hunting this close to civilization with a centerfire rifle is just a hunting accident waiting to happen.
All deer hunters need to remember that no more than three antlered (bucks) deer can be taken during the calendar year, with the exception of the special urban archery hunts. As I mentioned last week, all sportsmen and women need to study the hunting regulations for 2011-2012. The changes the DNR has made for this year are somewhat different than what they have been in other hunting seasons.