Deer - Buck Season
2012-2013 Hunting Regulations
Buck Counties Map | Additional Buck Season Gun Stamps | Special Seasons and Restrictions | Concurrent Hunting during Buck Deer Season
Only deer having one or both antlers more than 3 inches in
length above the hairline are legal during the buck season (see
concurrent hunting for antlerless deer during buck season on
Two deer may be taken with a gun or bow during the buck
season. One must be taken on one of the following valid base
licenses or license combinations: resident license (Class X,
Class XJ, Class AB-L, Class A-L, Class XS or Classes A+CS); or
free license (Military, Disabled Veteran, former POW, Class DT
or Senior Citizen); or nonresident license (Classes XXJ+CS/LE,
Classes E+CS/LE or Class DT). Underage residents and resident
landowners hunting on their own land (see page 10) may take
an antlered deer without a license. An additional deer may
only be taken with a Class RG stamp, Class RRG stamp, Class
DT license or by resident landowners hunting on their own
property. Class DT license holders must be accompanied by
a parent, guardian or, with written consent of the parent or
guardian, any other competent licensed adult 21 years of age
A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per
calendar year in all archery and firearms seasons combined.
Legal firearms for hunting deer during the buck season shall include:
- a rifle using centerfire ammunition.
- a rifle using .25 caliber or larger rimfire ammunition.
- a muzzleloading rifle, with or without scope, and
muzzleloading pistol of .38 caliber or larger.
- a handgun using a straight-walled case of .357 magnum
cartridge or larger or a bottle-necked case of .24 caliber or
larger (see page 5). A Class A-1 handgun stamp is required.
- a shotgun loaded with solid ball ammunition.
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All counties except Logan, McDowell, Mingo
and Wyoming are open.
||Open: Buck Firearms Season
November 19 – December 1, 2012
(See pages 16-17 for special
public land regulations)
||Closed: to all firearms deer hunting
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Additional Buck Season Gun Stamps
Class RG and Class RRG
During a calendar year, a resident may purchase only one Class RG
stamp and a nonresident may purchase only one Class RRG stamp.
Only one deer may be taken with a Class RG or Class RRG stamp.
The Class RG and Class RRG stamps must be purchased prior to
the opening of buck season. The Class RG and Class RRG stamps
are valid for buck hunting in all counties open to buck season.
To take an additional deer, all residents, except resident
landowners (see page 10) hunting on their own land or holders
of a Class DT license, are required to purchase a Class RG gun
stamp. All nonresidents are required to purchase a Class RRG
gun stamp or possess a Class DT license if they choose to take
an additional deer (see license requirements on page 11).
There are 10 counties or portions thereof (see pages 13,
18 and 20) that require buck firearms hunters to take an
antlerless deer during the antlerless firearms deer season
prior to harvesting a second antlered deer during the buck
Deer taken on a base license or license stamp combination or
Class RG or RRG stamps may be checked in any order. A hunter
may not hunt an additional deer until all previously taken deer
have been checked.
Only one deer may be taken per day.
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Special Seasons and Restrictions
Wilson Cove Deer Study Area and Hillcrest
Wildlife Management Area
Wilson Cove Deer Study Area located in Hardy County on the
George Washington National Forest and Hillcrest WMA, located
in Hancock County will have a deer muzzleloader season
November 19 - December 1, 2012. During this period, only
single shot muzzleloaders, including “in-lines” of .38 caliber
or larger, are legal for deer hunting on these areas. These two
areas will not be open to the traditional buck firearms season.
All muzzleloader license requirements apply (see pages 10-11,
17 and 28). The annual antlered deer bag limit is one deer for
archery and muzzleloader seasons combined.
Older-aged Deer Management Areas
All antlered deer taken on Beech Fork Lake, Bluestone Lake,
Burnsville Lake and McClintic WMAs, and Coopers Rock and
Calvin Price State Forests must have a minimum outside antler
spread of 14 inches (ear tip to ear tip). The annual antlered
deer bag limit is one deer for all archery and firearms seasons
combined. It is illegal to bait or feed wildlife on these areas (see
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Concurrent Hunting during Buck Deer Season
Antlerless deer hunting is legal on private land in 48 counties
or portions thereof and all public lands having an antlerless
season November 19 – December 1, 2012. To hunt antlerless
deer during the buck season, a valid Class N or NN stamp or
Class DT license is required for all hunters except for resident
landowners (see page 10) hunting on their own land. Hunters
may take only one deer per day; therefore, a buck and an
antlerless deer may not be taken on the same day.
Small game hunting is prohibited during the first three days
of buck season in all counties having a buck season; provided,
waterfowl hunting is legal on lakes, rivers and waterways
during the open waterfowl season, bear hunting is legal in
specified counties, and coyote hunting is legal. Small game
hunting is legal during open small game seasons beginning
November 22, 2012. While hunting small game during the buck
season, No. 4 shot or smaller and slugs may be carried with a
shotgun only if the hunter is legally hunting deer or bear.
A combination rifle-shotgun (over-under, etc.) is legal for deer
hunting and concurrent small game hunting.
After killing the legal limit of deer, a hunter shall not be afield
with any firearm with solid ball ammunition (unless legally
hunting bear) or shot shells containing larger than No. 4 shot.
Waterfowl hunters may use nontoxic shot larger than No. 4.
It is illegal to hunt small game during the buck season with
any centerfire, with any rimfire larger than .22 caliber, or with a
shotgun using solid ball ammunition or shot larger than No. 4 in
a county that is not open to buck season.
Archery hunting for antlered and antlerless deer is legal during
buck season subject to all archery deer hunting regulations. A
bow may be substituted for a firearm to take antlered deer, or if
hunting on a Class N or NN stamp or Class DT license, antlerless
deer may be taken during the buck season on private land in
specified counties and on specified public lands (see pages
All persons hunting during a deer firearms season, except those
engaged in farming activities on their own land and waterfowl
hunters, must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange
as an outer garment.
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