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Tests for Natural Resources Police Officer positions

The Free Press WV

The Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has scheduled Physical Agility Tests (PAT) for anyone interested in applying for Natural Resources Police Officer (NRPO) positions open statewide.

The tests are scheduled for February 02-03 at the South Charleston Community Center, starting at 9 a.m. Walk-ons are accepted. Applicants are required to take a written exam at the West Virginia State Police Academy, either day at 12:30 p.m. Interviews for successful applicants are scheduled February 14-16. Times and a location will be announced at the PAT.

During the PAT, candidates must complete a 37.5-yard swim, a 1.5 mile run and timed pushups and sit-ups in proper form. Candidates should bring long pants and a shirt for the fully clothed swimming test and a change of clothing for the running test.

Passing the PAT is required to become a Natural Resources Police officer. To be considered, candidates must be willing to relocate and work in any county in the state. They must be willing to work all shifts and be on call. County assignment cannot be guaranteed.

Minimum qualifications include graduation from an accredited four-year college or university. Preference is given to those with majors in natural sciences, law enforcement, criminology or criminal justice. Candidates may substitute previous employment as a certified law enforcement officer.

Natural Resources Police officers have full law enforcement authority in West Virginia, and are responsible for the prompt, orderly and effective enforcement of all laws and rules, including the protection of the state’s natural resources from unlawful activities. Full details about the job and an online application can be found at http://www.wvdnr.gov/lenforce/employment.shtm. For more information, contact the WVDNR Law Enforcement Section at 304.558.2784 or email .

Additional Elk To Be Acquired From Kentucky For West Virginia’s Elk Restoration Project

The Free Press WV

Governor Jim Justice announced today that the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL) to acquire 17 additional elk next month as part of the state’s elk restoration effort.

This will be the second group of elk to come from LBL, which is located in Kentucky. In late 2016, 24 elk were captured and transported to the Tomblin Wildlife Management area in southern West Virginia.

“As a lifelong sportsman, I am proud to work with our state and federal partners to make elk restoration in West Virginia a success story,” said Governor Justice. “This is great news for all West Virginians as we continue to restore this magnificent native species to our state.”

The new additions to West Virginia’s elk herd should arrive by mid-February and be released before the anticipated arrival of 70 additional elk from Arizona later this year.

“Combined with the previous elk we received from LBL and the elk we are in the process of acquiring from Arizona later this year, West Virginia sportsmen and women will see increased wildlife recreation opportunities and economic growth well into the future,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “We want to thank all of the agencies involved for their work in making this happen.”

DNR Elk Project Leader Randy Kelley said the elk population at LBL is controlled to ensure the herd stays healthy. Occasionally, after the calving season, elk are moved to maintain the herd size. Kelley said DNR’s previous work with LBL will make capturing and moving this second group of elk easier for staff.

“We have vetted this herd in our previous transfer, so we are confident that we are receiving healthy animals that can thrive in our habitat,” Kelley said. “Additionally, since LBL will be capturing all their animals for their required whole-herd disease test, it will reduce the involvement for the DNR and eliminate the stress that would result if the animals were moved at another time.”

Kelley estimates that if all goes well with the transfer of elk from LBL and Arizona, West Virginia’s herd should total 100 by this summer.

West Virginia hunters harvest 108,160 deer in 2017

The Free Press WV

Preliminary counts indicate hunters harvested 108,160 white-tailed deer in West Virginia during the 2017 seasons. The 2017 harvest was 4 percent below the 2016 harvest of 112,384 deer, and 15 percent below the five-year average of 127,803.

A breakdown of the combined 2017 deer seasons reveals 44,127 bucks were harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 33,584 antlerless deer were killed during all antlerless firearm seasons, 26,206 deer were harvested by bows and crossbows, and 4,243 deer were taken by muzzleloader hunters.


Antlerless Deer Season

The 2017 antlerless deer harvest, which includes those taken during the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 3.5 percent less than in 2016 and 22 percent below the five-year average of 43,145.

“It is important to note that the antlerless harvest is the key component to any deer management strategy, as it controls the future deer population,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,703), Upshur (1,300), Ritchie (1,290), Lewis (1,258), Jackson (1,122), Roane (1,101), Wood (1,087), Braxton (1,083), Mason (1,052), and Harrison (1,014).

