Public comments heard on DNR hunting regulations

PARKERSBURG – Proposed regulations for the fall 2013 hunting, fishing and trapping season were out for public comment in a workshop-style meeting Tuesday sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources at the Parkersburg Municipal Building.

Overall, biologists with the division said there are no proposals for sweeping changes in the rules for the coming seasons.

D.L. Dolin, senior first class officer of the DNR police, said the meeting gives the public a chance to preview changes or to make suggestions about changes they would like to see made.

At times, he said, the meetings can be spirited because of different viewpoints.

“You would be surprised how heated some of these farmers, landowners and sportsmen groups get at each other,” he said. “One farmer wants everything killed and the sportsmen don’t and they get in arguments. It gets interesting sometimes.”

Jerry Westfall, DNR wildlife biologist for district six, said the comments collected at the Parkersburg meeting and other meetings across the state will be reviewed by division commissioners when they decide on the final rules.

Westfall said comments may be sent to the DNR in writing by filling out a questionnaire. He said the results from the meetings and the questionnaire will be compiled and that may or may not change any proposals.

“The commission will meet in April or May and they will finalize the regulations,” he said. “After that they will go to press and will be in the hands of the public by July 1.”

Jeff McCrady, DNR wildlife biologist for district six, said there are changes proposed.

“They are not big changes but they are very subtle,” he said. “We’ve moved some counties around from category to category, but here there are no changes.”

McCrady said the DNR made changes because of the number of deer in the area.

“In some areas you can kill three antlerless deer,” he said. “In other areas (such as Wood, Wirt, Tyler and Ritchie counties) there are so many deer you can kill three; however, if you kill a buck you have to kill a doe before you kill your second buck.”

McCrady said the same rule was in effect last year for Wood County, but it is in effect for some counties where it was not last year.

Bob Dickerson, of Parkersburg, said he came to the meeting to make a suggestion for the upcoming season on deer regulations. That suggestion concerned baiting deer.

“I made a suggestion to not allow baiting deer,” he said. “They use corn and the corn is bad for them; it’s not ethical.”