The Hunt Is On

WV Wild Game Hunting

September marks the opening of a number of hunting seasons across West Virginia. If you are new to hunting you should consider taking a hunter education class. If you were born on or after January 1, 1975 you must first successfully complete a certified hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license.

So you have passed the course and bought a license and a gun and you’ve decided to hunt, have you? I hope you know what you’re doing, but if you don’t:

adult and child hunter

Blaze orange is a must when hunting


Step 1. Buy camo everything. (Except for a blaze orange vest. Make sure you’re visible to other hunters!)  

Step 2. Buy the appropriate hunting weapon for the season.

Step 3. Determine what hunting season it is.

So now that no one can see you (except for 440 square inches of you), you have your gun and you know it’s deer season, what else is there to know?

outdoor shooting range

Dents Run WMA shooting range


Step 4. Practice.

Dent’s Run Wildlife Management Area has the newest shooting range in Marion County. The range features 4 standard benches as well as a bench for people with disabilities. Pick your distance, aim and shoot. DRWMA shooting range offers target frames at 25, 50 and 100 yards.

hunters with deer

Deer hunting success


Step 5. Review WVDNR Regulations.

For example, you may not shoot a deer in or near water. It’s no good if it’s taken by the river.


Know your limit. You can kill up to 3 deer in archery, 2 deer in buck firearms and 2 deer in muzzleloader season. However, a hunter may take no more than 3 antlered deer per calendar year in all seasons combined.


Turkey Hunting

Turkey Hunting


Step 6. Step up your game.

Wash your clothes with baking soda, and keep them scentlessly fresh by storing them with baking soda. Take a shower with baking soda. Wash your hair with baking soda. It’s your two-in-one deodorant/antiperspirant. Speaking of odoriferous things, sprinkle some in your shoes! Or substitute with any scent killing products.


Don’t forget to spray your accessories with no-scent spray before you walk into the hunting grounds.


Step 7. So you’re scentless and practically invisible. Now what?

Get in a treestand, a blind, anything— just don’t let the deer know you’re there!


tree stand

Hunting tree stand


Step 8. Scent up your game

Didn’t you just say…? Yeah, I know I said go scentless, but this is a different kind of scent.


It’s the rutting season, use a little estrous scent. Outside of their rutting season, stick with deer urine. Deer know what season it is; you can’t fool ‘em. Now don’t bathe in either one. Deer know what they should be smelling, when and how much of it they should smell.

MAIN STREET TRADER. Enough said. Need more? Main Street Trader in Mannington has all the hunting and fishing supplies you need. And it’s conveniently located on the way to Dent’s Run, so if you forget anything all is not lost!

hunting supply store

Main Street Trader, Mannington WV


Step 9. Plan it out.

Plan for an entire day of hunting. The earliest you can begin is ½ hour before dawn. Make sure your friends and family know you won’t be back until dark. Don’t forget snacks, food and plenty of water!


You should know where you’re going and have already scouted it. Know where the deer are making their paths, and scope out the prime location to get clear shots of as many as possible.


deer path

Deer Path


So where should you go? Dent’s Run Wildlife Management Area (unless you are friends with a willing property owner)! You may think you shouldn’t practice where you hunt, and normally, you shouldn’t. But when the hunting grounds are 1,226 acres… it’s perfectly okay. (DRWMA also offers opportunities to hunt wild turkey, squirrel and waterfowl in their respective seasons. Additionally, a 30-acre impoundment provides warm-water fishing opportunities.)


Step 10. Check your kill electronically 


Hunting Faux Pas:  

  • Having a cell phone ringer on.
  • Wearing reflective clothing.
  • Using a cell phone in the dark.
  • Forgetting binoculars and using the gun instead.
  • Shooting before seeing the entire animal (and thus shooting a person).

Always remember:

Even if you don’t get your dream kill, it’s a good day. Why? How? Because you spent time in nature, experiencing all that the woods have to offer you.

What’s the best hunting advice you ever received?

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