FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Blaze orange could be seen and gunshots could be heard when Monday rolled around.
Firearm buck season started in West Virginia on Monday. The season lasts two weeks, ending on Dec. 3.
The firearms buck season always starts the week of Thanksgiving, Division of Natural Resources Lt. B. McDougal said.
“For the two-week period there’s a limit of two antlered deer,” McDougal said. “In certain counties during this hunting period, you can also take up to three antlerless deer, if (hunters) purchase the Class N stamps.”
Hunters can check county hunting regulations on wvdnr.gov.
According to a September 2012
Charleston Gazette Mail article, 13 percent of West Virginia residents said they participate in some kind of hunting.
To hunt during the firearms buck season, state residents need a hunting license, unless they fall under the landowner privilege.
A landowner can hunt on his own property without a license. A landowner’s children can also hunt on his property as long as they are West Virginia residents. Also a landowner’s parents can hunt on his property without a license as long as they are West Virginia residents, McDougal said.
The simplest way for West Virginia residents to get a hunting license is to purchase a sportsman license which is a combination hunting, fishing and trapping license. The cost is $35.
There are different costs for hunting licenses for nonresidents, he said.
Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1975 is required to take a hunter education course before buying a hunting license, McDougal said.
During firearms buck season, if hunters shoot a buck they need to complete a field tag before moving the animal. Then they have to check the deer in, McDougal said.
Hunters can call 1-844-WV-CHECK to check in deer. They have to enter what hunting season it is, the sex of the animal, whether it was archery or firearms season and the DNR ID number on the hunting license.
The system gives the hunter a confirmation number. The hunter needs to put that number on the field tag. Then the deer is checked in, he said.
Hunters can also check deer in online at wvhunt.com. This is DNR’s new electronic license system, McDougal said.
In Marion County there are two deer check-in stations. One is located at the sporting goods counter at the Wal-Mart in White Hall. The other is located at Main Street Trader in Mannington, he said.
Hunters do not have to bring the deer with them to the check-in stations. They can just walk in and check in the deer. They need their hunting license and their ID, McDougal said.
One thing that hunters have to keep in mind during hunting season is safety.
“You are required to wear 400 square inches of blaze orange,” McDougal said.
The most common safety issue during hunting season is tree-stand falls, he said.
DNR encourages hunters to wear safety harnesses when using a tree-stand. A lot of hunters don’t bother to put the safety harness on until they are up in the tree-stand, he said.
“We encourage people to wear the safety harness while they’re climbing or descending,” he said. “That’s when most of the falls occur, when (hunters are) getting in or out of the stand.”
Kenneth Carman and his 8-year-old son Jesselee Carman went deer hunting on Tuesday. They went hunting on Dent’s Run, and Jesselee Carman shot his first-ever deer, a doe. They were in Mannington to check in Jesselee’s deer Tuesday.
Jesselee Carman had fun hunting, he said.
Jesselee has been hunting for about two years. He respects life and knows what it means, Kenneth Carman said.
“It was the enjoyment of my life and that’s what it’s all about,” Kenneth Carman said about hunting with his son.
Tammy Shriver contributed to this article.
Email Michelle Dillon at [email protected].