New hunting laws you may want to know before you head into the woods

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     Hunting season is under way, but their are two new laws that the Division of Natural Resources wants to make sure everyone is aware of. 
     The first new law is the legalization of crossbow hunting. Archery season began September 26th, and this year that includes crossbows. Before this year, crossbow’s were only allowed during rifle season. Sergeant Dennis Feazell says this change was brought about to give people more opportunities to hunt, “The DNR decided to give hunters more opportunity, you may have physical limitations, not be able to draw a bow back, or just for strength purposes, or you have some sort of handicap. Things you need to know as far as hunting with crossbows, it has to have a working safety and the bolts have to be at least 18 inches in length.” Crossbow hunting is still illegal in the four Archery only counties. Those are Boone, Logan, Wyoming, and McDowell Counties. 
     The second new law changes the way you check in your deer. In the past you had to physically take it to a check in station, but now you can check it in electronically. Feazell says you can check in your deer by calling 1-844-WVCHECK, or you can go online at wvhunt.com, “before you do that though you have to register and get your hunter I.D. number, once you get that number you will have it for the rest of your life. The only people that have to call and get that number will be land owners or people who have lifetime licenses and they got to wvhunt.com and they can get their hunter i.d number or you they can stop by any place that sells licenses.”
     The DNR also urges for everyone’s number one priority to be safety. If you’re using tree stands, make sure you’re wearing your safety harness. Falling out of tree stands is one of the main causes of hunting related injuries.  
     Archery season ends December 31st. Rifle season begins November 23rd and ends December 5th. 

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