With all that factored in, Wilson believes the upcoming season will "probably be a little better than average."
Some waterfowl hunters focus their efforts on major river valleys, because large bodies of water tend to attract ducks. Wilson said, however, that ducks - and especially wood ducks - are well distributed throughout the state.
"Most every slow-moving stream will have some ducks along it," he explained. "On the Tygart, the Hughes, the West Fork and other rivers of that nature, hunters are likely to see wood ducks around."
"Jump-shooting" - walking the banks of those streams and shooting ducks when they flush - is the most popular and effective early season hunting method.
Later in the year, when frozen lakes and rivers in northern Ohio and Pennsylvania force ducks to migrate south into the Mountain State, traditional "pass shooting" - setting out decoys, calling and waiting for ducks to fly close by - becomes more effective.
A few locations in West Virginia offer good pass shooting early in the season. Wilson said the state-owned McClintic, Green Bottom and Meadow River wildlife management areas are all popular with duck hunters.
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.