By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
With hunting season in full swing, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) wants hunters to remember hunting ethics, especially when hunting on public land.
Mike Peters, wildlife biologist with the DNR, said hunter ethics on public land need to be emphasized.
“We want everyone to have an enjoyable, safe time,” he said.
During the months of October and November, Peters said it’s a busy time for hunters to be out in the woods. He said archery season has now started, and buck season will begin in November.
“That’s why those months are so important to us,” Peters said.
When hunting on public land, he said hunters should be courteous when other hunters are in the area.
“That’s the most important one, being courteous to other hunters,” Peters said. “Treat other hunters like you would want them to treat you.”
Peters said their are about 11 Wildlife Management Areas in North Central West Virginia with 78 areas throughout the state. He said hunters should know the rules and regulations of these areas before hunting on them.
“They may vary depending on which area you’re at,” Peters said. “With the wildlife management areas, our rules and regulations are posted on our website.”
If another hunter is in the area. Peters said to move quickly through without disrupting them.
“If they notice another hunter, they should really not interrupt that hunter’s hunt,” he said.
Peters said if hunters run into others who are not being courteous, to just find another area to hunt.
“If you stick around your day is going to be ruined because the other hunters are not being ethical,” he said.
Another thing Peters wants hunters to know is to have a back-up plan if their original hunting area is already occupied with hunters.
“Have it scouted out prior to going hunting,” he said.
Other ethical behavior for hunters include:
• Setting up blinds and tree stands. Placing a tree stand to save a spot weeks before is illegal.
• Disposing of hides and carcassess from harvested game in a lawful manner. It is illegal to dump deer carcassess on public land.
• Hunters should leave their hunting area in a better condition than when they found it such as picking up trash and disposing of it.
“If hunters follow these ethics, everyone will be a lot safer,” Peters said. “And you won’t be interfering with each other either.”
Email Emily Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.