Last week, I emphasized that the 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations are now out.
By now, they should be available at just about any location that sells hunting and fishing licenses.
There are several (maybe too many) variables in the way the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is conducting the black bear and antlerless deer firearms seasons this year. While I am not a bear hunter, I really think that many of the bear hunters in this area are going to be somewhat confused and/or frustrated when it comes to figuring out what they can and cannot do. Now is the time to study these regulations to where they are fully understood.
The variables in the antlerless firearms regulations for this area are just about as confusing. Last week, I emphasized that anyone hunting antlerless deer in Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Tucker Counties should study the new regulations to where they are fully comprehended.
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CONTEST?WINNERS:?This past week, the WVDNR announced the winners of all the 2012 Big Buck Contests. Over the years, this contest has been sponsored by the DNR, along with Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, Bowhunters Association, West Virginia Muzzleloaders Association, the West Virginia Physically-Challenged Advisory Board and Toyota to give any hunter recognition who takes an extraordinarily large antlered buck. Last year, 189 hunters had their deer antlers scored at one of the six WVDNR district offices, field offices, or at the West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show in Charleston.
In the modern firearms-type category, 22 bucks were entered by hunters who scored about the 140 Boone & Crockett points. The winner was Michael Taylor from Jumping Branch. This buck was taken in Summers County and scored 169 5/8 points.
In the muzzleloader category, only one muzzleloader hunter entered a buck that scored above 140 points. William Crothers II of Mineral Wells harvested a 14-Point muck that scored an even 173 points in Wirt County.
In the archery category, bow hunters entered 65 deer that scored above required 125 points (typical) or 155 points (non-typical).
The winner in the typical bow category was Roger Maynard of Williamson. Maynard's buck scored 170 1/8 points and was taken in Mingo County. Daniel Light of Boomer was the winner in the non-typical bow category with a 17-point buck. This buck scored 195 points and was taken in Fayette County. Light's buck took over the fourth position for non-typical bow kills in the list that ranks at the top five buck scores of all time in West Virginia.
Physically-challenged crossbow hunters need to score above the 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical to win. This year, there were no typical or non-typical bucks entered that were taken with a crossbow that met these minimum scores.
The winners of each category will receive a plaque during the 2013 National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration in late September at the Stonewall Resort State Park in Lewis County. The list of all bucks meeting minimum qualifications is posted on the Big Buck Contest page of the WVDNR website at www.WVDNR.gov/hunting/BigBuckContest.shtm.
This is one list I wouldn't mind having my name on; but at my age, I am beginning to wonder if I am going to make it. The biggest buck I have ever taken is an 8-point that is on the wall at Beanders Due North in downtown Elkins. This buck doesn't even come close to the required 140 points, but let's see what the year 2013 brings.