The county numbers are somewhat higher. Eastern Fayette and eastern Nicholas will get 200 each, northern Clay 300 and Pocahontas and Webster 400 apiece.
Setting the number of permits for each area involves as much art as science. Taylor said hunters' attitudes have historically played as large a role in biologists' reasoning as deer-population statistics.
"Early, early on in the process, we learned there was opposition to killing antlerless deer, especially on private land," Taylor explained. "Hunters would apply for permits never intending to use them. In some cases, entire hunting clubs would apply and deliberately not use their permits just to make sure fewer does got killed. We had to learn to allow for that and make enough permits available to allow for those we knew wouldn't get used."
Hunters' attitudes toward killing female deer have changed significantly, but DNR officials still struggle to get sportsmen to apply for limited permits. Taylor realizes hunters might not want to apply when permits are available in unlimited numbers throughout most of the state, but he said there are good reasons to consider it.
"As many options as people have [for antlerless-deer hunting] now, we have areas that are undersubscribed," he said. "Hunters who don't have access to private lands might want to consider applying for one of the public-land permits. Also, people who have historically hunted antlerless deer in some of these areas might want to consider applying so they can continue to hunt those areas."
Taylor said he has done just that in order to hunt on the Bluestone WMA, one of his favorite hunting grounds.
"We absolutely encourage hunters to apply for these permits," he said.
Applications are now available at all DNR district offices, the agency's Elkins Operations Center and its Charleston Headquarters. Applications also can be downloaded from the DNR's website, www.wvdnr.gov, by clicking on the Hunting/Main Page heading.
Applications must be received by the DNR before the close of business on Aug. 24, 2012, to be considered.