DNR admits mistake in hunting regulations

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A mistake in the 2020 game regulations resulted in a cascade of criticism for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in the past week. Officials say however, it was an oversight and will be corrected.

The issue was a controversial proposal to allow those under the age of 14 to use a crossbow for hunting in the four archery hunting only counties of southern West Virginia. The Natural Resources Commission rejected the proposal which had drawn a lot of fire. The most adamantly opposed was the West Virginia Bowhunters Association.

DNR Director Steve McDaniel even recommended the measure be rejected at the May commission meeting due to the groundswell of opposition.

However, when the printed regulations brochure was published, the proposal was noted as if it had been approved.

“It takes a while to build the template for the regulations brochure and when we did that, to save time, we had all of the proposed regulations in there. It was supposed to be removed, but it wasn’t,” said McDaniel.

His phone began ringing the moment the printed regs arrived at sporting goods stores around the state.

“It was an oversight. We apologize. We were already running behind because of the delay to the meeting and with everybody working from home trying to get the regulations printed. It slipped through the cracks. We’ll get it fixed.” he said.

The first shipment of the printed regulations was recalled by the agency. McDaniel said there wasn’t enough time to reprint, which would also be costly. He expected there would be a sticker added to reflect the correction before they are distributed back to agents statewide in the coming days.

The state law which allowed for the use of crossbows in West Virginia was deliberately tooled to disallow them in Wyoming, Logan, Mingo, and McDowell Counties. The proposed change to allow their use among youth hunters drew a firestorm of criticism and was overwhelmingly rejected by members of the commission.

More Outdoors

Trump signs Great American Outdoors Act
New law will fully fund the federal Land Water Conservation Fund from now on and direct $9.5 Million into deferred National Park Maintenance
August 4, 2020 - 12:58 pm
Removal of catch and release restrictions highlight fishing changes for 2021
Instead of catch and release on certain stretches, the entire New River will have a slot limit for black bass. Meanwhile a measure to remove catch and release for trout on a a couple of popular mountain trout streams remains in question.
August 2, 2020 - 5:29 pm
Proposal to lower W.Va. buck limit narrowly fails
Natural Resources Commission votes 4-3 against lowering number of bucks West Virginia hunters can kill from 3 to 2.
August 2, 2020 - 4:06 pm
Chapmanville teen earns IBO honors
Ben Ferrell, 15, is the nation's top shooter in his class for 2020. He's itching to climb the ladder in competitive archery.
August 1, 2020 - 6:47 am