When Does Squirrel Season Start in West Virginia?
When does squirrel season start in West Virginia? Since the opening date is shifted, it will be harder for hunters to find them. But the change will change the dynamics of the hunt. Squirrels are hard to spot due to the thick foliage, but hunters will find more hickory nuts this way. Another concern is the presence of bot fly larvae, known as warbles. While most hunters are frightened of warbles, Krantz said this is a myth.
Reintroduction of the northern flying squirrel
In 2013, biologists delisted the West Virginia northern flying squirrel from the endangered species list after capturing more than 1,000 animals at 100 sites. Federal biologists estimate that a total population of nearly 6,000 squirrels has been captured since 1985, and they believe the subspecies no longer faces extinction. But the question remains: how do we get these little creatures back in the wild? Here are some tips.
The first step in reintroducing the northern flying squirrel to the state is to find a habitat that is suitable for them. The spruce forests of the state provide most of their habitat, which is threatened by climate change. As temperatures increase, drought is predicted to expand across the area. But the positive work that is being done is expected to offset the negative effects. The Monongahela National Forest, which provides the majority of the species’ habitat, is an important piece of the puzzle. The Forest Service is committed to long-term objectives to protect and enhance this species’ habitat.
A growing concern for the survival of red squirrels in West Virginia is the loss of their habitat. This species is highly sensitive to climate change, which will increase drought in the region. Conservation groups and private entities are now investing in large-spruce regrowth to restore the historic red spruce ecosystem. Biologists are also encouraging the public to install nest boxes in 10 counties to ensure the survival of the squirrels.
The northern flying squirrel was listed as an endangered species in 1983, and its habitat has been restored to more than 173,000 acres of red spruce-northern hardwood forest. In the years following, work on the species’ habitat did not stop, and in 2013, the state delisted the squirrel as an endangered species. In total, 7,455 acres of new habitat have been created, protected, or restored. Federal biologists partnered with project proponents to keep the loss of habitat to a negligible amount.
Regulations for hunting
If you’re planning to go hunting this season, you must first know the rules and regulations for the season in West Virginia. This state’s squirrel hunting season is now open, so check out these regulations to enjoy this popular pastime. It was previously one of the most anticipated hunting seasons, as many hunters enjoyed pursuing this small animal in the woods. However, with the decline in rabbits, ruffed grouse, and other fur-bearing animals, there is a greater need to protect these species.
Hunting has been a tradition in West Virginia since before European settlement. The image of the mountaineer in his buckskin outfit, coonskin cap, and flintlock rifle has survived to this day. These three animals have become the centerpieces of the mountain state’s hunting season. Hunting laws were first passed in 1869, but additional statutes reversed the decline in game animals throughout the 20th century. Today, hunters adapt their strategies to these new times and have improved their equipment and camouflage. Some hunters use tree stands to sit on their tree, while others employ elaborate camouflage and high-tech bows. Another new addition to the season this year is the muzzle-loader rifle season.
Climate change impact
The effects of climate change are already being felt in many areas of West Virginia. High temperatures, droughts, and other weather events are already affecting the state’s forests, which are the home to many species. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these effects, including droughts, extreme heat, and increased frequency and intensity of storms. Extreme weather events, such as floods and storms, could also have a negative effect on human and animal health.
The current climate in West Virginia is undergoing significant changes, including higher temperatures and more frequent storms. Three cities had the hottest September on record in 2016. Governor Jim Justice, whose family owns a major coal mining company, denies the effects of climate change. However, he declared a drought emergency across West Virginia in September, which threatened crops and increased wildfire dangers. According to Nicolas Zegre, director of the Mountain Hydrology Laboratory at West Virginia University, increased temperatures and precipitation could impact the seasons of squirrel hunting.
Early hunting of deer
The early hunting of deer in West Virginia was unregulated. People used the animals for food, clothing, and soap. Later, the population decreased because of market hunting, which took place mostly in the early 1900s. Cottontail rabbits were also shipped from West Virginia to eastern markets. Today, hunters are required to report their harvests to the Department of Wildlife and Recreation. The DWR has several methods to report harvests.
The state legislature officially legalized the picking up of shed antlers two years ago. The new legislation requires hunters to pick up only those antlers that they legally possess. This year, there will be 21 three-day managed hunts in 10 state parks, compared to single-day hunts in recent years. Wildlife consultant Dr. Scott Siegel, of Chief Logan National Park, said deer numbers in the state are down by 70 to 80 percent.
Concurrent waterfowl hunting
The state of West Virginia has a number of different seasons and zones, including fall, spring, and winter. The rules for hunting turkeys vary depending on the zone you’re in, but you can typically take one per day during the fall. You’re also limited to three turkeys a year, so you’ll want to know the regulations before heading out to the woods. The state also has buck and squirrel seasons, and youth hunting is allowed.
The state’s Natural Resources Commission is meeting next Sunday, May 5, at the DNR District 5 office in Forks of Coal. Remember that you’ll need a license for hunting turkey, bear, or deer, so make sure you have it before you go out. This year, the West Virginia Natural Resources Commission is going to be discussing this issue and the consequences of it. All licensed hunters must have a hunting license, which is not transferable or refundable.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.