West Virginia's Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens December 15

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West Virginia's six-day muzzleloader deer season opens December 15 and continues through December 20, 2008, in all counties open to firearm hunting for deer, according to Curtis Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the Division of Natural Resources.

Hunters are reminded that muzzleloader hunting for antlered deer is legal in all counties open to muzzleloader season. However, a hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all deer seasons combined. A deer of either sex may be taken with muzzleloaders in all counties or parts thereof and state wildlife management areas open to the Class N antlerless season. A second deer may be taken on a Class RM or RRM (resident or nonresident muzzleloader) stamp or by a resident landowner using that privilege on his or her own property in all counties having a muzzleloader season. In 19 of these counties or parts thereof, only antlered deer may be taken. In 35 counties or parts thereof, deer of either sex may be taken. The Class RM or RRM stamp must be purchased prior to December 15.

During the muzzleloader deer season, only single shot muzzleloaders (including "in-lines") of .38 caliber or larger may be used. Both open and telescopic sights are legal to use during this season. Firearms that have been converted into a muzzleloader by the use of a plug, or double-barreled or swivel-barreled muzzleloaders may not be used during the muzzleloader season. When being transported in or on a vehicle, muzzleloaders are considered unloaded when uncapped or when the priming charge is removed from the pan. A bow or crossbow may not be substituted for a muzzleloader.

Concurrent archery and small game hunting is legal during the muzzleloader season subject to all archery and small game hunting regulations, except that all hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange as an outer garment. For complete information, hunters should consult the 2008-2009 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, pages 24-25, available at any DNR office or license agent or by visiting the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov.