I am glad that is over!

By Roger Wolfe - Outdoors Column

It isn’t often that you will ever hear me say that I am happy to see any season be over. I am very happy, however, that the election season is finally over. At least for a little while.

Yes, I am sure there will still be some contested races, some problems validating all of the ballots and it will take some time to certify the final election results, but at least the never ending torrent of political ads and phone calls will stop. Be sure to keep your fingers crossed that we don’t have any problems with all those hanging chads from several years back. Sheesh!

It is November and all anyone should be worrying about is where should they hang a tree stand for the next hunt. It doesn’t matter what political affiliation you align yourself with, red, blue, mountain party, libertarian, independent or none of the above, it is a blessing to live in this great Nation of ours and to get to take part in the shaping of the future with our right to vote.

It is also worth noting that a huge debt and a heart felt “Thank you” should go out to all our Veterans, and active duty military personnel, for fighting for us to keep these freedoms and rights. The right to vote is worth a couple of weeks of continuous phone calls telling us who and what to vote for and all of the issues that need our attention and why they must have each and every vote.

Mixed in amongst the hot ticket races on the national stage, there are often smaller issues included on the ballot that are just as important and in fact might have a much more immediate effect on our lives. There are State races like choosing the next governor for the state and then there are even county issues that must be voted on that demand attention even though they may not show up on the nightly news each evening.

One issue that appeared on a lot of county ballots was the sportsmen’s right to hunt on Sunday on private land. Way back in 2001, Sunday hunting was legalized in just 14 of the state’s 55 counties. This change allowed for working folks to garner just a few more days to hunt each year.

Just this week West Virginia added 11 more counties to the list that will be open to hunting on Sunday. This brings the total up to 33 counties. Over half of the counties in the state now allow Sunday hunting on private land with the landowner’s permission.

For years West Virginia was one of only a handful of states that didn’t allow hunting on Sunday. Finally, that tide is turning and if the hunter chooses he, or she can now hunt on what may sometimes be their only day off in the week.

The 11 counties that were just added are Barbour, Berkeley, Harrison, Kanawha, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia, Pleasants, Preston, Ritchie, and Wood Counties. Add in Jackson County which was approved in the May primary election and that brings the total to an even dozen added in 2016 alone.

So, once these election results are certified, it will be just in time to squeeze in a couple of extra days of hunting before the real seasons come to an end. Be sure to consult the WVDNR website (www.wvdnr.gov) to find an updated list of counties open to Sunday hunting or contact your local DNR District office.

By Roger Wolfe

Outdoors Column

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