Western US Hunting Fairmont WV

This page provides useful content and local businesses that can help with your search for Western US Hunting. You will find helpful, informative articles about Western US Hunting, including "Nonresident's Guide to Western Hunting", "Welcome to "The Western Hunter" Blog", and "A Western Hunt - Get Ready For A Whole New World". You will also find local businesses that provide the products or services that you are looking for. Please scroll down to find the local resources in Fairmont, WV that will answer all of your questions about Western US Hunting.

Tygart Lake
(304) 265-1760
Rt. 1, Box 257
Grafton, WV
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Dick's Sporting Goods
(304) 598-0554
5000 University Town Center Dr
Morgantown, WV
Bluestone National Scenic River
(304) 466-0417
P. O. Box 246
Glen Jean, WV
Other Activties
Biking; Boating; Fishing; Hiking; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

R.D. Bailey Lake
(304) 664-3229
US Route 52 North
Justice, WV
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Bulltown Camp
(304) 853-2371
2550 South Main Street
Burnsville, WV
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Hiking; Hunting

Dick's Sporting Goods
(304) 848-0482
2399 Meadowbrook Mall
Bridgeport, WV
(304) 363-5035
400 Adams Street
Fairmont, WV
Gauley River National Recreation Area
(304) 465-0508
P. O. Box 246
Glen Jean, WV
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Water Sports

Burnsville Lake
(304) 853-2371
HC 10 Box 24
Burnsville, WV
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Historic & Cultural Site; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
(304) 866-3858
HC 70, Box 200
Davis, WV
Other Activties
Boating; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Visitor Center; Wildlife Viewing

A Western Hunt - Get Ready For A Whole New World

Last fall I was headed over the pass for a quick trip to Denver between Colorado's second and third rifle seasons. I stopped at a rest stop and noticed a fellow with six days' stubble on his sunburned face, leaning against a truck with Midwestern plates. "Been huntin'?" I said.

"Yup," he replied with a grin. "It sure is different out here."

"How so?" I asked.

"Everything," he said. "You know, back home you can hunt in 30 acres of timber back behind the barn. Out here, you're only getting started when you've walked half a day up an 11,000-foot mountain. The mountains are so big, the animals are tough, and it's really challenging hunting. It was much harder than I thought. But I had a great time. I'll be back again."

I smiled. "We'll see you next year," I said.

His response was no surprise to me. My wife and I own an outfitting business in some of the toughest country in Colorado, and no matter how much we try to prepare our clients for a demanding expedition, someone is always surprised and unprepared. If you're planning a trip out West and haven't done a Western hunt before, read on, because I'm speaking from experience.

Physical conditioning is the most important thing to prepare yourself for a Western hunt. If you think you can spend half an hour a day on a treadmill and be in shape for a high-elevation hunt, you're wrong. It's amazing what climbing up a 35-degree slope at 10,000 feet above sea level will tell you about your physical fitness. The only true way to get in shape for a Western hunt is to really stress yourself physically. By this, I mean get your heart rate pumping a sustained 90-120 beats a minute for 20-30 minutes 5-6 times per week. At least a couple of times a week, go until the sweat is streaming down your face and you're gasping for breath and your heart is really pumping. Of course, consult with your doctor, go slow at first, and then build up your program, but if you're not really pushing yourself at low elevation, you'll really be hurting at high elevation.

Last fall, one of our clients, "Wes", ignored our advice to get physically fit and to get acclimated before his hunt. On opening morning, he joined the group on a semi-demanding two-hour hike to a point where we had spotted five bull elk the night before. While his brother-in-law ended up dropping a nice 5x5 with one shot in the neck, Wes contracted a brutal case of altitude sickness. My guide, Ian, practically had to carry Wes off the mountain. The next morning, his resting pulse was still 110, and Wes had to abort his hunt. The rest of the group tagged out on nice bulls, while Wes spent a considerable amount of time and money for only a single morning of hunting. At the least, try to give yourself as much time as possible at high elevation before your hunt. Altitude sickness is a tricky thing, and acclimation to high elevations can take as long as six weeks. If you step off a plane and head right to the hills to go hunting, you may be throwing your body co...

