In 1992, when weather stifled hunters' success during the buck and antlerless-deer seasons, DNR officials tacked a few days of extra antlerless-deer hunting onto the season to help hunters fill their freezers, and to help the agency whittle down the deer herd.
Asked if this year's poor buck and antlerless kills might spur a similar response, Johansen's answer was blunt: "No. I don't think we're in a situation that's serious enough to warrant an emergency extension of the season, and we have no plans to do so at this point."
He added, though, that DNR administrators are hoping that hunters who head afield in late December will enjoy better weather than they've had so far. "Goodness knows they deserve a break," he said.
Johansen has particularly high hopes for the Dec. 26-27 youth/handicap and Dec. 28-31 family seasons. Over the past five years, those two seasons have accounted for almost 16 percent of the state's antlerless-deer harvest.
"I think there's a real interest in those seasons," he said. "The term 'family' is so appropriate. You have young people hunting, usually with loved ones, and you have families spending the days after Christmas taking part in the time-honored tradition of deer hunting."
Now, if the weather would just cooperate ...
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.