The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Sports

August 5, 2013

Natural Resources to conduct deer spotlight surveys

ELKINS — Over the next several weeks, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section will again be conducting spotlight surveys throughout 36 counties to evaluate deer population densities, according to game management supervisor Gary Foster.

“The monitoring of deer population levels throughout the state continues to be an important component of the 2011–2015 West Virginia white-tailed deer operational plan,” said Foster. “The spotlight distance sampling methodology is commonly used by state wildlife agencies throughout the country to provide supplemental information on deer population densities.”

Surveys will involve sighting deer along randomly selected roads by searching adjacent fields and woods with spotlights. Surveys will not involve the collection of live or dead animals and will not involve personnel entering onto private property. Spotlight surveys will be completed by mid-September. For additional information, contact the district wildlife biologist at your local DNR district office or contact the DNR Elkins office.

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Notes from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources:

- The WVDNR announces that the fall “Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop” is set for Sept. 13-15 at Watoga State Park.    

Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill but have never had the opportunity to try? Or, have you wanted to take up an outdoor sport but were afraid to purchase all the equipment and then find out later that you hated it? Well, the WV BOW program is definitely for you. Women who are at least 18 years old can learn a new outdoor skill.

This fall BOW will offer outdoor classes that include archery, biking, shooting, fly tying, fishing, nature walks and outdoor cooking, among others. Registration is now open. The workshop costs $150, which covers lodging and two dinners. Breakfast and lunch will be on your own.

For more information or to register for the workshop, contact BOW at 304-558-2771 or billie.j.shearer@wv.gov. Download the form at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/bow.shtm.

- For the rest of this summer, visitors may reserve cabins at West Virginia’s state parks for a shorter-than-normal time period. Effective now through Labor Day weekend, the West Virginia State Parks system is reducing the minimum advance cabin reservation requirements from a week to only a two-night minimum at all parks with cabins. While many parks’ cabins are booked for the remainder of the summer into Labor Day weekend, several areas have openings on weekends in July and August, as well as mid-week.

Parks and forests participating in the “Times Change” cabin rental night program include: Babcock, Beech Fork , Blackwater Falls, Bluestone state parks, Cabwaylingo State Forest, Cacapon Resort, Cass Scenic Railroad state parks, Greenbrier State Forest, Lost River, North Bend, Pipestem Resort state parks, Seneca State Forest, Twin Falls Resort, Tygart Lake and Watoga state parks.

“Times change and we’ve been seeing changes in how far ahead folks make cabin reservations and also a greater interest in shorter term rentals as opposed to weekly reservations, which was the custom for decades,” the DNR’s Ken Caplinger said. “Over the past several years, the park system has liberalized summer cabin rental policies with many areas offering three or four night reservation options during summer as opposed to a weeklong minimum.

“For the rest of this summer, however, we’re taking it yet another step. We’re reducing the minimum required number of advance cabin reservation nights to two, which should benefit folks looking to get back to nature before summer’s end but for a shorter period of time.”

Looking ahead past Labor Day, the park system always offers a mid-week cabin discount in September at several areas. Also, several parks offer an “Awesome August” cabin rate option to encourage late summer travel.

Learn more about West Virginia’s state parks and forests at www.wvstateparks.com.

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