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WV – HUNTING – ‘Family seasons’ are hunters’ last chance to put venison in the freezer

Most of West Virginia’s 2020 deer-hunting seasons have ended, but four opportunities to bring home venison remain. The six-day muzzleloader season ends Sunday. The archery season, open since Sept. 26, ends on Dec. 31. Two other seasons, both firearm hunts for antlerless whitetails, will be shoehorned into the days between Christmas and New Year’s. The first, open only to youths, seniors and handicapped hunters, will open on Dec. 26 and end on Dec. 27. The second, open to everyone, will open on Dec. 28 and will close on Dec. 31. Collectively, they’re known as the state’s “family” antlerless-deer seasons. Former Division of Natural Resources director Ed Hamrick put that label on them when the agency implemented the first such hunts. Paul Johansen, the DNR’s wildlife chief, said the term “captures perfectly” the spirit of the seasons’ intended purpose. “A lot of people are at home with their families during that holiday week,” Johansen added. “What better way is there to celebrate the holidays than to get outdoors and enjoy some deer hunting with your family?” With COVID-19 on everyone’s minds, Johansen said he believes whitetail hunting provides a sterling opportunity to spend time together while maintaining a safe social distance. “You’re outside, you’re naturally distanced, and you’re taking advantage of what nature offers,” he said. “Gift returns can wait until you finish deer hunting.” The youth-senior-handicapped hunt, he added, is perfectly timed for that.  [full article]

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