West Virginia’s 2009-10 waterfowl seasons will begin statewide on Sept. 1, 2009, with the opening of the early Canada goose season, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Section. The early season will end on Sept. 19. 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. HIP registration is free and available from DNR offices and all hunting license outlets.
“Canada geese are found throughout West Virginia, but the largest concentrations are in the major river valleys where agriculture and suburban landscapes provide an abundance of open land,” Taylor said. “A recently harvested crop field near water would be an ideal place to hunt, but hunters should not overlook those out-of-the-way spots such as an isolated pasture or strip bench with a small pond.” Regular scouting is important because geese are very mobile and will move to such isolated areas to avoid hunting pressure.
Most goose hunting is found on private lands, so it is important for hunters to maintain good relationships with landowners. Goose hunting is also available on some wildlife management areas and hunters should contact the appropriate district office with questions about specific areas.
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. Also, 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 may also be reported online at www.reportband.gov.
Wildlife Resources Section