- Black bear archery and crossbow season is Sept. 30 – December 31, 2023.
- Black bear gun seasons – A special September and October bear firearms season and a bear firearms season running concurrent with the deer firearms season in select counties will again be in place for 2023. There are no permit only counties for any bear firearms season in 2023. Additionally, a concurrent antlerless deer and bear season will take place on private and public land in 42 counties or parts thereof from October 26-29. Please consult the 2023-2024 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for additional details.
- A legislative rule was approved during the 2016 legislative session which requires all successful bear hunters to submit a first premolar tooth to the DNR by January 31 of the year following the harvest.
Q. As a WV resident, do I need any license 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?
This depends on the county you want to hunt in.
Q. If I want to bear hunt on Nathaniel Mountain or Short Mountain WMAs, am I required to apply for a permit?
No, the special permit season for bear dog hunters was discontinued in 2016.
Q. What are the bag and season limits on black bears?
The daily bag limit is one (1) bear per day with a season bag limit of two (2) bears, provided at least one (1) bear comes from Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Raleigh, or Wyoming counties.
Q. Is it legal to hunt bears during the buck firearms season?
This depends on the county you want to hunt in. There are 42 counties or parts thereof that are open to buck firearm hunting will have a bear season on both public and private land where prior application for a permit is not required. All bear hunters must possess a Bear Damage Stamp (DS) to hunt bears, except hunters exempt from having to purchase one, i.e., resident landowners.
BEAR SEASONS – YOUTH/CLASS Q/CLASS XS BEAR SEASON
- A special Youth/Class Q/Class split bear season will be open this year on public and private lands (see page 36 of the regulations).
- The first segment will be held Sept. 16-17, 2023 in all or parts of 26 counties open to bear hunting with or without dogs (see page 40 of the regulations). Bears may be hunted with or without dogs during this segment.
- The second segment will be held Oct. 21-22, 2023, in 51 counties open to a firearms deer hunting season (see page 28 of the regulations). The use of dogs is prohibited during this segment.
BEAR SEASONS – URBAN ARCHERY/CROSSBOW DEER/BEAR SEASON
• Approved homeowner’s associations, incorporated cities, towns and villages may participate in the Split urban deer/bear archery/crossbow season which runs from Sep. 9 – Dec. 31, 2023 and Jan. 8 – 31, 2024.
• The season bag limit is one (1) bear.
• A DS Stamp is required, except for underage resident and resident landowners hunting on their own land.
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