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Hunting rules as major as deer season

November 16, 2003|by Bill Anderson

Last week I traveled a large section of West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware via Interstate.

This is the time of year for maximum deer movement, and you expect to see road kills as you pass through some of the best deer country in this part of the United States.

But what I still find surprising are the deer that have been hit in heavily populated areas and around shopping centers and apartment complexes.

Deer are truly urban creatures now and a lot of soccer moms and dads are learning first-hand the value of managing the deer population. The damage in terms of property damage to vehicles and injury to the people in the cars is staggering.

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In our area, the deer season really kicks off with the opening of the West Virginia firearms season Nov. 24. The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources is serious about increasing the antlerless deer harvest and, as a result, most counties will feature 22 days of antlerless hunting on private lands.

One of the most important aspects is that the 51 counties open to antlerless deer hunting will be open for concurrent hunting during the two-week bucks season.

The 51 counties with the 22-day antlerless deer season have the two weeks of concurrent antlerless deer hunting during the regular bucks season.

Then, the antlerless season will reopen Dec. 8-13 on both private and public land. Then, for the big finale, there will be a late segment that is open Dec. 24-27 on private land only.

This represents one of the more generous firearms seasons found in this part of the country.

Keep in mind that a few counties have a limited number of permits available and more restrictive bag limits. Hunters should carefully review the regulations brochures available at license vendors and DNR offices.

Another point constantly stressed by the DNR is that this is concurrent hunting opportunity is not what the DNR calls a "hunter's choice" season.

This means that you need a valid Class N (antlerless) license or the license exemption to take an antlerless deer during the concurrent buck season. And, this also means that only one deer may be taken per day. For example, if you take an antlerless deer early on opening day, you are done for that day.

And finally, there are 42 counties, hunters who have purchased three Class N licenses and the RG or RRG license may take up to four antlerless deer. And, hunters may take up to two antlerless deer per day on private land in certain counties during the Dec. 8-13 antlerless season.

The regulations regarding the various antlerless deer hunting opportunities are getting fairly complex. That's why a careful review of the regulations is very important.




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

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