|Hunting Home||Contact Us||News||DNR Home|
2013-2014 HUNTING AND TRAPPING
(Note: Changes in Hunting/Trapping Regulations for 2013-2014 Seasons are in italic/bold type)
DEER SEASONS – ARCHERY
Q. How many deer can be taken in the four archery-only counties (Logan, McDowell, Mingo & Wyoming)?
Hunters may take two (2) deer - one on the base license and one on an RB or RRB stamp or two (2) on RB or RRB stamps if the first deer was taken in a county open to buck firearms season; however, in any case one (1) of the two deer taken must be an antlerless deer.
Q. How many Class RB/RRB stamps can I purchase and how many deer can I kill?
Archery deer hunters may purchase two (2) Class RB/RRB stamps and take 2 deer on these tags. In select counties (consult hunting and trapping regulations), an antlerless deer must be taken during the archery deer season prior to harvesting a second antlered deer during the deer archery season.
Q. I hunt in Lewis County, which is open to antlerless deer hunting, how many deer can I take during the statewide archery season and are there any specific requirements?
Since Lewis County is open to antlerless deer hunting, with the appropriate stamps (2) RB/RRB stamps or under landowner privilege) bowhunters can take up to three (3) deer during the statewide archery deer season. One deer may be taken on the base license or as a landowner and may be either sex and 2 deer may be taken on RB/RRB stamps. At least one of the two deer taken on the RB or RRB stamps or as a landowner using those privileges must be an antlerless deer. However, an antlerless deer must be taken during the archery deer season in Lewis County prior to harvesting a second antlered deer during the deer archery season.
Q. Can a hunter substitute a crossbow for a bow during the deer archery season?
Only holders of a Class Y/YY permit along with the appropriate licenses can substitute a crossbow for a bow during the archery deer seasons only.
DEER SEASONS – MUZZLELOADER
Q. Is there a special bucks-only muzzleloader deer season on Hillcrest WMA and Wilson Cove SA in lieu of the traditional buck firearm deer season?
Yes. The traditional buck firearms hunting season on these areas is closed. Instead, there will be a special buck muzzleloader season November 25 - December 7, 2013. The bag limit for antlered deer is one for all seasons combined.
Q. After taking a buck with a muzzleloader on the Hillcrest WMA during muzzleloader season (November 25 - December 7, 2013) can I harvest an additional deer with my muzzleloader on an RG/RRG stamp?
No. The RG/RRG stamp is not valid for taking a deer during the muzzleloader season. Hillcrest WMA and Wilson Cove Study Area have an antlered deer bag limit of one.
Q. Are scopes allowed on muzzleloaders during the muzzleloader season?
Q. Does a nonresident hunter, possessing a Class E license, need a muzzleloader deer hunting stamp (Class VV) in order to participate during the muzzleloader season for bucks in the Wilson Cove SA or Hillcrest WMA?
Q. Where is the Wilson Cove special muzzleloader area?
Wilson Cove Study Area is located in Hardy County on the George Washington National Forest, Wardensville Wildlife Management Area. It is located at the head of Waites Run, approximately 6 miles South of Wardensville following State Route 5/1.
Q. Can I hunt antlerless deer during the antlerless deer season on the Wilson Cove SA or Hillcrest WMA using a conventional rifle?
Yes, except for the early special muzzleloader season (Nov. 25 - Dec. 7, 2013) when deer may only be hunted with a muzzleloader. You must have a valid Class N/NN stamp.
Q. After taking a buck with a muzzleloader in the Wilson Cove SA or Hillcrest WMA during the muzzleloader season (November 25-December 7, 2013) can I take part in the late muzzleloader season for deer of either sex?
Yes, provided you do not hunt antlered deer [The bag limit for antlered deer is one for all seasons combined]. You must hunt in an area where either sex hunting is permitted on the RM/RRM stamp and have an unfilled RM/RRM stamp.
