Deer Seasons – Archery and Crossbow

  • Fifty-five (55) counties are open to the archery season and fifty-one (51) counties (excludes Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties with exception of holders of Class Y/YY permits) are open to the crossbow season (Sept. 26-Dec. 31, 2020).
  • Deer taken on a base license except Class A, license stamp combination or Class RB/RRB stamp during the archery and crossbow deer seasons (Sept. 26-Dec. 31, 2020) may be checked in any order. Therefore, if a hunter desires he may check his first deer on a RB/RRB stamp.
  • In eleven (11) counties or parts thereof, hunters are required to take an antlerless deer within that county prior to harvesting a second antlered deer within that county regardless of weapon. Please consult the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for additional details and specific counties.
  • Adult deer harvested by hunters in the CWD Containment Area (see page 13 of the 2020- 2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary) during any deer season may be tested at the DNR District 2 Office at 1 Depot St., Romney, WV or at Sleepy Creek WMA manager’s headquarters (304-754-4449). Hunters should call ahead to make sure staff will be available.

Q. How many deer can be taken in the four archery-only counties (Logan, McDowell, Mingo & Wyoming)? 

Hunters may take two (2) deer – one (1) on the base license except Class A and one (1) on an RB or RRB stamp or two (2) on RB or RRB stamps if the first deer was taken in a county open to buck firearms season; however, in any case one (1) of the two (2) deer taken must be an antlerless deer. ONLY one buck may be taken in these counties per year!

Q. How many Class RB/RRB stamps can I purchase and how many deer can I kill?

Archery and crossbow deer hunters may purchase two (2) Class RB/RRB stamps and take two (2) deer on these tags. In 11 select counties or parts thereof (consult the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary), an antlerless deer must be taken prior to harvesting a second antlered deer.

Q. I hunt in Calhoun County, which is open to antlerless deer hunting. How many deer can I take during the 2020 archery and crossbow seasons and are there any specific requirements?

Because Calhoun County is open to antlerless deer hunting, with the appropriate stamps (2) RB/RRB stamps or under landowner privilege, bowhunters and crossbow hunters can take up to three (3) deer during the archery and/or crossbow deer season. One (1) deer may be taken on the base license except Class A or as a landowner and may be either sex and two (2) deer may be taken on RB/RRB stamps. Before you can take your second buck on the RB or RRB stamps or as a landowner using those privileges, you must kill and check in an antlerless deer from Calhoun County.

Q. Can a hunter substitute a crossbow for a bow during the deer archery season?

Technically no; however, the archery and crossbow seasons run concurrently and license requirements are the same for both seasons. Deer of either sex may be hunted statewide with a bow or crossbow during the archery and crossbow seasons, except that crossbows are not permitted in Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties, except by the holders of Class Y/YY permits.

Q. Can I use a bow or crossbow to hunt on the Bright McCausland Homestead Wildlife Management Area? 

No, this area is closed to Archery and Crossbow hunting of ANY kind.

Deer Seasons – Muzzleloader

  • The seven-day muzzleloader deer season will be open December 14-20, 2020).
  • Muzzleloader deer season now includes the Sunday closing day.
  • Eleven (11) counties or parts thereof are open to seven days of either sex muzzleloaderhunting during the Dec. 14-20, 2020 season on the base license except Class A and the RM/RRM stamps or landowner privilege provided that an antlerless deer is harvested in that county and checked in before a second antlered deer within that county is harvested regardless of weapon.
  • Forty-five (45) counties or parts thereof are open to seven days of either sex muzzleloader hunting during the Dec. 14-20, 2020 season on both the base license except Class A and the RM/RRM stamps or landowner privilege.
  • Five (5) counties or parts thereof are open to seven days antlered deer only muzzleloader hunting during the Dec. 14-20, 2020 season on both the base license except Class A and the RM/RRM stamps or landowner privilege.
  • The Four (4) southern counties (Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming) are closed to Muzzleloader hunting.
  • Deer taken on a base license except Class A, license stamp combination or Class RM/RRM stamp during the muzzleloader season may be checked in any order. Therefore, if a hunter desires he may check his first deer on a RM/RRM stamp.
  • Adult deer harvested by hunters in the CWD Containment Area (see page 13 of the 2020- 2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary) during any deer season may be tested at the DNR District 2 Office at 1 Depot St., Romney, WV or at Sleepy Creek WMA manager’s headquarters (304-754-4449). Hunters should call ahead to make sure staff will be available. 

Q. Are scopes allowed on muzzleloaders during the muzzleloader season?

Yes, but not during the Mountaineer Heritage Season.

Q. Is there a special bucks-only muzzleloader deer season on Hillcrest WMA and Wilson Cove Area in lieu of the traditional buck firearm deer season?

