South Charleston, W.Va. - New for 2011 - the statewide squirrel season will open on Sept. 10, 2011, and run through Jan. 31, 2012, according to Curtis l. Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The season opener has been moved up four weeks from last year's opening date, providing hunters with more time to pursue the state's most popular small game species.

"Weather conditions in September are usually warmer and more comfortable, making this new season opener a great opportunity to introduce a youngster to the sport of hunting," said Taylor.

In addition to warmer weather, September offers more hours of daylight, providing opportunity for evening outings after work or school.

Based on last year's record hard mast crop, the hunting outlook for squirrels this fall looks excellent. Squirrels had abundant food supplies during the winter months, which led to increased numbers of bushytails this spring.

The daily bag limit will remain at six and possession limit at 24. All licensing requirements will remain in effect and hunters should check the 2011-2012 hunting and trapping regulations  for additional information.

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