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Purple paint posting law now in effect

When I started learning how to hunt back in 1955, it was unlawful to fish, hunt, shoot, trap or even trespass on the acreage of another, if the land was enclosed, fenced, or posted, without the written permission of the landowner. In 2016, another condition was added to this state tradition for posting private acreage — the use of purple paint.

According to this new law that was passed by the West Virginia legislature, land boundaries can now be marked with a clearly visible purple painted mark consisting of one vertical line no less than 8 inches in length and at least 2 inches wide. The bottom of the painted mark can not be less than 3 feet above the ground or more than 6 feet from the ground or normal water surface.

The painted marks must be affixed to immovable or permanent objects that are no more than 100 feet apart and readily visible to any person approaching such property. Even if the landowners post their acreage with purple paint, they must also post written signs along all public road ways, private driveways or gates of the entry onto the posted acreage. The printed signs of the landowner must be clearly noticeable from the outside of the land boundary line.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reminds hunters they must have in their possession the written permission of the landowner before entering any posted private land. Sometimes, this can be difficult to obtain, particularly if the owner lives in another state. Here is why I have always recommended that a hunter wishing to hunt on private acreage of another tries to get the written permission from the owner during the summer months prior to the hunting season.

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Due to the unseasonably warm temperatures we have had this fall, just about all of the leaves are still green. This condition makes squirrel hunting quite difficult. The quick little critters can easily hide in the leaves and remain motionless for several minutes at a time.

I have been out hunting for a few days this passed week. On one morning, I saw seven bushy-tails, but only got one. On another day, I decided to hunt with my grandfather’s old J.C. Higgins bolt-action 12 gauge shotgun. On that cool, crisp morning, I saw four squirrels, fired three shots and came home with three squirrels. That inexpensive 70-year-old shotgun still throws a good pattern out to 40 to 45 yards using Remington 2 3/4 inch maximum loads with number six shot. Right now, I have six squirrels in my freezer and none of them had warbles.

In these particular woods, the acorns and hickory nuts are plentiful. On the last day, I was in this small patch of woods, I saw more deer than I did squirrels.

From the reports, I have been getting from other hunters, the large red oak acorns are everywhere. This may sound good for the deer and wild turkey hunters, but it could get to the point to scatter the game animals out to where they could be difficult to hunt.

This weekend, I plan to cook two of the young squirrels that are in my freezer. I found a different recipe for squirrel gravy online that I would like to so try out. I showed it to one of my hunting friends and he told me this was the way his grandmother made squirrel gravy and it was mouth-watering delicious over homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes.