Change is on its way
Hunter’s that have found themselves driving out of their way to check in a deer, turkey, or bear will no longer have to waste the time or gas starting in 2015. According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) starting with 2015 spring gobbler seasons, hunters may check game in by one of three methods: 1. Going online to www.wvhunt.com 2. Stopping at any hunting and fishing license agent, just like in the past although you won’t be required to bring the animal to the license agent and 3. By calling 1-844-824-3251.
Once hunters are registered in the system they will be given their own DNR ID number that will be valid for lifetime and used in all future game checking transactions with the DNR. The DNR ID number will be issued when hunters purchase their annual base license. If you have your lifetime license you will already be in the system. Lifetime license holders can obtain their DNR ID number by visiting www.wvhunt.com or any license agent after January 1, 2015.
For those that are not required to buy a license (landowner, underage, etc), they can visit any license agent or log onto www.wvhunt.com after January 1, 2015 to obtain a DNR ID number. Starting with the 2015 spring gobbler season, once hunters field tag their animal, they will now be able to go online or call the 1-844-824-3251 listed above.
“Upon finishing the electronic game check process, you will be given a 13-digit number that will serve as verification that you have completed the game checking process. This unique number must be written down on a sheet of paper with your name and address, or on your field tag, and attached to the animal. This number shall be affixed to the animal or parts thereof and remain affixed until it is dressed for consumption or processed into commercial fur. It will let the Natural Resources Police officers know that the animal has been officially checked” as stated in the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
Another neat feature with the electronic checking system is that you will be able to view your game checking history through the www.wvhunt.com link. So we’ll only have this year to search for the closest game checking station before stepping into the future for the 2015 hunting seasons. The change that hunters have grumbled about for years is finally on its way.
As always, hunters are encouraged to check the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations for changes as there are a few this year. The statewide archery deer season will open on September 27, 2014 and run through December 31, 2014. Black bear firearms hunting seasons have been modified, mainly requiring permits for hunting on private and public lands during the concurrent two week long bear/ buck season on November 24 – December 6, 2014 in 17 counties. Applications are now available for those permits on the www.wvdnr.gov website as well as a list of the 17 counties that it applies to. Applications must be filled out and returned by August 18.
Applications are also available for the 2014 antlerless deer season limited permit areas in 11 wildlife management areas and in 8 counties. These applications can also be downloaded at the www.wvdnr.gov site and have to be completed and returned by August 15, 2014. Turkey hunters should check the regulations before venturing out this fall as the fall wild turkey season will be more restrictive this year with fewer counties open for a two-week season. Also, voters in 5 counties (Braxton, Calhoun, Nicholas, Webster, and Wirt) approved Sunday hunting on private land during the May 13, 2014 Primary Election Day. A list of counties open to Sunday hunting can be found at the www.wvdnr.gov website under the hunting section.
Even though it’s the middle of summer, another hunting season is only a couple of months away. Now is the time to prepare and get ready for the upcoming fall. Stay cool until next time.