- Black bear archery and crossbow season is Sept. 26 – December 31, 2020.
- Black bear gun seasons – A 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 2020. There are no permit only counties for any bear firearms season in 2020. Additionally, a concurrent antlerless deer and bear season will take place on private and public land in 29 counties from October 22-25. Please consult the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for additional details.
- Black bear gun season now includes Sunday closing days. Please consult the 2020-2021 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 is 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, Preston, Raleigh, or Wyoming counties.
Q. Is it legal to hunt bears during the buck firearms season?
Yes, all 51 counties 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 XS bear season will be open Oct. 17-18, 2020 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 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
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