• Black bear archery and crossbow season is Sept. 30December 31, 2023.  
  • Black bear gun seasonsA special September and October bear firearms season and a bear firearms season running concurrent with the deer firearms season 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.
  • Black bear gun season includes Sunday closing days. 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.

This depends on the county you want to hunt in. Please check pages 39-40 of the 2023-24 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

Q. If I want to bear hunt on Nathaniel Mountain or Short Mountain WMAsam 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.

Yes, 42 counties will have a bear season during the buck firearms 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.


  • The first segment of the special split Youth/Class Q/Class XS bear season will be open September 16-17, 2023 on public and private lands in all or parts of 26 counties open to bear hunting with or without dogs. Bears may be hunted with or without dogs during this segment.
  • The second segment of the special split Youth/Class Q/Class XS bear season will be open October 21-22, 2023 on public and private lands in the 51 counties open to firearms deer hunting season. The use of dogs is prohibited.
  • See page 36 of the 2023-2024 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.


• 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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