I'm going to have to use the first part of this week's column to correct the mistakes I made in last week's article regarding the antlerless gun season in Randolph County.
This year, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is going to have limited antlerless gun hunting on the Beaver Dam Wildlife Management Area of Monongahela National Forest, Huttonsville State Farm Wildlife Management Area and Kumbrabow State Forest. All three of these areas are located in Randolph County. Applications for these limited hunts are readily available at the Elkins Operations Center.
Just about all of the remainder of the National Forest in Randolph County is closed to antlerless gun hunting.
This will include the Cheat WMA, Otter Creek WMA, and the Tea Creek WMA. Deer hunters need to know that Becky Creek WMA also is closed to antlerless firearm hunting.
During the muzzleloader season, the closed public hunting areas for antlerless gun hunting will be restricted to antlered deer only. Class RM and RRM are required for taking an additional antlered deer and must be purchased prior to the opening of the muzzleloader season (Dec. 9).
Hunters may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all archery and the firearms seasons combined. Only one antlered deer can be taken per day.
I did not realize all of the variables of the antlerless deer gun season for Randolph County were going to be similar to the variables of the state black bear seasons. This past Monday, I got a little scolding from one of the game biologists at the Operations Center for my errors last week.
However, this is another reason why the DNR needs to return to the old classroom-type format when they have the regulations meetings in March of each year.
Sportsmen and women were better informed with that setup as to what the DNR was going to be doing in the next one or two years. It is also interesting to know the regulations meetings had a higher attendance using the old format than with the now used open-house type format.
The 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations are now out. I know they can be picked up at the Operations Center and the visitors center at the Elkins Railroad Depot. I recommended last week that all bear hunters study the new bear regulations to where they are fully comprehended. This also goes for nimrods hunting antlerless deer with a firearm in Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker Counties. Anyone having any questions should try to make contact with a game biologist or a Natural Resources police officer at the Operations Center (304- 637-0245) or at the French Creek Wildlife Center (304-924-6211).
The summer for this year has been hot, humid, and wet. Yet this is the time to think about getting into shape for the upcoming hunting season. The deer archery season will open Sept. 28.
It may seem like a long way off for some people, but it's only 2 1/2 months away. Bow hunters need to be practicing and doing whatever is needed to have their archery equipment fully tuned up.
Hunters over 50 years of age need to think about getting a physical check-up.
This past week, I got a little physical from my doctor. My blood pressure was slightly elevated, but my electrocardiogram (EKG) was good. The thing that really pleased me were the results of my clinical blood tests. All individual tests were normal with the exception of a slightly elevated total cholesterol and low density cholesterol (LDL).
Last year, I was feeling my years while dragging a large doe out of the woods. I kept telling myself next year don't go so far back into the woods.
I just hope I can hold myself to that commitment.
I'm also going to try to eat better: More fruits and vegetables and less heavy carbohydrates. Also less fatty fried foods, as my wife, Ruth, keeps bugging me to do.
Just sitting here writing this article and thinking about a slice of iced cold watermelon simply makes my mouth water.