West Virginia hunters’ favorite booklet is fresh off the printing press.
The annual Big Game Bulletin, published by the state Division of Natural Resources, tells how many big-game animals were killed in the Mountain State during the previous hunting season, and it tells where sportsmen enjoyed their best success.
“Hunters are pretty tuned in to [the Bulletin],” said Paul Johansen, the DNR’s assistant wildlife chief. “Whether they’re deer, bear or turkey hunters, they look forward to reviewing it every year.
“It’s easy to see why. It tells them how the seasons went, what the highlights were, and it has tons of statistics for folks to analyze. In addition, there are narratives that help folks make sense of the harvest figures.”
The 48-page booklet is available in printed or electronic form. Printed copies can be picked up, free of charge, at DNR district offices or at the agency’s South Charleston headquarters or the Elkins Operations Center. The electronic version can be viewed online or downloaded from the DNR’s website, www.wvdnr.gov. A link to the PDF-format file can be found in the website’s Hunting section.
Johansen said he isn’t sure whether hunters prefer the printed or the electronic versions.
“When people come to our [annual] sectional meetings, where we explain our hunting- and fishing-season recommendations, they seem to want to get their hands on hard copies,” he explained. “But during the course of the year when we get inquiries from people who maybe more are web-savvy, the [electronic version] is the copy of choice.”
People not familiar with the booklet’s format might become confused by its title. The current booklet, for example, is called the 2013 Big Game Bulletin despite being published in 2014.
Traditionally, DNR officials have used the previous year in the bulletin’s title because that is when the seasons being reported upon actually took place.
Reach John McCoy at email@example.com or 304-348-1231.