Hunters are reminded that the DNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state on March 12 and 13 to gather comments on fall 2018 antlerless deer hunting seasons in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.


Muzzleloader Deer Season

The 2017 muzzleloader harvest of 4,243 was 15 percent below the 2016 harvest of 4,997, and 26 percent below the five-year average of 5,768. The top 10 counties were: Preston (203), Randolph (194), Upshur (163), Nicholas (162), Lewis (146), Jackson (138), Greenbrier (130), Braxton (127), Harrison (126), and Fayette (124).


Archery and Crossbow Deer Season

The bow and crossbow harvest of 26,206 deer was 1.2 percent less than the 2016 harvest of 26,524, and 4 percent below the five-year average of 27,420. Archery harvests are affected by hard mast crops. The average acorn crop in 2016, followed by a better-than-average acorn crop in 2017, likely contributed to the slightly lower 2017 harvest.

More deer were harvested with a crossbow than in past years. For the first time, more deer were taken with a crossbow than a bow. The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,469), Kanawha (894), Randolph (883), Wyoming (824), Raleigh (789), Fayette (765), Wood (738), Greenbrier (722), Upshur (694), and Monongalia (694).

WEST   VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST, 2016

County

Buck-Firearms

Antlerless

Muzzleloader

Archery/Crossbow

Total

Barbour

984

873

119

534

2,510

Brooke

175

236

13

155

579

Hancock

157

163

18

282

620

Harrison

1,017

1,014

126

634

2,791

Marion

735

809

82

509

2,135

Marshall

624

437

64

300

1,425

Monongalia

825

673

82

694

2,274

Ohio

180

152

34

202

568

Preston

1,947

1,703

203

1,469

5,322

Taylor

485

533

59

361

1,438

Tucker

817

332

73

482

1,704

Wetzel

823

723

71

311

1,928

District 1   Subtotal

8,769

7,648

944

5,933

23,294

Berkeley

753

730

64

559

2,106

Grant

1,194

599

75

363

2,231

Hampshire

1,386

959

89

381

2,815

Hardy

1,198

717

74

321

2,310

Jefferson

419

450

46

408

1,323

Mineral

1,011

706

43

381

2,141

Morgan

503

490

38

242

1,273

Pendleton

1,018

424

48

316

1,806

District 2   Subtotal

7,482

5,075

477

2,971

16,005

Braxton

1,233

1,083

127

539

2,982

Clay

481

109

34

243

867

Lewis

1,216

1,258

146

538

3,158

Nicholas

987

436

162

635

2,220

Pocahontas

1,040

249

57

324

1,670

Randolph

1,633

849

194

883

3,559

Upshur

1,025

1,300

163

694

3,182

Webster

777

562

74

511

1,924

District 3   Subtotal

8,392

5,846

957

4,367

19,562

Fayette

927

286

124

765

2,102

Greenbrier

1,628

773

130

722

3,253

McDowell

     

574

574

Mercer

593

547

62

625

1,827

Monroe

1,295

998

107

542

2,942

Raleigh

592

226

70

789

1,677

Summers

809

682

78

450

2,019

Wyoming

 

 

 

824

824

District 4   Subtotal

5,844

3,512

571

5,291

15,218

Boone

658

172

74

377

1,281

Cabell

404

290

32

208

934

Kanawha

1,046

478

64

894

2,482

Lincoln

569

338

46

258

1,211

Logan

     

507

507

Mason

867

1,052

108

535

2,562

Mingo

     

277

277

Putnam

624

612

63

397

1,696

Wayne

448

134

30

179

791

District 5   Subtotal

4,616

3,076

417

3,632

11,741

Calhoun

740

557

66

283

1,646

Doddridge

947

731

95

328

2,101

Gilmer

875

727

87

334

2,023

Jackson

1,096

1,122

138

515

2,871

Pleasants

317

298

20

162

797

Ritchie

1,338

1,290

109

501

3,238

Roane

1,186

1,101

90

489

2,866

Tyler

817

781

63

328

1,989

Wirt

734

733

91

334

1,892

Wood

974

1,087

118

738

2,917

District 6   Subtotal

9,024

8,427

877

4,012

22,340

State   Total

44,127

33,584

4,243

26,206

108,160

West Virginia hunters harvest 3,160 black bears in 2017

The Free Press WV

Hunters in West Virginia harvested 3,160 black bears during the combined 2017 archery and firearms seasons, which is the second highest recorded bear kill in state history.

