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W. Virginia expands deer season

September 27, 2009 at 01:43 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia is hoping to reduce its million-strong deer population by opening hunting season earlier than ever before this year. But starting hunting in September is likely to increase the amount of time and money devoted to the sport.

Experts including Matt Hogan, executive director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, say that’s often the upshot of various efforts to increase hunting pressure.

West Virginia’s longer season and other approaches such as increasing access to private ranches in Montana and Kansas tend to control deer populations, but Wildlife Management Institute President Steve Williams says they also increase interest in a sport that has seen participation drop.

Williams, for instance, started hunting more when Pennsylvania overlapped buck and doe season.

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