By ANNE ELGIN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Gun season got off to a strong start in West Virginia Monday, but an approaching winter storm could potentially damper the fall tradition by mid week.
“I am expecting a pretty good kill this season,” Howard Hill, owner of H&S Sporting Goods in Princeton, said. “There is not much food so deer are going to be moving a lot. I have seen a lot myself and believe they are rutting pretty decently.
Hill said the check-in station was already busy Monday.
“We have had eight bucks checked in this morning, with the biggest being around a six pointer,” Hill said.
Opening day weather conditions were wonderful for anyone who can get out and hunt, Department of Natural Resources Game Management Assistant Chief Paul Johansen said.
He didn’t have immediate predictions for the two-week gun season.
“It’s still a little early to tell, because this is opening day, but we are expecting to see around 55,000 to 60,000 bucks be checked in,” Johansen said.
Hunters that are properly licensed are allowed to kill two deer a day with only one being a buck, Johansen said.
Hunters are limited to two bucks during gun season and three antlered deer per year during archery or firearm seasons.
However, an approaching winter storm is expected to impact the region by Wednesday with accumulating snowfall. That could impact both holiday travel and hunting.
“If the weather conditions turn bad, it could mean that deer and also hunters will not be out much which could affect how many deer we see,” Johansen said.
Gun season runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7 and is open in all counties except Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming.
Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, said so far there have been no complaints this year of people not being able to deer hunt in McDowell.
Moore said the county of McDowell will continue to be excluded from the two-week gun season for now until someone brings up something different.
“I am not sure anything will change and we plan to continue operating as we have been, if someone proposes something different, we will look at it then,” Moore said.
— Contact Anne Elgin at