GENERAL HUNTING/TRAPPING INFORMATION – New in 2020

A special Youth/Class Q/Class XS bear season will be open October 17 and 18 on public and private lands in the 51 counties open to a firearms deer hunting season. The use of dogs is prohibited during this season. See page 36 of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

Season dates and open counties for antlerless deer, fall turkey and black bear hunting seasons have changed, including Sunday closing days for Buck Firearms, Antlerless, Bear Firearms and Fall Wild Turkey seasons.

The youth squirrel season has been extended to include Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020.

In addition to shotguns and crossbows, the use of bows with arrows equipped with a point having at least two sharp-cutting edges measuring in excess of 3⁄4 inch wide are now legatl during the Youth Spring Gobbler Season.

The Spring Gobbler Season is extended an additional 8 days and will close on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

The limitation on the number of apprentice hunting and trapping licenses a person may purchase of been removed.

It is illegal to bait or feed wildlife on public lands at any time.

Leashed dogs may now be used to track and locate mortally wounded deer or bear (see page 7 of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary).

A West Virginia resident child under 12 years of age and that has been legally adopted is eligible for a infant lifetime license provided that the license is purchased within two years of the adoption order or decree.

Bolts and arrows at least 16 inches long, including the insert and the nock, are legal for use with a crossbow.

Please consult the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for additional details.

A Lifetime Senior/Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XS) is required of all resident hunters, trappers and anglers who reach 65 years of age on or after Jan. 1, 2012 (with the exception of landowners and lifetime license holders).

Resident and Non-resident Apprentice Hunting/Trapping/Fishing licenses are available as of Jan. 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 was modified in 2013 – 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.

It is illegal to shoot, hunt or trap upon the fenced, enclosed, purple paint marked or posted lands of another person without having on possession written permission from the landowner. For the purposes of the purple paint posting law: boundaries must be marked with a clearly visible purple paint marking, consisting of 1 vertical line no less than 8 inches in length and 2 inches in width, and the bottom of the mark not less than 3 nor more than 6 feet from the ground or normal water surface. Such marks must be affixed to immovable, permanent objects that are no more than 100 feet apart and readily visible to any person approaching the property. Signs shall be posted at all roads, driveways or gates of entry onto the posted land so as to be clearly noticeable from outside the boundary line.

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