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Deer harvest numbers vary

December 7, 2013
By Kenneth Cobb , The Inter-Mountain

It is now the second week of the deer buck season, and the weather for most of this week has been ideal for deer hunting.

From the way things are shaping up, it looks like I will be able to get out today, weather permitting.

Last Saturday, I was out on Files Creek for most of the day. I got into the woods about 8 a.m.

Within 10 minutes, I saw two nice gray squirrels that I could have nailed easily with a .22 rifle.

For the remainder of the day, I did not see a thing that was legal game. The only thing I could say when the day was over, "the worst day hunting is still better than the best day working."

During this outing, I saw at least two dozen deer rubs. A few of them were on saplings that were two to three inches in diameter. I also saw plenty of deer tracks in the snow, along with a large amount of droppings. Deer have to be in this area. I was just not at the right place at the right time.

When I went to work on Monday, I did not feel great because of the bad weather for the first week of the deer buck season. Yet at the time, I thought about how fortunate I really am to be able to get up and go to work at my age.

From the verbal reports I have been getting, residents are telling me the deer numbers are way down in some places and on the increase in some others. I was talking to a good friend of mine Wednesday who got a nice 10-point buck in Richie County.

When he showed me the picture, the only thing I could say, you need to get that thing scored.

For the past 40 years, the deer numbers have increased in the counties adjoining or near the Ohio River. When I was a teenager, it was almost unheard of to see a deer in Jackson or Roane Counties. In 2012, Jackson County had the third highest deer kill in the state (4,193). Randolph County finished fourth (4,169).

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West Virginia's Muzzleloading season comes in Monday and runs through Dec. 14.

I never had any interest in muzzleloading firearms of any type. Chances are, I will not be in the woods at all for next week.

For some, this is the best six days of all the various deer seasons.

In Randolph County during the muzzleloading season, one deer of either sex may be taken on a valid base hunting license or license combination, free license, resident underage, or by a resident landowner hunting on his/her own land. One additional deer of either sex may be taken on a Class RM or RRM stamp, or by a resident landowner using that privilege.

On public hunting areas in Randolph County like Becky Creek WMA, Cheat WMA of the National Forest, Huttonsville State Farm WMA and Kumbrabow State Forest, all muzzleloading hunting is restricted to antlered deer only.

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I think this month is going to be somewhat interesting in several respects. President Barack Obama's determination to pass strict gun-control laws continues to rush people to the license gun dealers. The number of National Instant Background Checks conducted last week was 144,758, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

These numbers, however, were slightly lower than the 154,873 NICS checks run on Black Friday in 2012, which came right after the general election. Traditionally, Black Friday has been the biggest day for gun sales nationwide. All that was changed after the Newtown, Conn., tragedy on Dec. 14, 2012. The president announced after that mass shooting murder that gun-control would be a top second term priority. This past week Vice President Joe Biden publicly announced, "We still need Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to reduce gun violence".

Area sportsmen and women need to observe what Congress is doing when it comes to their firearms rights and let their congressional representatives and senators know how they feel about this issue.



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