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Nonresident's Guide to Western Hunting

A not-so concise look at the opportunities available to those who have decided to come out West for an elk, deer or antelope hunt and don't know where to start. This won't address bighorn sheep, mountain goats, or moose as those are typically once-in-a-lifetime hunts. This is also designed for DIY hunters, not for those looking for private land or outfitted hunts, as there are various other aspects regarding transferable tags that could also be addressed. To the best of my knowledge this information is up to date and accurate. Let's take a look at each state, one at a time, the tag procurement processes, license fees, competitive advantages and disadvantages compared to other states, and various things that make each state unique.

First a few definitions regarding the major public lands that may not be familiar to those who do not live in the West:

USFS: The United States Forest Service, these are the lands where most hunters hunt. They are typically higher elevation lands open to most recreation with a few limitations. There are also National Grasslands that are run by the USFS, and hunting is permitted here as well. There may be, and in fact frequently are, private inholdings within the administrative boundaries of these lands where you cannot hunt. Make sure you have a good map that shows the actual land ownership, not just the administrative boundary.

BLM: The Bureau of Land Management. These are federally owned public lands, but they are not indicated on your typical road atlas. BLM lands are notorious for not being marked or being marked as private lands when they are in fact public. Once again, you need a good map.

Wilderness: This does not mean woods or forest. Federally designated wilderness areas can occur on either USFS or BLM lands. Wilderness areas on BLM lands are referred to as Wilderness Study Areas or WSAs and are treated the same as a USFS Wilderness Area. The important thing to know about Wilderness Areas is that there is no motorized access permitted. If you are looking for a horseback hunt, backpack hunt or want to just ensure there are no ATVs, these are the areas to focus on. Also, there is no wheeled vehicles of any sort allowed, which includes mountain bikes and game carts. Another important note is that the state of Wyoming does not permit nonresidents to hunt big game in wilderness areas without a guide.

State Trust Lands: Throughout most of the west, section 16 and 36 in each township is designated as a State Trust Land, also called School Lands. These lands are not always publicly accessible and vary from state to state. In many states, they are treated as private lands, controlled by those who own the grazing lease on these lands.

One other issue regarding public access: You cannot cross private land to access public land. If there is no public road access to a block of land, you may as well consider it private ground. You are trespassing if crossing private lands. Also, in areas wher...

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Welcome to "The Western Hunter" Blog

Hi, my name is Mark Richman, and I'm going to be writing The Western Hunter Blog, a new feature here on BigGameHunt.net. I just wanted to take this first opportunity to introduce myself and give you an overview of what I'll be covering here in the future.

I've been an avid hunter all my life, but grew up in a non-hunting household in California. Because my folks didn't have the first clue about where to take me hunting, my interest in big game research began at an early age. I devoured everything I could that was hunting related, and loved the entire planning process. I studied harvest stats and poured over maps to the best of my young ability. Success did not come easy for me, and I learned a lot of things the hard way. When I went to college at Montana State to study wildlife biology, my eyes were truly opened to what I was missing by just focusing on popular literature and magazines for my hunting knowledge. All hunters must be amateur biologists to some degree, and I chose my wildlife biology classes with an eye toward becoming a better hunter.

Going to school in a place like Southwestern Montana gives you the opportunity to rub elbows with other avid hunters, guides, outfitters, hardcore backpackers and other serious outdoorsmen. While my classes gave me the biological knowledge I was lacking, it was the people I met and hunted with that helped me develop my field crafts and taught me how to apply the science in the field.

After graduating, I ended up going to grad school in South Texas. While I was not impressed by the score-centric hunting culture, their emphasis on trophy quality did begin to rub off on me, to the point that I’m now much more patient with the trigger. I guess that’s also a part of every hunter’s development. Those in the beginning stages are happy with harvesting any legal animal, but once you’ve repeatedly proven to yourself that you can harvest big game, many hunters decide to up the ante, by hunting for more mature animals. After living in Texas, I promised to never score an animal that I kill, but I recognize that it is human nature to want to know where you stack up against others. I’m still focused on enjoyable, public land hunts, where a mature animal just adds to the enjoyment of the hunt and B&C score does not make or break my happiness.

I left Texas to work with bighorn sheep in the Pine Ridge country of Western Nebraska, and then moved to Colorado working for both public and private wildlife conservation groups.

I now call Colorado home, and have developed my hunting area research far beyond a mere passion and into a small business. I’m also a Federal Firearms Licensee, with an interest in custom hunting rifles, especially custom Mausers. I hunt several states each year on public land, but not just in the west. I’m trying to harvest a deer in every state before I die, so when time and money permit, I try to add a new state or two out east to my list each year. Hunter recruitment and retention ...

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