DEER SEASONS – ANTLERLESS
Antlerless Deer Season - will be open on private land only (October 24-26, 2013) and on private and public land (Nov. 25 thru Dec. 7, Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 28-31) in 51 counties or portions thereof. Resident and non-resident hunters will need to apply for a limited number of antlerless Class N/NN permits for 10 counties or parts thereof, 7 wildlife management areas and 3 state forests. Hunters hunting on a wildlife management area, state forest or county with limited permits must have been selected and issued an eligibility card in addition to the Class N stamp to hunt on the wildlife management area, state forest or county specified on the eligibility card. This is not a hunter’s choice season in the counties where the antlerless deer season and the buck firearms season are open at the same time. To hunt antlerless deer a valid Class N/NN stamp is required for all hunters regardless of age except for resident tenants (residing on the property), resident landowners and their resident children hunting on their own land or land of their resident parents and resident parents hunting antlerless deer on their resident children’s land; and holders of a Class DT license.
Class N/NN Antlerless Deer Stamps – These stamps are no longer county specific.
Q. Is there a special antlerless deer season in Hardy and Hampshire Counties as in 2011?
No; however, private lands in the counties or portions thereof which encompass the CWD Containment Area are open during the first split of the antlerless deer season (October 24-26, 2013).
Q. Do I need a Class N/NN stamp to hunt antlerless deer during the buck firearms season?
Yes. Unless you are exempt from having to purchase (i.e., resident landowner).
Q. Can I purchase more than one Class N/NN stamp and do I have to purchase it before the antlerless deer season?
A hunter may purchase more than one Class N/NN stamp for the season and counties open to antlerless deer hunting. Only one deer may be taken per Class N/NN stamp. Class N/NN stamps may be purchased anytime.
Q. Can a hunter (age 9) hunt antlerless deer during the regular antlerless deer season?
All hunters participating in the antlerless deer season regardless of age (with the exception of landowner privilege) are required to purchase a class N license. However, a youth hunter can now purchase a class N/NN license (which is not a base license) without having to fulfill the hunter education requirement (i.e. law was changed in 2012 which states that no base hunting license [e.g. Class X, XJ, E, etc.] may be issued to a person born on or after January 1, 1975 without taking a hunter education course).
DEER SEASONS – BUCK FIREARMS
Q. Can a hunter during buck firearms season substitute a bow for a firearm without holding an archery license?
Yes. A bow can be substituted for a gun during any firearms season except the muzzleloader deer season. Bow hunters during any firearm deer season must wear 400 sq. in. of blaze orange clothing.
Q. If a hunter harvests a buck on the first day of the buck firearms season on private land in one of the 51 counties or parts thereof open to antlerless deer hunting, can I use my RG or RRG to take an antlerless deer on the second day?
No. The Class RG or RRG stamp is only valid for taking a buck during the buck firearms season. A Class N/NN stamp is required for taking an antlerless deer during the antlerless season.
Q. Can a RG/RRG stamp be used in any county with an antlerless deer season for an additional antlerless deer?
No. The RG/RRG stamps are only valid during the buck firearms season for the taking of antlered deer.
Q. Are all buck firearms season days “either sex” or “hunter’s choice”?
No. Hunters must possess a valid Class N/NN stamp to hunt antlerless deer.
DEER SEASONS – YOUTH/CLASS Q/CLASS XS ANTLERLESS DEER SEASON
DEER SEASONS – URBAN ARCHERY DEER SEASON
Q. Can a hunter participating in the urban archery deer season harvest 2 deer per day?
Yes, unless the hunt regulations developed by the municipality prohibit the taking of two (2) deer per day. Hunters should consult the municipality regulations for additional information.
GENERAL DEER INFORMATION
Older-Aged Deer Management Areas – Beech Fork Lake, Burnsville Lake, Bluestone Lake and McClintic Wildlife Management Areas, and Calvin Price and Coopers Rock State Forests have been designated older aged deer management areas and feeding and baiting for deer and other wildlife is prohibited. All antlered deer taken must have a minimum outside antler spread of 14 inches. The annual antlered deer bag limit is one for archery and firearms seasons combined.
Antlered Deer Annual Bag Limit – No more than 3 antlered deer (bucks) may be taken during the year in all seasons combined with appropriate licenses.
Q. What is the daily bag limit for deer?
The daily bag limit for deer has increased for 2013 and up to two deer may be taken per day (not to exceed the season bag limit), but only one antlered deer may be taken in a day.
