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Hunting & Trapping

Hunting & Trapping

Limited Bear Firearms Season Permit Applications Now Available Online

The Gilmer Free Press

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV – Hunters are reminded that a concurrent bear season without dogs will occur from November 23 – December 05 on public and private land in 18 counties, according to Colin Carpenter, Black Bear Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Barbour, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Lewis, Mercer, Monroe, 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 currently above their management objective and additional bears need to be harvested to achieve their goal,“ said Carpenter. “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 third 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.“

Hunters must apply for a limited bear firearms permit using the Electronic Licensing System at www.wvhunt.com.

To apply, simply log into your account and click on “Enter Lottery” on your home screen and click “Enter” to the right of “Black Bear Hunt.“  Then select the county you want to apply for during the hunt.  As in the past, hunters may also select a secondary county in case they aren’t selected for their first location.  Hunters without accounts can also create one at www.wvhunt.com.

Hunters can also call their local DNR District office for help with the application process.  The deadline for applications is midnight August 15, 2015.  Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the first week of October.  In addition, successful applicants can learn whether they received a permit starting August 18, 2015 by logging into their account.  Neither the permit nor the class DS stamp is transferrable, and the county of hunt cannot be changed.

Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found on pages 36-39 of the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

Permits Available

Barbour

100

Braxton

100

Calhoun

100

Clay

100

Grant

300

Greenbrier

300

Hardy

500

Lewis

100

Mercer

100

Monroe

200

Pendleton

500

Pocahontas

500

Randolph

800

Summers

100

Taylor

100

Tucker

200

Upshur

100

Webster

600

Total

4800

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR MCCLINTIC DUCK BLINDS - AUGUST 15 DEADLINE TO APPLY

The Gilmer Free Press

POINT PLEASANT, WV - Waterfowl hunters who wish to hunt from a shooting station in the controlled waterfowl hunting zone of McClintic Wildlife Management Area must submit electronic applications by midnight August 15, 2015, according to David McClung, Wildlife Manager at McClintic WMA, for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section. McClintic WMA is located near Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Hunting is by permit only on a portion of McClintic WMA during the October split of the waterfowl season. Hunters successful in the lottery drawing are assigned an area, free of charge, and are allowed to bring one guest. A shooting station is also available for the physically-challenged waterfowl hunter.

Hunters may register in the new electronic license system and apply online at www.wvhunt.com. Individuals can log in to their accounts, click on “Enter Lottery” on the home screen, and then select “Enter” to the right of “McClintic Duck Hunt.” Hunters may also apply by calling the District 5 Wildlife Headquarters at 304.675.0871. Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the second week of September.

Hunters successful in the drawing will be randomly assigned a day to hunt and must report to the McClintic WMA office prior to 6 AM that day. Applicants not selected may come to the McClintic WMA office on the morning of each day’s hunt to sign up for the opportunity to hunt from shooting stations that have not been filled by the selected hunters.

Consult the 2015–2016 West Virginia Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations for the season dates and additional information. Migratory bird regulations will be available at DNR offices by the end of August and will be posted on the WVDNR website, www.wvdnr.gov.

West Virginia Hunters Harvest 9,038 Spring Turkeys in 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - Spring Gobbler hunters electronically checked in 9,038 gobblers this year, slightly lower than the number checked last year, according to Keith Krantz, Turkey and Upland Game Biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The 2015 spring gobbler season was the first season in which West Virginia hunters could use either the telephone, Internet or license agent to check in an animal.

“For the most part, hunters seemed to embrace being able to electronically register their gobblers,“ Krantz said. “Very few issues were reported given the magnitude of this change. However, because we don’t know yet if the check-in rate changed between systems, comparing harvest figures between seasons is problematic.“

Youth hunters checked in 383 gobblers during the youth season held April 25. Mason County had the highest reported harvest of 21, followed by Preston County with 15 and Jackson and Logan counties with 14 each.

Of the six DNR districts in the state, District 1 in the northern part of the state recorded the most birds checked with 1,835, followed by District 4 (1,726), District 6 (1,675), District 5 (1,510), District 3 (1,399) and District 2 (893). While District 1 had the highest harvest, District 4 in the southern part of the state had four counties in the top 10, more than any other district.

Preston County in District 1 led the state with 333 gobblers checked. Mason County followed with 313 birds checked. Rounding out the top five were Jackson County (264), Wyoming County (257) and Harrison and Wood counties each with (247).

“Above-average fall mast crops in 2014 and great weather this spring should ensure good poult survival, which in turn increases the population for future harvests,“ Krantz said.

