Cumberland Times-News

March 30, 2013

New W.Va. doe hunt works out

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

— The new, three-day, October, firearms hunt for antlerless deer instituted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources accounted for a harvest of 3,525 animals, according to Chris Ryan, supervisor of Game Management Services.

"We were very happy with hunter participation and the deer harvest during West Virginia's October antlerless gun seasons,” Ryan said earlier this week.  “The harvest of antlerless deer is the key to healthier, heavier and more productive deer herds.  We were very happy that many hunters and landowners took advantage of another opportunity to keep the deer herd in balance with its habitat."

It is common to see Preston County atop any chart showing big game harvest in the Mountain State and it was no different in this hunt, with 200 antlerless deer being taken.

A number of other counties had three-digit harvests, including Mineral and Hampshire, each providing 117 deer for local check stations.

The hunt took place Oct. 25-27. “The DNR has proposed to continue the October antlerless season to the Natural Resources Commission. The commissioners will vote on the proposals at their April meeting,” Ryan said.

Harvests from some of the other counties include: Tucker, 35; Berkeley, 57; Grant, 68; Hardy, 94; Jefferson, 39; Morgan, 45; and Pendleton, 62.

The second highest harvest for a county took place in Mason, on the Ohio River, where 155 were checked in.

CWD in West Virginia

In West Virginia, more than 10,000 deer have been tested for chronic wasting disease since the fatal ailment was first discovered in 2005.

There have been 133 positive.

Of those 133, two deer were found dead and two were so sick they had to be put down. The bulk of the deer tested came from road kills, hunter kills or agency kills, according to Ryan.

The agency will continue to sample available deer such as road kills, but federal funds that paid for aggressive sampling has dried up, according to Ryan.

CWD in Maryland

There have been 194 Maryland deer tested in recent months for the presence of CWD and none have been positive, according to George Timko, a biologist with the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service.

Timko awaits the results from another 80 deer.

Do you solemnly swear?

Here at the Times-News, hardly a day goes by that we don’t report about somebody being charged and/or arrested for a violation of some sort.

The alleged wrong can range from murder to a minor offense. Sometimes the charge is based upon a natural resources regulation or law.

At times, we get asked, “Why do you just report what the police say about the incident and not what the person charged has to say about it?”

That’s an easy one.

When police officers are sworn in, they take an oath and that oath is in effect throughout their careers.

As soon as the defendant gets under oath in a courtroom we report that side of the story as well.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.