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For many hunters, the first season to open was for squirrels and it was a tradition to load up the four-wheel drive with friends and neighbors and head to the woods for a day of squirrel hunting.

I was almost shocked when I realized I was running out of days left in the month in my desktop planner.

I know I’m old school. Trust me, my kids (both adults, and how do you know when to stop calling them kids?) tell me all the time.

Let me explain. I have trusted my calendar system for decades, and I know there are many electronic invitations people send via email all day long for every occasion from board meetings to birthdays. But I like my antiquated system, and it’s simple as pie.

Simply obtain a large desk calendar from the retailer of your choice, flop it on your desk and clip a pen to its corner. That way, you can write down all events and times and see your month at a glance. You can add, erase, strike through and even add color highlights to the words in each specific day’s box. Way easy and, yes, my kids are right, I’m old school.

When I noticed that July was getting thin, and I had to flip my calendar page to August, it hit me: August is here and it’s time to start making grand preparations for the upcoming hunting seasons.

That’s right, the clock is ticking toward the opening bell ringing on several seasons opening in September. If you haven’t read the newly published West Virginia DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary July 2021-June 2022, now is the perfect time to begin studying so that you don’t have to cram the night before.

I quickly glanced online at to check out the species and season-opening dates to gain knowledge and to begin my own planning. Here is what I found:

Sept. 25: Wild boar, archery; deer, archery; bear, archery

Aug. 28: Bear, gun (select counties)

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Sept. 11: Bear, gun (select counties)

Sept. 18: Bear, gun (select counties)

Sept. 4: Youth, squirrel

Sept. 11: Squirrel

Again, refer to WVDNR hunting regs online for complete information.

Still in my amazement and semi-shocked that August is here already, I remembered the opening days of the season in my youth. Back then, September was the getting-ready month, and most seasons opened in October.

For many of us, the first season to open was for squirrels, and it was a tradition that we load up the four-wheel-drive with friends and neighbors and head to the woods for a day of squirrel hunting.

Plans were hatched for a morning hunt followed by a tailgate lunch of various odd food choices from sardines in a can, Vienna and other pickled sausages from a jar — both served with saltine crackers that had to leftovers from the Fourth of July because they were always dry and stale. After the gourmet lunch was served and consumed in record time, a separate evening plan was devised that included starting with a nap under a tree followed by lots of squirrel movement and hunting action as dark grew near.

OK, desk calendar, it’s time to flip you over to August and get ready for hunting season. I admit I’m old school, but when I circled the opening for squirrel season in ink on my calendar, I couldn’t help but smile. It also made me hungry for some saltines and sardines — just like when I was like a kid.

Contact Chris Ellis at

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