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Outdoors - Remember the rules as seasons open

November 25, 2000

Outdoors - Remember the rules as seasons open



Wildlife managers always stress weather as the most important factor controlling the success of the firearms deer season. Opening day in West Virginia Monday was not a fun day to be in the woods. A bitterly cold northwest wind pushed chill factors near zero degrees in many areas, and the higher elevation areas were blanketed by several inches of snow.

The opening day forecast for Maryland is rain or perhaps freezing rain for much of the state - a far cry from last season when hunters were struggling to keep game from spoiling in the unusually hot weather conditions.

W.Va. hunters still have a week to go in the regular firearms season, but it is not too early to begin thinking about the upcoming antlerless and muzzleloader seasons. Some important changes over the past few seasons may confuse hunters.

This year, W.Va. antlerless deer hunting was open the first six days of the firearms season (Nov. 20-25) in 33 counties or private lands. These same counties, in addition to 15 additional counties (or parts thereof), will be open to antlerless deer hunting Dec. 4-9. on both public and private lands.

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Several other issues are important to keep in mind. To hunt antlerless deer you are required to have a valid Class N license unless you are a resident landowner, resident child or resident parent of the landowner.

The W.Va. muzzleloader season runs Dec. 11-16. Last season, W.Va. hunters bagged 13,295 deer during the muzzleloader season.

Deer of either sex may be taken during the muzzleloader season in those counties open to antlerless deer hunting. A second deer of either sex may be taken using an additional unfilled class RG or RRG deer license. In counties or wildlife management areas with limited antlerless permits, one deer of either sex may be taken during the muzzleloader season.

Maryland hunters are reminded that the state has four management regions with separate bag limits and different regulations. In Region A, comprised of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington (Zone 2) counties, deer must be antlered from Nov. 25-Dec. 7. On Dec. 8-9, deer of either sex may be taken.

In Region B, comprised of Carroll, Frederick (Zone 1) and Washington (Zone 1) counties, deer of either sex may be taken. If a hunter purchases a bonus Deer Stamp, he or she still may only take one antlered deer from Region B.

Pennsylvania firearms season opens Monday, so the next few days will be busy ones in deer country. To that end, the Pa. Game Commission is reminding motorists to stay on the alert for deer crossing highways as a result of increased human activity in the woods.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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