I grew up as a bowhunter. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who was an accomplished bowhunter, a great teacher, and had enough patience to allow my best friend and me to explore and eventually flourish as bowhunters.
Every year around this time, my mentor’s basement and back yard became the practice field for all things bowhunting, and we spent countless hours perfecting and honing our craft.
If we could successfully shoot all our arrows into the target’s bull’s-eye ring, he would announce that we were ready to go hunting that fall.
Though it was a simple test, it took much effort to pass, but it gave us the confidence from our coach that he believed in our hard work and efforts and was pleased with our results.
We carried that confidence with us to his farm in Ritchie County and we were often rewarded with Mother Nature’s wonderful bounties in the form of venison that we shared with our family and friends.
At a very young age, and even more so today, providing for our families became the most important part of bowhunting.
I carry my mentor’s words with me still in the form of memories and experiences that have served me well, even today, as they did in my early adolescent years. I credit him with my passion for hunting, cooking wild game meals, and the love of all things wild and wonderful.
If you too are a bowhunter or someone who is thinking about taking on the challenge of hunting with a bow, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources recently announced that the West Virginia archery and crossbow seasons open Sept. 24 and run through Dec. 31.
Hunters are reminded to purchase licenses and stamps at wvhunt.com before the season starts. Here are some details:
Hunters may take up to two deer in one day during the archery or crossbow seasons, but only one antlered deer may be taken on the same day during any season. The first deer does not have to be electronically checked before harvesting the second deer on the same day.
Hunters who wish to harvest additional deer during the archery or crossbow seasons must purchase a Class RB or RRB stamp before Sept. 24. One or two additional archery or crossbow deer, depending on the county, may be taken with an archery deer stamp, for a total of one deer per stamp.
West Virginia residents and senior hunters must buy a Class RB stamp to take additional archery or crossbow deer, but West Virginia resident landowners hunting on their own property and Class DT license holders are not required to purchase additional archery stamps.
Hunters are reminded that Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties are under special regulations. In these counties, just two archery deer may be taken, one of which must be antlerless.
In 10 additional counties or portions thereof, hunters must take an antlerless deer in any regular deer season before harvesting a second antlered deer in that county.
Two bears may be taken per year, provided at least one bear is taken in Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Raleigh or Wyoming counties. The bag limit for bear is one per day.
Resident bear hunters are required to purchase a base license and a bear damage stamp (Class DS) to hunt bear unless otherwise exempt from having a license.
Nonresident bear hunters must purchase a bear hunting license (Class EE), a conservation/law enforcement stamp (CS/LE), and a Class DS stamp. Nonresidents hunting on national forest land must also purchase a National Forest stamp (Class I).
The wild boar archery and crossbow seasons are open in Boone, Logan, Raleigh and Wyoming counties to resident hunters only. The season bag limit is one wild boar and no application is required.
A second split of the wild boar archery and crossbow seasons will open Feb. 3-5, 2023.
For more information about West Virginia’s hunting seasons and hunting regulations, please snag a copy of the 2022-23 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary at wvdnr.gov.