Yes. The traditional buck firearms hunting season on these areas is closed. Instead, there will be a special buck muzzleloader season Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, 2020. The bag limit for antlered deer is one (1) for all seasons combined.

Q. After taking a buck with a muzzleloader on the Hillcrest WMA during muzzleloader season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, 2020) can I harvest an additional deer with my muzzleloader on an RG/RRG stamp? 

No. The RG/RRG stamp is not valid for taking a deer during the muzzleloader season. Hillcrest WMA and Wilson Cove Area have an antlered deer bag limit of one (1).

Q. Does a nonresident hunter, possessing a Class E license need a muzzleloader deer hunting stamp (Class VV) in order to participate during the muzzleloader season for bucks in the Wilson Cove SA or Hillcrest WMA? 

Yes.

Q. Where is the Wilson Cove special muzzleloader area?

Wilson Cove Area is located in Hardy County on the George Washington National Forest, Wardensville WMA. It is located at the head of Waites Run, approximately 6 miles South of Wardensville following State Route 5/1.

Q. Can I hunt antlerless deer during the antlerless deer season on the Wilson Cove SA or Hillcrest WMA using a conventional rifle? 

Yes, except for the early special muzzleloader season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, 2020) when deer may only be hunted with a muzzleloader or crossbow. You must have a valid Class N/NN stamp. Hillcrest WMA is limited antlerless season permits and requires prior application.

Q. After taking a buck with a muzzleloader in the Wilson Cove SA or Hillcrest WMA during the muzzleloade-r season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, 2020), can I take part in the late muzzleloader season for deer of either sex?

Yes, provided you do not hunt antlered deer (The bag limit for antlered deer is one (1) for all seasons combined). You must hunt in an area where either sex hunting is permitted on the RM/RRM stamp and have an unfilled RM/RRM stamp.

Deer Seasons – Antlerless

  • The antlerless deer season is open on private and public lands Oct. 22-25, Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, Dec. 10-13 and Dec. 28-31, 2020.
  • The antlerless deer season now includes Sunday closing days.
  • Fifty-one (51) counties or parts thereof are open to antlerless deer hunting Oct. 22-25, Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, Dec. 10-13 and Dec. 28-31, 2020 on private and public lands.
  • Eleven (11) counties or parts thereof are open to antlerless hunting in which three (3) antlerless deer may be taken on Class N/NN stamps. A Class N/NN stamp is required for each deer taken. In these counties, all deer hunters are required to take an antlerless deer during any season prior to pursuing a second buck in that county.
  • Seventeen (17) counties or parts thereof are open to antlerless hunting in which three (3) antlerless deer may be taken on Class N/NN stamps with the above special regulation not required. A Class N/NN stamp is required for each deer taken.
  • Eighteen (18) counties or parts thereof are open to antlerless hunting in which one (1) antlerless deer may be taken on Class N/NN stampsA Class N/NN stamp is required for each deer taken.
  • Seven (7) counties or parts thereof, one (1) wildlife management areas and five (5) state forests are open to antlerless deer hunting (prior application required) in which one (1) antlerless deer may be taken on a Class N stamp. Limited permit counties and/or public lands are open to both residents and non-residents.
  • Special CWD Containment Area regulation – All adult deer harvested by hunters on Nov. 23 and 24, 2020 in Hardy County are required to be brought to a designated CWD sampling station for carcass examination and sampling. For additional information please consult page 12 of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
  • Adult deer harvested by hunters in the CWD Containment Area (see page 13 of the 2020- 2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary) during any deer season may be tested at the DNR District 2 Office at 1 Depot St., Romney, WV or at Sleepy Creek WMA manger’s headquarters (304-754-4449). Hunters should call ahead to make sure staff will be available.

Q. Do I need a Class N/NN stamp to hunt antlerless deer during the buck firearms season?

Yes. Unless you are exempt from having to purchase one (i.e., resident landowner).

Q. Can I purchase more than one Class N/NN stamp and do I have to purchase it before the antlerless deer season? 

A hunter may purchase more than one (1) Class N/NN stamp for the season and counties open to antlerless deer hunting. Only one (1) deer may be taken per Class N/NN stamp. Class N/NN stamps may be purchased anytime.

Q. Can a nine-year-old hunter hunt antlerless deer during the regular antlerless deer season?

All hunters participating in the antlerless deer season regardless of age (with the exception of landowner privilege) are required to purchase a Class N stamp. However, a youth hunter can now purchase a Class N/NN stamp (which is not a base license) without having to fulfill the hunter education requirement (i.e. law was changed in 2012 which states that no base hunting license [e.g. Class X, XJ, E, etc.] may be issued to a person born on or after Jan. 1, 1975, without taking a hunter education course).

