Is this a "Here we go again!"?

West Virginia legislators could reopen the debate over Sunday hunting.

The state's natural resources chief suggested moving up the annual deer season's start to a weekend instead of a Monday.

Giving hunters Saturday and Sunday at the season's opening could curb truancy from work and school, said Director Frank Jezioro.

Jezioro said youths routinely skip classes when the season opens, while some adults practically dare their bosses to fire them by taking days off to enter the woods.

Calhoun marks the days off their school calendar to permit hunting, rather that fight the truancy problem.

"That's how deeply seated the hunting tradition is in West Virginia," Jezioro said.

Lawmakers, rather than make a uniform law regarding Sunday hunting, shifted the decision to the 55 counties.

Most counties held elections on whether to allow Sunday hunting on private lands in 2001.

All 41 that put the question on their ballots the following year voted to ban it.

Sunday hunting on public property is illegal in all 55 counties.

Jezioro noted that neighboring Ohio and Virginia have moved up their deer seasons, luring potential hunters away from the Mountain State.

He said "It's a workable plan."

Sen. Shirley Love, D-Fayette, predicted that the proposal will meet resistance, like it did in 2002.

"Some counties will say, "You can't have hunting with a .30-06 going off during church services," Love said.

Hunting is a multi-million-dollar industry in West Virginia, with about 11 percent of the state's 1.8 million residents having a hunting license.

Hunters killed 136,289 deer in the state, or 928 more than the previous year, during the 2006 season that ran from November 20 to December 2.