South Charleston, W.Va. - The special antlerless archery and antlerless muzzleloader seasons will open in September on private land only in select counties throughout the state, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR).

The early archery season opens September 12, 2011, and closes September 17, 2011. The early muzzleloader season opens September 19, 2011 and closes September 24, 2011. To participate in either of these seasons, hunters need to be aware of the following regulations.

Hunters must purchase a Class RB or RRB stamp to participate in the early archery season. This stamp allows the harvesting of one antlerless deer on private land during this special archery season.

Hunters must purchase a Class RM or RRM stamp to participate in the early muzzleloader season. This stamp allows the harvesting of one antlerless deer on private land during this special muzzleloader season.

If a hunter does not fill a tag during either season, the appropriate stamp can be used during the regular archery or muzzleloader season.

Landowners hunting on their own land or holders of DT licenses are not required to buy a stamp.

"With these early seasons, temperatures are normally warmer than in the fall seasons and hunters need to have a plan on how they are going to keep their deer cool until it can be processed," according to DNR Director Frank Jezioro. He also recommends contacting local meat processors to find out if they are accepting deer in September if processing assistance is needed.

"If you plan to hunt in the early seasons, remember that deer patterns may be different during this time than in the fall due to the warmer temperatures," Jezioro said. "To increase your chance of being successful, locate areas where deer can escape the heat of the day like north-facing slopes, deep ravines, heavily vegetated areas, and water sources. Also, acorns may not be available yet, so find mast crops like cherry seeds, apple, crabapple, hawthorns, and other mast foods that are available. If you can find travel corridors from the bedding areas to the feeding areas, then you have a good chance of harvesting a deer."

More information on the September deer seasons and all other hunting seasons can be found in the 2011-2012 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations brochure which is available at DNR offices, license agents, and at wvdnr.gov

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