MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As West Virginia hunters prepare for the 2013 big game season a check of the newest publication of the hunting regulations might not be a bad idea. There are some radical changes.
Perhaps the biggest change is the opportunity to kill two deer in a day’s time. Under the new regulation hunters can kill a buck and a doe or two does during any single day of hunting, regardless of whether they are hunting with a bow, gun, or muzzleloader.
“We’ve had a number of requests for that throughout the years,” said DNR Biologist Chris Ryan. “It comes from a bow hunter who may only get a limited number of Saturday’s or a certain amount of leave from work. The other case is out-of-state hunters or in-state hunters who are busy and can only hunt the first three days of the buck season.”
Furthermore, hunters don’t have to check-in the first deer before killing the second. You could legally shoot one and if another is standing nearby, draw another arrow or chamber another round and drop it moments later.
The change is aimed at giving hunters more opportunities when many have limited time to hunt. It also helps lower the number of antlerless deer in areas where numbers are above what the DNR considered the appropriate carrying capacity for the habitat.
There’s a renewal of the restriction which was put into place last year which requires a hunter to kill a doe before he can take his or her second buck. The number of bucks you can kill is capped at three for the whole year and no more than two with any one hunting method.
The other primary change to the 2013 hunting regulations involves bear hunting. Hunters in 19 West Virginia counties, who have the proper permit, will be able to kill a bear concurrently during buck season.
“In 19 counties for the first time we’re going to have a limited black bear season concurrent during the buck season,” Ryan said. “Those permits had to be in by August 19th. Hopefully we had a lot of hunters put in for those permits. Also a landowner does not need a permit.”
The changes set up a unique opportunity in those counties.
“They can actually kill a buck, a doe, and a bear if the doe season is open,” Ryan said. “All in the same day.”