West Virginia Spring Turkey Harvest, 2011–2015

County

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Barbour

160

182

162

178

129

Brooke

93

74

104

84

67

Hancock

107

92

110

110

89

Harrison

242

282

355

264

247

Marion

135

163

218

149

170

Marshall

253

224

300

220

174

Monongalia

218

221

262

174

198

Ohio

92

87

131

91

108

Preston

325

330

403

344

333

Taylor

76

93

103

87

72

Tucker

56

62

57

88

82

Wetzel

125

210

256

203

166

District   I Subtotal

1,882

2,020

2,461

1,992

1,835

Berkeley

86

88

98

112

124

Grant

102

114

129

129

131

Hampshire

119

120

124

138

155

Hardy

123

101

129

135

115

Jefferson

42

43

60

57

82

Mineral

78

86

87

96

118

Morgan

70

56

54

62

64

Pendleton

100

95

117

95

104

District   II Subtotal

720

703

798

824

893

Braxton

172

119

238

175

194

Clay

85

77

147

68

83

Lewis

201

181

221

180

194

Nicholas

166

161

221

164

213

Pocahontas

108

124

160

130

145

Randolph

142

94

217

186

225

Upshur

213

199

262

229

231

Webster

99

94

118

113

114

District   III Subtotal

1,186

1,049

1,584

1,245

1,399

Fayette

234

176

287

244

239

Greenbrier

253

235

299

245

242

McDowell

228

154

308

215

217

Mercer

186

146

177

170

161

Monroe

158

162

206

212

181

Raleigh

215

185

277

214

231

Summers

210

176

258

209

198

Wyoming

242

132

291

255

257

District   IV Subtotal

1,726

1,366

2,103

1,764

1,726

Boone

185

144

230

159

141

Cabell

134

129

138

80

108

Kanawha

311

214

332

231

227

Lincoln

188

157

213

178

169

Logan

169

133

246

181

172

Mason

445

343

370

293

313

Mingo

138

92

141

93

91

Putnam

236

196

225

150

181

Wayne

182

92

144

103

108

District   V Subtotal

1,988

1,500

2,039

1,468

1,510

Calhoun

96

138

179

135

128

Doddridge

121

111

138

126

118

Gilmer

137

132

191

147

124

Jackson

290

244

326

293

264

Pleasants

68

81

83

73

71

Ritchie

212

233

326

245

217

Roane

195

193

236

232

210

Tyler

135

133

211

136

143

Wirt

157

164

193

177

153

Wood

277

236

294

271

247

District   VI Subtotal

1,688

1,665

2,177

1,835

1,675

State   Total

9,190

8,303

11,162

9,128

9,038

Songbird Projects Could Payoff for Hunters

Typically a warbler may not cross a deer hunter’s mind,
but under a new habitat management plan both will benefit

The Gilmer Free Press

FLATWOODS, WV — Wildlife can be a very intricate web. The balance of an ecosystem is among the most perfect balances in all of nature. Therefore, it shouldn’t be shocking when a program which is designed to benefit the tiny cerulean warbler should be of utmost interest to guys trying to kill a wall hanger buck each fall.

The Division of Natural Resources recently announced a five-year plan which calls for timber harvests on several West Virginia Wildlife Management Areas.  The harvests will be designed with wildlife management in mind.  Mast bearing trees will be enhanced and where there is a lack of the oaks and hickory trees, clear cuts will be engineered to clear the landscape and allow for the early succession habitat.  A diverse habitat is critical to a number of species.  Despite the plan, the DNR can only access about 175,000 acres.  It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the private forest land in West Virginia.

“We are putting our efforts into public lands without being able to direct work on private lands,” said Keith Krantz, Game Biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “That’s the exciting thing about the golden wing warbler project and the cerulean warbler project.  Those are public initiatives to put work on private property which spreads our footprint around much greater.”

The warbler projects include federal money from the Natural Resources Conservation Service which train foresters on the needs of the warbler’s habitat.  Then, in turn, there is money available to pay the forester and the landowner when they agree to use the warbler planning model in a private timber harvest.

“Then when they’re out there on a private forest job and they’re writing those plans, they can incorporate those activities into that forest plan,” said Krantz. “They will receive payment for it as will the landowner.”

Suggesting best practices is nothing new.  Numerous programs through the years have suggested the best ways to cut timber to benefit wildlife, but there was never any real incentive for a forester or a landowner to implement the practices unless they genuinely had a desire for such a prescription.  However, a federally funded stipend enriches the program and makes it a much more lucrative option for those cutting timber on their property.

“That’s what is so exciting,” said Krantz. “Instead of asking a landowner to do these practices out of the goodness of their heart or ordering them to do them, they will be making money doing good conservation practices on their land and the forester is actually making money by doing these practices.  That’s exciting because that’s how these plans will actually be put out onto the landscape.”

However, the real hook for sportsmen has nothing to do with the warbler. Krantz said any timber management in the state at this point will be a benefit to a whole host of wildlife species.

“There’s over 70 species of wildlife that utilize different sections of young forest habitat. Ultimately if you do something for one, you’re doing it for most of them.” said Krantz. “While these activities may be highlighting cerulean warblers or golden wing warblers, it’s going to be benefiting woodcock, fawn habitat, it’s going to be benefiting brood habitat for turkeys. It’s going to benefit a whole suite of critters.”

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

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