Due to more abundant mast production in 2017, the Division of Natural Resources expected a decrease in the archery harvest and an increase in the December firearms harvest compared to 2016. While both predictions held true, the harvest count for the 2017 seasons increased 5 percent over the 3,012 bears killed in 2016. This is the third straight year the black bear harvest has topped 3,000.

“Historically, an abundance of mast makes bears harder for archers to target, yet leads to a large December firearms harvest,” said Colin Carpenter, DNR’s Black Bear Project leader. “Mast abundance delays denning and keeps bears available to hunters for both the buck-gun and December firearms seasons.”

Hunters killed 612 bears during the first segment of the 2017 archery season (Sept. 30 – Nov. 19). Hunters harvested 327 bears with vertical bows and 285 with crossbows. The top five counties for archery harvest were Nicholas (53), Randolph (45), Fayette (43), Mercer (38) and Preston (38).

Firearms hunters harvested 2,548 bears in 2017. Hunters took 623 bears in September and October, 678 during the concurrent buck-gun bear season, and 1,247 during the traditional December season. The top five counties for firearms harvest were Randolph (224), Webster (210), Pocahontas (204), Pendleton (193) and Nicholas (187).

“The addition of early bear seasons and the buck-gun season over the past 10 years has helped decrease the influence of mast crops on total harvest,“ Carpenter said.

2017 WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR HARVEST

County

Bow/Crossbow

September/October Gun

Buck Gun

December

Total

Barbour

11

9

23

13

56 

Brooke

0

0

0

0

0

Hancock

0

0

0

0

0

Harrison

1

0

2

0

3

Marion

0

0

0

1

1

Marshall

0

0

1

1

2

Monongalia

3

0

0

1

4

Ohio

0

0

0

0

0

Preston

38

17

32

44

131

Taylor

4

0

4

0

8

Tucker

13

31

20

74

138

Wetzel

0

0

1

1

2

District 1 Subtotal

70

57

83

135

345

Berkeley

1

0

1

1

3

Grant

12

19

25

71

127

Hampshire

14

0

40

5

59

Hardy

15

20

22

73

130

Jefferson

4

0

1

0

5

Mineral

5

3

7

11

26

Morgan

0

0

6

0

6

Pendleton

13

42

39

112

206

District 2 Subtotal

64

84

141

273

562

Braxton

12

8

25

31

76

Clay

5

9

8

33

55

Lewis

2

0

11

1

14

Nicholas

53

36

56

95

240

Pocahontas

14

54

31

119

218

Randolph

45

79

18

127

269

Upshur

6

10

13

18

47

Webster

28

59

37

114

238

District 3 Subtotal

165

255

199

538

1157

Fayette

43

16

42

8

109

Greenbrier

37

31

40

84

192

McDowell

34

25

2

37

98

Mercer

38

0

13

3

54

Monroe

22

13

17

21

73

Raleigh

20

18

28

19

85

Summers

16

0

19

0

35

Wyoming

21

36

1

14

72

District 4 Subtotal

231

139

162

186

718

Boone

25

38

44

48

155

Cabell

0

0

0

0

0

Kanawha

21

15

27

45

108

Lincoln

1

0

1

1

3

Logan

15

21

5

15

56

Mason

0

0

0

0

0

Mingo

9

14

1

4

28

Putnam

0

0

0

0

0

Wayne

1

0

1

2

4

District 5 Subtotal

72

88

79

115

354

Calhoun

3

0

2

0

5

Doddridge

1

0

2

0

3

Gilmer

1

0

6

0

7

Jackson

0

0

0

0

0

Pleasants

0

0

0

0

0

Ritchie

3

0

0

0

3

Roane

0

0

0

0

0

Tyler

0

0

0

0

0

Wirt

1

0

4

0

5

Wood

1

0

0

0

1

District 6 Subtotal

10

0

14

0

24

State Total

612

623

678

1247

3160

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