West Virginia’s 2012–2013 waterfowl seasons begin statewide on September 1, 2012, with the opening of the early Canada goose season, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Section.

The early Canada goose season will end September 15.  Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.  All other general waterfowl hunting regulations apply to the September season.  Hunters must possess a federal waterfowl stamp and a free Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration card in addition to their regular hunting license.  The HIP card is available free from DNR offices and all hunting license agents.

“Every county in the state has the potential to provide a goose hunt or two, but the better hunting opportunities will be found in areas with an abundance of open land,” said Taylor.

Recently harvested crop fields or mowed hayfields in the vicinity of a lake or river are obvious choices, but less typical habitats should not be overlooked by hunters.

“Just about any place that has a little water and some open ground, such as a small pond on a reclaimed strip mine, can harbor a flock of geese,” Taylor said.  “These out-of-the way places become more important later in the season after the obvious places get some hunting pressure.”

Most goose hunting is found on private lands; therefore, it is important for hunters to maintain good relationships with landowners.  Several wildlife management areas also offer goose hunting opportunities, and hunters should contact their appropriate DNR district office for additional information.

Waterfowl hunters are reminded of two important toll free numbers.  Federal waterfowl stamps may be purchased with a credit card by calling 1-800-782-6724.  In addition, hunters who harvest a banded bird may call 1-800-327-2263 to report the bird and find out when and where it was banded.  Banded birds also may be reported online at www.reportband.gov.

Logo courtesy of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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