Q. If a hunter harvests two deer in a day, does the first deer have to be delivered to an official game checking station prior to pursuing the second deer?
No, the first deer does not have to be legally checked at an official game check station prior to harvesting the second deer. However, all deer legally taken must be checked for retagging prior to hunting during a subsequent day.
Q. What is a CWD Containment Area and where is it located?
A “CWD Containment Area” is an area designated by the Director of the Division of Natural Resources where deer have been found to be infected with chronic wasting disease. The purpose of a containment area is to manage, control, eradicate and/or prevent the spread of the disease. The CWD Containment Area has been expanded for 2013 and includes all of Hampshire County, that portion of Hardy County north of Corridor H (U.S. Rt. 48) and/or east of State Route 259 to the Virginia state line, and that portion of Morgan County which lies west of US Rt. 522.
Q. Is baiting for deer legal?
Yes, with the following exceptions: baiting is prohibited in the CWD Containment Area; the older-aged deer management areas (McClintic, Beech Fork, Bluestone, Burnsville WMAs and Calvin Price and Coopers Rock State Forests) and on public lands during the period from September 1 – December 31 and the spring gobbler season.
Q. Can a crossbow be substituted for a gun during the deer firearms, muzzleloader or antlerless deer season?
No. Only holders of a Class Y/YY permit along with the appropriate licenses can substitute a crossbow for a bow during the archery deer season only.
Q. Which deer hunting stamps are required to be purchased prior to the season opening date?
The RB and RRB stamps are required to be purchased prior to the statewide deer archery season opening date (September 28, 2013); RG and RRG stamps prior to the buck firearms season opening date (November 25, 2013); and RM and RRM stamps prior to the deer muzzleloader season opening date (December 9, 2013). Antlerless deer stamps (Class N or NN) may be purchased at any time.
BLACK BEAR SEASONS/REGULATIONS
Q. As a WV resident do I need any licenses to bear hunt on my own property?
No. But if you decide to hunt on your neighbor’s property (private or public), you need the appropriate hunting licenses.
Q. Is bear hunting legal during the antlerless and muzzleloader deer seasons in December?
Yes. As long as the hunter has the proper license to hunt bear.
Q. Is baiting for bear legal in WV?
Q. Are resident senior citizens required to purchase a bear damage stamp?
No. Resident bear hunters who are over 65 years of age (includes Class XS license holders) are not required to purchase a bear damage license (Class DS).
Q. If I want to bear hunt without dogs during the special black bear season on Nathaniel Mountain or Short Mountain WMAs, am I required to apply for a permit?
No, only those hunters utilizing dogs are required to apply for a permit.
Q. What is the bag and season limits on black bears?
The daily bag limit is one bear per day with a season bag limit of two bears, provided at least one bear comes from Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Raleigh or Wyoming counties.
Q. Is it legal to hunt bears during the buck firearms season?
Yes, in select counties; private lands in nineteen (19) counties are open to concurrent bear hunting in which prior application for a limited number of permits is required. An additional ten (10) counties (private and public lands) are open to concurrent hunting in which prior application for a permit is not required.
Q. How many permits will be issued for the 19 counties where by permit only there will be concurrent buck firearms and bear hunting without dogs?
The number of limited bear permits for each county will be determined later this fall after the mast survey information has been analyzed. This is necessary as mast conditions have a significant impact on bear gun and archery harvests.
WILD TURKEY – FALL SEASON/REGULATIONS
Q. Is the baiting for turkeys legal in WV during the spring or fall turkey season?
Baiting for turkeys in both the spring and fall hunting seasons is prohibited.
WILD TURKEY - SPRING SEASONS/REGULATIONS
Q. Can rifles be used during the youth spring gobbler season?
No, only shotguns using shot size no larger than #4 or smaller than #7 ½ are permitted.
Q. Can XS license holders participate in the youth spring gobbler season?
No, Class XS license holders are only permitted to hunt in the youth antlerless deer season, the Class XS license privilege does not apply to other youth seasons (e.g. youth spring gobbler season, youth small game season).