Antlerless Deer Season will be open on private and public land (Oct. 22-25, Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, Dec. 10-13 and Dec. 28-31, 2020) in 51 counties or portions thereof. Resident and non- resident hunters will need to apply for a limited number of antlerless Class N/NN permits for seven (7) counties or parts thereof, one (1) wildlife management area and five (5) state forests. Hunters hunting on a wildlife management area, state forest or county with limited permits must have been selected and issued an eligibility card in addition to the Class N stamp to hunt on the wildlife management area, state forest or county specified on the eligibility card. This is not a hunter’s choice season in the counties where the antlerless deer season and the buck firearms season are open at the same time. To hunt antlerless deer a valid Class N/NN stamp is required for all hunters regardless of age except for resident tenants (residing on the property), resident landowners and their resident children hunting on their own land or land of their resident parents and resident parents hunting antlerless deer on their resident children’s land; and holders of a Class DT license.

Class N/NN Antlerless Deer Stamps – These stamps are not county specific.

Deer Seasons – Buck Firearms

  • Fifty-one (51) counties are open to buck firearms season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 6, 2020). Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming counties are closed.
  • The Buck Firearms Season now includes the Sunday closing day of Dec. 6, 2020.
  • Class RG/RRG Stamps – The Class RG/RRG stamps can only be used to take an additional antlered deer in buck firearms season. Bucks taken on a base license except Class A, license stamp combination or Class RG/RRG stamp may be checked in any order. Therefore, if ahunter desires he may check his first buck on a RG/RRG stamp.
  • In eleven (11) counties or parts thereof, buck firearms season hunters are required to takean antlerless deer during any legal deer season prior to harvesting a second antlered deer. If a hunter in one of these counties kills a buck during archery season and fails to kill an antlerless deer before the opening day of Buck Firearms Season, they are prohibited from buck hunting until they kill and check in an antlerless deer in that county. Please consult hunting and trapping regulations summary for additional details and specific counties (page 14).
  • Special CWD Containment Area regulation – All adult deer harvested by hunters on Nov. 23 and 24, 2020 in Hardy County are required to be brought to a designated CWD sampling station for carcass examination and sampling. For additional information please consult page 12 of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
  • Adult deer harvested by hunters in the CWD Containment Area (see page 13 of the 2020- 2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary) during any deer season may be tested at the DNR District 2 Office at 1 Depot St., Romney, WV or at Sleepy Creek WMA manager’s headquarters (304-754-4449). Hunters should call ahead to make sure staff will be available.

Q. Can an RG/RRG stamp be used in any county with an antlerless deer season for an additional antlerless deer?

No. The RG/RRG stamps are only valid during the buck firearms season for the taking of antlered deer.

Q. If a hunter harvests a buck on the first day of the buck firearms season on private land in one of the 51 counties or parts thereof open to antlerless deer hunting, can I use my RG or RRG to take an antlerless deer on the second day?

No. The Class RG or RRG stamp is only valid for taking a buck during the buck firearms season. A Class N/NN stamp is required for taking an antlerless deer during the antlerless season.

Q. During buck firearms season can a hunter substitute a bow or a crossbow for a firearm without holding an archery license?

Yes. A bow or a crossbow can be substituted for a gun during any firearms season except only a crossbow, not a bow, can be substituted during the muzzleloader deer season. Bow and crossbow hunters during any firearm deer season must wear 400 sq. in. of blaze orange clothing.

Q. Are all buck firearms season days “either sex” or “hunter’s choice”? 

No. Hunters must possess a valid Class N/NN stamp to hunt antlerless deer.

Deer Seasons – Youth/Class Q/Class XS Anterless Deer Season

  • Fifty-one (51) counties are open on October 17-18 and December 26-27, 2020 to the Youth/Class Q/Class XS antlerless deer season. Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming counties are closed. In addition, all public lands within these 51 counties are open to this season.
  • Season is open to youths (ages 8 to 17), Class Q/QQ license holders and Class XS license holders.DEER SEASONS – URBAN ARCHERY/CROSSBOW DEER SEASON
  • Approved homeowners’ associations, incorporated cities, towns and villages may participate in the Split urban deer archery/crossbow season which runs from Sept. 5– Dec. 31, 2020 and January 11-31, 2021.
  • The season bag limit is seven (7) deer of which no more than two (2) may be antlered and the first deer must be antlerless.

Q. Can a hunter be participating in the urban archery/crossbow deer season harvest two (2) deer per day?

Yes, unless the hunt regulations developed by the municipality prohibit the taking of two (2) deer per day. Hunters should consult the municipality regulations for additional information.

