FAIR WARNING! DNR Reminds Hunters to Be Licensed and to Have Landowner Permission

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | September 30, 2017

As fall begins and hunting season starts, the Wildlife Resources Section of the Division of Natural Resources asks hunters to refresh themselves on hunting ethics before the season approaches. 

“Hunting ethically and legally preserves our image as sportsmen and women and promotes good stewardship of resources,” said Gary Foster, DNR’s assistant chief in charge of game management. 

Finding somewhere to hunt is critical in planning your hunting season. While private land ownership makes up 90 percent of West Virginia, there is still more than 1.5 million acres of public land open to hunting. Hunters have a variety of locations to hunt in West Virginia, including wildlife management areas, state forests and national forests.

“If you plan to hunt new territory, spend some time studying maps and satellite imagery to ensure familiarity with the property boundaries of the area,” said Holly Morris, DNR wildlife biologist. “Being unaware of property boundaries is no excuse for trespassing.”

The DNR reminds hunters to always obtain written landowner permission before entering private property. Taking the time to get written permission also gives hunters a chance to build relationships with landowners. 

“You can discuss hunting experiences from last year, how you could help out with land management or simply express your thanks for the opportunity to hunt on their property,” Morris said. “Keep in mind that landowners may use purple paint, in addition to signs and fences, to post their lands.”

Whether hunting on public or private land, hunting ethics should be kept in mind. Take the time to review hunting regulations now, focus on the counties or areas you’ll be hunting and make sure you understand them. Be respectful of other hunters while in the field. Don’t hunt areas where someone else is already hunting and try to have a backup plan so you don’t crowd fellow hunters. If you are a successful hunter, be mindful of how you dispose of your harvest. Dumping carcasses and hides on public land is illegal.

“Treat all land, whether public or private, as if it were your own,” Morris said. “How we act in the field and treat others reflects on all of us as hunters.”

Hunters who need help finding a place to hunt can contact any DNR district office, the Elkins Operation Center or go to the DNR's website, www.wvdnr.gov, for information about wildlife management areas, state forests and national forests open for public hunting. The 2017-2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations brochure can be found on the DNR’s website, all DNR District offices and at hunting license dealers. 


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