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Administration Home News/Information Contact Us DNR Home   

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : November 15, 2006


Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381

Contact: Paul Johansen, Wildlife Resources Section (304) 558-2771

West Virginia Bucks-only Gun Season Fact Sheet

  • The West Virginia bucks-only gun season is November 20 – December 2. It is open in all counties except Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming.
  • Approximately 320,000 licensed hunters will be in West Virginia’s woods during this season.
  • Hunters should review the 2006-2007 Hunting and Trapping Regulations summary for detailed instructions concerning bag limits and season dates. The regulations are online at
  • A list of deer checking stations in West Virginia can be found online at
  • The bag limit during the two week buck-only season is two (one on the base license and one on RG [resident] or RRG [non-resident] license). A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all seasons combined.
  • The last day to purchase an additional deer gun tag (class RG/RRG license) is November 19. Class RG and Class RRG additional buck stamps can only be used to take an additional antlered deer in Buck Season. Unused Class RG and Class RRG may no longer be rolled over to later deer seasons.
  • A concurrent antlerless deer season will be available in 37 counties, or portions thereof, on private land only during the two-week bucks-only gun season. This is not a “hunters choice” season, because hunters must have purchased the proper antlerless deer license (Class N for residents and Class NN for nonresidents). Hunters may take only one deer per day during this season, therefore, a buck and an antlerless deer may not be taken on the same day. Class N and Class NN antlerless stamps are no longer county specific.
  • All deer must be field tagged and checked in within 72 hours of the time of kill or within 24 hours of the close of the season, whichever comes first. Additional deer may not be taken until all previously taken deer have been checked. Only one deer may be taken per day during the bucks-only season.
  • Deer hunting in West Virginia generates a total annual economic impact of $233 million, much of it in the rural areas of the state that depend upon the deer seasons for a large portion of their annual income.
  • In 2005, deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,901 bucks during the two-week bucks-only season.
  • Wildlife Biologists are predicting a slightly higher buck harvest this fall with larger antlered bucks more common than in the past. Most regions have good acorn crops, so deer will be widely distributed and less visible in open fields. Hunters who have done their pre-season scouting and have located food sources for deer will have the best chance of success.
  • Older-Age Deer Management Areas – All antlered deer taken on Beech Fork Lake, Bluestone Lake, Burnsville Lake, and McClintic Wildlife Management Areas and Coopers Rock State Forest must have a minimum outside antler spread restriction of 14 inches (ear tip to ear tip). The annual antlered deer bag limit is one deer for all seasons combined.
  • Sunday hunting is legal in 14 counties on private land only: Boone, Brooke, Clay, Hancock, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Marshall, Mingo, Ohio, Wayne, Wetzel and Wyoming. The only Sunday that falls during the bucks-only gun season is November 26. Hunters are reminded that deer guns seasons are closed in Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming counties.
  • Hunters are required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange (about the size of a vest) as an outer garment for visibility and safety. Blaze orange camouflage patterns are legal as long as 400 square inches of blaze orange are displayed on the garment. A blaze orange hat is not required, but the hunter must have blaze orange visible from both the front and the back.
  • In 2005 there were seven reported hunting-related incidents in West Virginia during the two-week bucks-only gun season. ONLY ONE INVOLVED A GUNSHOT WOUND and it was accidentally self-inflicted and not fatal. There were four fatalities: three heart attacks and one resulting from a fall from an elevated blind. One other hunter was injured in a fall, and another injured as a result of falling out of a tree stand.
  • Hunting licenses may be purchased online at any time and printed out on a home computer printer. Go to the goWILD! Web site at, complete the application, and purchase it over a secure server with a credit card.
  • Hunters who wish to donate deer meat or dollars to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program, which distributes deer meat through the Mountaineer Food Bank and Huntington Food Bank, should call (304) 558-2771 or visit the DNR Web site at to find a participating meat processor.

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