MASON COUNTY — Local hunters are no doubt itching to get out their bows and camouflage from their closets as archery deer season for the state of West Virginia officially opens on Saturday, Sept. 29, and continues until Dec. 31.
According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), Mason County hunters harvested 750 deer during the 2011 archery season. Including other deer hunting seasons, Mason County was listed at the second in the state, having harvested a total of 5, 185 deer in 2011, a number local hunters are surely eager to meet again, and possibly surpass in 2012.
Statewide, it was also reported that W.Va. hunters harvested 26, 136 deer during the 2011 archery season, which was 19 percent higher than the 2010 harvest of 21, 962.
As seasoned hunters know, there are of course rules to follow when this opening date comes around. According to the WVDNR, “a hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all archery and firearms seasons combined. Deer of either sex may be hunted statewide with a bow during the archery season. A bow, but not a crossbow, may be substituted for a firearm during any deer firearms season except muzzleloader season.”
The WVDNR also reported it is illegal for hunters to do the following:
• To be afield with both gun and bow or with a gun and any arrows, except that persons who have a concealed weapon permit may carry a concealed handgun for self-defense only.
• To hunt with a crossbow and/or have a crossbow afield except for the holders of Class Y or YY permits during designated archery seasons. Crossbows must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds, a working safety, bolts at least 18 inches long, broadheads with at least two cutting edges at least three-quarters of an inch in width.
• To hunt deer with arrows having less than two sharp cutting edges, measuring less than three-quarters of an inch in width.
• To use a bow-locking device, except with a modified bow permit issued by the Director.
• To use an arrow with an explosive, drug-laced or poisoned head or shaft.
• To use an electronic call to hunt deer.
For more information regarding archery season and other hunting regulations, visit www.wvdnr.gov.