330,000 Hunters to Hit Woods; W.Va’s Deer Gun Season Begins Monday

TRIADELPHIA – Anticipating mild weather conditions this week, Chuck Roman believes the check-in station at Cabela’s will be quite busy as West Virginia’s deer gun season gets going.

The Mountain State’s firearm buck gun season is scheduled to run Monday through Dec. 1. It is open in all counties except Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming, according to Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Approximately 330,000 licensed hunters will be in West Virginia’s woods during this season. In 2011, Mountain State hunters harvested 60,157 bucks during the two-week season, an increase of 38 percent from the 2010 harvest.

Hundreds of prospective hunters headed to Cabela’s Saturday to check out some new gun options. Roman, an associate in the gun library at Cabela’s, expects the heavy traffic to continue on the hunting grounds this week.

“We expect it to be very busy this year,” Roman said, noting he will be running the store’s outdoor game check-in station all day Monday and Tuesday. Cabela’s will still check deer after this, but Roman said hunters will probably need to take their game into the store to have it checked at that point.

“It is not supposed to be too cold, so there will probably be more people out than usual – at least for the first few days,” he added, noting he believes Cabela’s could check-in about 200 deer on Monday and Tuesday.

“I enjoy doing it. You get to hear some good stories,” Roman added.

West Virginia’s buck gun season provides a wealth of recreational opportunities for hunters, while making a tremendous economic impact on the state’s economy. Deer hunters spend an estimated $230 million in West Virginia, much of it in the rural areas of the state that depend upon the deer seasons for a large portion of their annual income, according to the DNR.

“Because our traditional November firearms deer season opens the Monday before Thanksgiving every year, the season opening can be as early Nov. 19 and as late as Nov. 25. This year is one of the early opening years, which is closer to the peak deer rut.

This date gives hunters an advantage because bucks are more vulnerable to being harvested closer to the rut,” said Taylor.

“Hunters can harvest an additional buck with the purchase of the appropriate stamp,” added Taylor.

Resident hunters wanting the extra buck should purchase the Class RG stamp. The RG stamp must be purchased prior to the beginning of the season, and the cost is $21. The RG stamp must be accompanied by a Class A and CS, A-L, AB-L, X, XS, XJ or free license.

There will also be a bear gun season in these eight West Virginia: Kanawha, Boone, Fayette, Raleigh, Monongalia, Preston, Hampshire and Morgan.

Hunters in West Virginia must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange as an outer garment for visibility and safety. Blaze orange camouflage patterns are legal as long as 400 square inches of blaze orange are displayed on the garment.

West Virginia hunting licenses may be purchased online. Go to the goWILD! website at www.wvhunt.com to fill out the application to purchase it with a credit card.