Q. Are crossbows permitted for use in the urban archery/crossbow deer season?

During the May, 2015 Natural Resources Commission meeting, the Commission approved crossbows for use during this special season. However, hunters participating in this special season should consult the municipality regulations for additional information to make sure they are permitted by the regulations developed by the city governing body.

Special Deer Hunts

• State Park Hunts: Special deer hunts will be held on the following state parks: Beech Fork, Cacapon Resort and Pipestem Resort State Parks on November 2-4 and 9-11, 2020; Canaan Valley Resort State Park on October 26-28 and November 2-4, 2020; North Bend State Park on October 26-28 and November 9-11, 2020; Twin Falls Resort State Park on November 2-4, 2020.

General Deer Information

Older-Aged Deer Management Areas – Beech Fork Lake, Bluestone Lake, Burnsville Lake, McClintic and Little Kanawha River Wildlife Management Areas, and Calvin Price and Coopers Rock State Forests have been designated older aged deer management areas and feeding and baiting for deer and other wildlife is prohibited. All antlered deer taken must have a minimum outside antler spread of 14 inches. The annual antlered deer bag limit is one (1) for archery, crossbow and firearms seasons combined.

Antlered Deer Annual Bag Limit – 

No more than three (3) antlered deer (bucks) may be taken during the year in all seasons combined with appropriate licenses.

Q. What is the daily bag limit for deer? 

The daily bag limit for deer was increased in 2013, and up to two (2) deer may be taken per day (not to exceed the season bag limit), but only one (1) antlered deer may be taken in a day.

Q. If a hunter harvests two deer in a day, does the first deer have to be electronically registered prior to pursuing the second deer? 

No. The first deer does not have to be electronically registered prior to harvesting the second deer. However, all deer legally taken must be electronically registered and legally tagged prior to hunting during a subsequent day.

Q. What is a CWD Containment Area and where is it located?

 A “CWD Containment Area” is an area designated by the Director of the Division of Natural Resources where deer have been found, or are near, to animals being infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD). The purpose of a containment area is to manage, control, eradicate and/or prevent the spread of the disease. The CWD Containment Area includes all of Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral and Morgan (carcass transport & baiting and feeding restrictions) and Grant, Jefferson counties (baiting and feeding restriction only). 

Q. Is baiting for deer legal?

Yes, with the following exceptions: baiting is prohibited in the CWD Containment Area; and it is illegal to bait or feed any wildlife at any time on public lands. 

Q. Can a crossbow be substituted for a gun during the buck firearms, muzzleloader or antlerless deer seasons?

Yes, however, crossbows are not permitted during the Mountaineer Heritage Season.

Q. Which deer hunting stamps are required to be purchased prior to the season opening date? 

The RB and RRB stamps are required to be purchased no later than September 25, 2020. RG and RRG stamps are required to be purchased no later than Nov. 22, 2020; and RM and RRM stamps are required to be purchased no later than Dec. 13, 2020). Antlerless deer stamp (Class N or NN) may be purchased at any time.

Deer and Black Bear Mountaineer Heritage Seasons/Regulations

  • The Mountaineer Heritage Season is January 14-17, 2021 and is open statewide.
  • One either sex deer and one bear may be taken during the Mountaineer Heritage Season.
  • Percussion side lock rifle or pistol, flintlock rifle or pistol, long bow or recurve bow are legal weapons during the Mountaineer Heritage Season, except that only long and recurve bows are legal in Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties.
  • Q. Can I kill a buck or doe during the Mountaineer Heritage Season if I have already killed three bucks during the regular deer seasons? In this case, would only be able to kill an antlerless deer during the Mountaineer Heritage Season. A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer during the regular deer seasons and the following Mountaineer Heritage Season.Q. Can I use a dog to bear hunt during the Mountaineer Heritage Season? No, the use of dogs is not permitted to bear hunt during the Mountaineer Heritage Season, except for the use of a leashed dog to track a mortally wounded deer or bear (see page 7 of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary).

Q. Can I use a muzzleloader during the Mountaineer Heritage season with a telescopic sight?

No, telescopic sights are not legal for use during this season.

Q. Can I kill a buck or doe during the Mountaineer Heritage Season if I have already killed three bucks during the regular deer seasons?

In this case, would only be able to kill an antlerless deer during the Mountaineer Heritage Season. A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer during the regular deer seasons and the following Mountaineer Heritage Season.

Q. Can I use a dog to bear hunt during the Mountaineer Heritage Season? 

No, the use of dogs is not permitted to bear hunt during the Mountaineer Heritage Season, except for the use of a leashed dog to track a mortally wounded deer or bear (see page 7 of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary).

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