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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : October 21, 2005


Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Curtis Taylor, Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771


Ruffed Grouse and Raccoon Hunting Seasons Open


  The hunting seasons for ruffed grouse and raccoon began October 15, 2005 and continue until February 28, 2005 , according to Frank Jezioro , Director of the Division of Natural Resources. Mountain State grouse hunters have had to work harder to find birds during the past few seasons, but this year is shaping up to be much better. Brood reports through August 2005 are up 43 percent over August 2004. As in 2004, the highest numbers of brood reports have come from the central mountain counties.


   Ruffed grouse will be found near feeding areas containing preferred foods such as grapes, hawthorne , white and red oak acorns and dogwood. Clearcuts, strip benches, and overgrown pastures are always good places to look for grouse. The bag limit for ruffed grouse is 4 per day.


   Raccoons will be found foraging in white oak bottoms and areas with numerous grape arbors. In agricultural areas, hunters can increase their chances for treeing raccoons by talking to local farmers who have been experiencing damage to their cornfields. Raccoon hunters are reminded that the bag limit for any 11-hour period beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. is 4 raccoons for each person or groups of persons as a party. The daily bag limit for raccoon may be possessed for each day the season is open.


  “Raccoon populations in 2005 should be similar to populations in 2004. Reproduction in raccoons is influenced by mast conditions the previous year. Poor mast years can result in below average reproduction, especially in heavily forested areas with little agriculture,” said Jezioro.


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