W.Va. hunting lands going private, lawmakers told - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

W.Va. hunting lands going private, lawmakers told

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia hunters are finding more of their preferred stomping grounds going private.

Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro outlined the emerging trend to legislators Tuesday.

Jezioro said companies that own large tracts of land no longer appear interested in allowing public access for hunting.

They instead find it more profitable to lease those properties to private hunting clubs.

Jezioro cited MeadWestvaco. He said it used to sell $5 annual permits to any hunter. Its land is now divided among several private hunting clubs. Some charge membership fees of $400 to $600.

There are still ample hunting grounds. Agency official Curtis Taylor cited 50,000 acres in McDowell, Wyoming and Mingo counties, as well as land around all Army Corps of Engineers dam projects.

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