GENERAL HUNTING/TRAPPING INFORMATION
Counties Open to Sunday Hunting - As of June 15, 2013, private land in the following fourteen (14) counties is open to Sunday Hunting: Boone, Brooke, Clay, Hancock, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mingo, Ohio, Wayne, Wetzel and Wyoming counties.
The statewide squirrel hunting season opens on September 14, 2013 and runs through January 31, 2014. Historically, the squirrel season opened during the first half of October.
A Lifetime Senior/Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XS) will be required of all resident hunters, trappers and anglers who reach 65 years of age on or after January 1, 2012 (with the exception of landowners and lifetime license holders).
Resident and Non-resident Apprentice Hunting/Trapping/Fishing licenses are available as of January 1, 2013. These licenses will allow a person who wants to try hunting without taking a hunter education course to do so. However, stipulations apply, including that an individual must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter and must not have purchased a base hunting license in previous years. See hunting and trapping regulation summary for additional details.Law relating to the discharging of firearms in the vicinity of dwellings has been modified - It is illegal to shoot a firearm within 500 feet of a school, church or dwelling, or on or near a park or other place where persons are gathered for pleasure; provided, a resident or guest of a dwelling may shoot a firearm within 500 feet of the dwelling where the person lives, if all residents of the dwelling consent and no other dwellings are within 500 feet.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Is the buck season a hunter’s choice season?
No. Hunters must possess a valid Class NN stamp to hunt antlerless deer. The 2013 antlerless deer season will be open to nonresidents on Oct. 24-26, 2013 (private land only) and on private and public land during Nov. 25-Dec. 7, Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 28-31, 2013 in 51 counties or parts thereof. This is not a hunter’s choice season in the counties where the antlerless deer season is open at the same time as the buck firearms season. Hunters may take two deer per day; however, only one antlered deer may be taken on any given day.
Q. I’m a nonresident and I am coming to WV to hunt deer.Does my 14 year old son need a license?
Yes. All nonresidents (except those who have a WV lifetime license) regardless of age, are required to possess a nonresident license. Both resident and nonresident hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 must show proof of completing a certified hunter education course prior to purchasing a base license. Nonresident hunters between the ages of 8 and 17 may purchase a nonresident junior sportsman license (XXJ) for $16 along with a CS/LE stamp for $13 to take one buck gun, one archery and one muzzleloader deer (during the traditional seasons). Additional licenses are required to hunt antlerless deer and to take additional archery and firearm deer.
Q. I live in Ohio and I own property in Marion County Can I hunt without a license on my own property?
No. Nonresidents, even though they own and pay taxes on property in WV, cannot hunt on the property they own in WV without first obtaining a nonresident license.
Q. I am a nonresident and possess Class E, CS/LE stamps. Am I required to purchase a Class UU stamp if I substitute my bow for a gun during a regular gun season?
No. Except that a bow may not be substituted for a gun during the muzzleloader season.
Q. I purchased a Class X license in January and moved to PA in June. Can I still hunt as a WV resident in November?
Yes. A resident, who purchased a license during the year and holds a valid resident license when he moves out of the state, may continue to use the resident license for the rest of the calendar year. Only senior citizens over 65, Class Q and veterans surrender their hunting privileges when leaving the state.
Q. I am a nonresident and only want to hunt bear, what licenses do I need?
Nonresidents who plan to hunt only bear must purchase a nonresident bear hunting license Class EE ($162), a Bear Damage Stamp DS ($10), and a Conservation / Law Enforcement Stamp ($13), unless they hold a Class DT license. A Class I ($2) stamp is needed for hunting on a National Forest. To hunt other species a nonresident must have a Class E ($119) license and appropriate stamps.
Q. What is the CS/LE Stamp?
The Conservation/Law Enforcement Stamp (CS/LE) is required of all nonresident hunters, anglers and trappers along with a base license that applies to the type of hunting (i.e., Class E, EE, or H). Funds derived from the sale will pay for expenses relating to general enforcement of state laws pertaining to the conservation of fish, wildlife and/or law enforcement education programs.
Q. I am a handicapped nonresident hunter. Can I participate in the special Class Q hunts for deer in WV?
Yes, provided you qualify for and obtain a Class Q hunting permit from the state of WV and purchase the appropriate licenses (i.e., Class E and Class CS/LE).
