Weather not favorable for hunting right now

This week, I have been getting some friendly criticism from a few of my hunting friends. I know that the squirrel season has been in for three weeks and I haven’t been in the woods at all. The reasons for this are simple. It has been either too hot or it has been raining when I could go.

Let’s face some facts. The temperatures for this month have not been below 40 degrees for any day in September. During the daylight hours, quite often, the temperatures are in the low to mid 80s. When conditions are like this, I just don’t enjoy being in the woods.

The weather forecast for this past week called for rain every day except for Friday and Saturday. This could be good news for the deer and black bear bow and crossbow hunters in this area because these seasons open today.

Last week, I talked with two squirrel hunters from Nicholas County.

Both told me they had no trouble getting their limit (six squirrels) during the morning hours. Several other people have informed me that the bushy-tails are out there in large numbers for this year. Squirrel hunting, however, isn’t the most popular hunting season; like it was in my younger days.

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Recently, I went to the September Izaak Walton League Dinner meeting. Just about all of the guys and a few of the gals in attendance are hunters. They all tell me that it has just been too hot, too humid or too wet to even think about going hunting. It just simply looks like us outdoor enthusiasts are going to have to be patient until the weather turns favorable to go hunting.

Last Thursday, I spoke with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police Captain, Douglas Benson, at French Creek. Benson informed me that West Virginia has not had one hunting accident as of Sept. 27 for this year. This includes shooting, tree stand falls, etc. This has to be good news and all hunting enthusiasts need to be fully aware of this. At the same time, hunters need to let other people know this hard fact.

In a Sept. 25 news release, the WVDNR is going to open some state owned and National Forest roads for the class Q/QQ physically challenged hunters this fall. Paul Johansen, chief of the DNR Wildlife Resources Sections says, “Thanks to our partnerships with the George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Monongahela National Forests; we’ve been able to provide some excellent hunting opportunities for physically challenged hunters.” Johansen went on to say, “We started this program about two decades ago and we are very pleased with how it has expanded.

These class Q (resident) and class Q (non-resident) hunting permits are issued by the DNR to applicants who are permanently disabled in the lower extremities by a licensed physician. The applicants who are approved are issued a wallet-sized permit card. This card has to be presented in person to the appropriate National Forest or WVDNR district office to receive a letter of authorization and gate key to use the designated class Q/QQ road. These roads are kept closed to ensure restricted access.

The physically-challenged hunter still has to comply with all National Forest or WVDNR rules and all state hunting regulations while behind the gates. All appropriate documentation, licenses and stamps must be in the hunter’s possession while they are hunting in these special areas.

In Randolph County, two National Forest Roads that will be open for class Q/QQ hunters are as follows:

— Five lick (Forest Road 153/153A)

— Little Beech Mountain (Forest Road 385, 183B)

In Tucker County, two National Forest Roads that will be open for Class Q/QQ hunters are as follows:

–Goodwin Run (Forest Road 933)

–Bushy Fork (Forest Road 973)

For more information about the National Forest or State-owned Class Q/QQ hunting opportunities, go to the Monongahela National Forest Office at 200 Sycamore St. in Elkins, or call 304-636-1800.

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