By Bob Fala
The 2014 hunting regulation pamphlets are hot off the press and available at all local license agents. They’re also available online at wvdnr.gov. It’s none too early to pick up your camp, vehicle and home copies or to start planning for fall hunting season.
Per usual the bulk of the pamphlet is related to deer hunting regulations with quite a bit less to bear, wild turkey and boar in that order. There is little new and the volume of the deer regulations can at times be intimidating. However, if you focus on your favorite hunt areas or county, it shouldn’t be so bad.
At this juncture, the major point of interest may be for the 19 limited quota antlerless deer tag areas including all of Boone County as well as the 17 limited quota bear firearms permits concurrent with the gun buck season. If you’re not interested in these special permits, there are other options available on an unlimited basis without a special permit.
For specifics on these zones, refer to the regulation pamphlets. Be advised that the deadline for applying for these special permits is mid-August. The specific bear and/or antlerless deer application forms are also available at local license agents or online.
Of particular local interest, Boone County is affording 600 special antlerless gun deer permits and Big Ugly Wildlife Management Area in Lincoln is affording 50 permits, which you must apply for by August 15. The bow-hunting only local counties of Logan, Mingo, Wyoming and McDowell not only afford some of the finest deer in terms of quality, numbers and buck to doe ratios; they also afford some of the Mountain State’s simplest deer regulations to boot!
Noted Local Sportsman Passes
With the sudden unexpected death of Patrick Donahue, the local hills lost one of its most noted outdoorsmen. Pat was an avid hunter, angler as well as a regular reader and contributor to the Outdoors Section. He contacted me personally on numerous occasions, most recently about the lack of a column while I had taken some time off to finish up a book project. In some way or another, he was always near and dear to our twenty-five year plus stint with the outdoors.
Whether it was a big fish, gobbler or that trophy buck; Pat was at it full steam ahead up until the last. If you ran into Pat up in the hills, you knew you were in the right place. He was part of the original diehards of spring gobbler hunters here when the big birds got re-established circa the early 1990’s. We oft compared notes and he was successful like all humble turkey hunters, because he worked at it.
His monster 16-point, non-typical whitetail bow buck kill from Logan County in 2008 took the top honors for the entire Mountain State that year. Little do folks know the time and effort he put into the harvest and recovery of that trophy, which was later memorialized in a West Virginia Game & Fish Magazine feature.
Of late, Pat was enjoying retirement while keeping up with the local bucks via a host of trail cameras. He would share some of those photos with me regarding a neat close-up of a bobcat or on another occasion of a doe deer with an irregular growth that he wanted some further analysis, making sure that it wasn’t some dreaded disease of his beloved whitetails.
His scrappy, left-handed quarterback and point guard athletic days at Man High School bode well for his active outdoor lifestyle that followed. Most recently, he was highly active with the Huff Creek Watershed Association’s cleanup and youth fishing days. Per Tim Jeffrey, his close friend along Huff Creek, Pat was usually the guy breaking brush hustling down to the creek with a net full of writhing trout much to the amazement of the younger folk in the crowd.
His enjoyment of the outdoors was shared with a host of family, friends, sons, brothers and acquaintances, who are cut from the same mold. It was a pleasure to feature a full color photo of him in my first book, Ramblin’ Outdoors, for which I know he got a real kick out of. Just like the many others that knew him, I’m sure they will both miss and never forget him.
That is, until such a time that we meet again in the Happy Hunting Grounds.