Q. How many deer can I kill on my own property?
A resident landowner on his own property can kill the same number of deer as a licensed hunter and no more. A hunter (licensee or landowner) cannot exceed the number of deer allowed in the respective season.
Q. I bought a Class X Hunting and Fishing license and own property in Brooke County. Can I kill my first deer as a licensed hunter and then kill my additional deer as a landowner?
Yes. However, the additional deer must be killed on your own land.
Q. I bought a Class X Hunting and Fishing license and own property in Brooke County. Can I kill my first buck during the buck-firearms season as a landowner and then kill an additional deer on a Class X license on my buddy’s property?
Yes. The hunter may kill his first deer as a landowner (fulfilling his RG privilege) and his additional deer on his Class X license.
Q. I am a West Virginia resident; can I hunt without a license on my resident parents’ property?
Yes. WV resident children may hunt on their resident parents’ property without a license. Resident parents may hunt on their resident children’s property without a license.
Q. Are landowners exempt from field tagging game?
No. A landowner or hunter must complete a field tag before moving the animal from where it was killed, but now has the option of attaching the tag to the deer or staying with the animal and keeping the completed field tag on their person. Immediately upon arriving at their residence, camp, hunting lodge, vehicle or vessel the field tag must be attached to the carcass and remain there until the animal is retagged with an official game checking tag.
Q. Does a resident under the age of 15 have to be accompanied by a licensed hunter or equivalent when hunting on his resident parents’ property?
Yes; unless the person under the age of 15 actually owns the land.
Q. I now reside in Ohio and possess a West Virginia lifetime license; do I need a Waterfowl Stamp?
A federal migratory waterfowl stamp and a harvest information program (HIP) card are required.
Q. I now reside in Ohio and possess a West Virginia lifetime license and want to antlerless deer hunt. What stamp do I buy and can I hunt in counties that are only open to residents?
You buy a resident Class N stamp and you can hunt in counties open to residents or nonresidents; however, to hunt in one of the limited wildlife management areas, state forests or counties, you must have been selected and issued an eligibility card in addition to the Class N stamp.
Q. What licenses does a nonresident military person have to purchase?
All licenses that a nonresident has to obtain.
Q. I’m on military leave and when I joined the military, I was a resident of PA. Can I hunt in WV without a license?
Q. I’m on military leave and when I joined the military, I was a resident of West Virginia. Can I hunt in WV without a license?
Yes, however, he/she must purchase the additional resident stamps (i.e., A1, N, RG, RM and RB) that are not included with free license privileges. Active military leave or furlough papers must be carried in lieu of a hunting license.
Q. Is a person who holds a Class Q permit exempt from buying other licenses?
No. The Class Q permittee is required to purchase all pertinent resident or nonresident licenses required for the hunting they wish to do.
Q. Can a hunter who possesses a concealed weapons permit carry a concealed weapon while hunting?
Individuals who possess a valid concealed carrying permit may carry a concealed handgun while hunting for the purposes of self defense only.
Q. Can my 16 year old son participate in the youth spring turkey season?
Yes; youth hunters (ages 8 to 17) may participate in this season. However, all licensing requirements remain in effect for ages 15-17.
Q. Can I hunt coyotes and foxes at night with an artificial light?
Coyote hunting with any color artificial light is permitted between January 1, 2014 and July 31, 2014. Firearms are restricted to rifles and pistols of .22 centerfire caliber or smaller and shotguns with No. 2 or smaller shot. In addition, fox are permitted to be hunted with artificial lights from January 1, 2014 to February 28, 2014.
Q. If I want to waterfowl hunt on my own property, am I required to buy a federal migratory waterfowl stamp?
Yes. All hunters 16 years of age or older, whether they are hunting on their own land or on lands of another party are required to purchase a federal migratory waterfowl stamp and obtain a harvest information program (HIP) card.
Q. Are senior citizens or underage hunters required to purchase a federal migratory waterfowl stamp?
All hunters 16 years of age or older are required to purchase a federal migratory waterfowl stamp and obtain a harvest information program (HIP) card.
Trout Stocking |
Wildlife Viewing |
| Fishing Waters | Park Regulations |
© 2003 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources