Even though it’s the middle of summer another hunting season is only a couple of months away. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources now has applications available for the 2013 Antlerless Deer and Bear seasons. Hunters in 19 counties will be able to bear hunt on private land during the two-week buck season this year, but they have to fill out and turn in an application beforehand.
The concurrent bear/buck season will take place from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7 without the use of dogs. Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Lewis, Mercer, Mineral, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties will be open for concurrent bear hunting during the traditional buck-gun season by permit only. Resident landowners, their resident children or resident tenants who live on the land are not required to apply for a limited bear firearms season permit or purchase a class DS bear hunting stamp to bear hunt on their own land.
“Counties that will be open for bear hunting during the buck-gun season are above their management objective and need additional bears harvested to achieve their goal,” according to Colin Carpenter, Black Bear project leader for the WVDNR. “Timing is critical when setting bear hunting seasons, and the limited bear firearms season will occur when the maximum number of hunters are in the woods. This is the first time that hunters in the majority of these counties will have the opportunity to harvest a black bear during the buck-gun season, and we hope they will take advantage of it.”
Each hunter must fill out a separate application that must be signed, dated, legible, complete and received by the DNR Application Section by Aug. 19. Successful applicants will be sent an “Eligibility Card” (permit) in October. This permit will indicate the county in which the applicant may hunt and provide instructions for obtaining a class DS stamp. Neither the permit, nor the class DS stamp, is transferable, and the county of hunt cannot be changed.
Applications will be available at the following locations: online at www.wvdnr.gov; hunting license agents; DNR district offices; DNR Elkins Operations Center; and the DNR main office in South Charleston. Completed applications must be mailed to the Application Section, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 67, Elkins 26241-0067, by Aug. 19. Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found on pages 36-39 of the 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
There will also be a limited number of antlerless deer permits issued for counties or areas of the state where wildlife biologists have determined that limited numbers of antlerless deer permits are necessary to meet management objectives. Seven wildlife management areas and three state forests (Beaver Dam, Blackwater, Calvin Price State Forest, Elk River, Greenbrier State Forest, Huttonsville State Farm, Kumbrabow State Forest, Little Canaan, Little River and Potomac) and 10 counties or portions thereof (Boone, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Raleigh and Webster) will have a limited number of Class N licenses for resident and Class NN licenses for nonresident antlerless deer hunting from Oct. 24 to 26 on private land only and Nov. 25 to Dec. 7, Dec. 19 to 21 and Dec. 28 to Dec. 31 on private and public land.
Applications must be received by the DNR before the close of business on Aug. 19. The 2013 limited antlerless deer season will provide an opportunity for 1,150 residents and nonresidents to participate on the seven WMAs or three state forests. An additional 2,800 residents and nonresidents will be selected to hunt antlerless deer in the 10 counties that are restricted to antlerless deer hunting. Resident landowners do not need a permit to hunt on their own land.
For complete information on antlerless deer season dates and bag limits, consult the 2013–2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, which is available at West Virginia hunting and fishing license agents, DNR offices and online a wvdnr.gov.