Are you excited and ready for the 2016 buck gun season in West Virginia? In keeping with tradition, this most popular hunting season begins the Monday before Thanksgiving and lasts for two weeks. This year, that will be Monday, Nov. 21 through Saturday, Dec. 3.

DNR biologists have been studying deer populations, harvest figures from previous years and current mast conditions and are predicting a harvest similar to last year, when hunters took more than 60,000 bucks. Hunters should scout in advance of the season for preferred food sources for deer. This year, production of hard mast such as acorns is up from last year, while soft mass, such as apples, yellow poplar and grape, are less abundant.

This season, we’ve put together a few tips and reminders. Check them out!

  • Make sure tree stands and other equipment are safe.
  • Get your rifles sighted in, and make sure you are properly licensed.
  • Resident hunters wanting the opportunity to harvest an additional buck must purchase the Class RG stamp for $21 before the beginning of the season.
  • Nonresident hunters wanting the extra buck must purchase an RRG stamp for $43 before the beginning of the season.
  • Buck firearm hunters in 14 counties (see the 2016–2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations) are required to take an antlerless deer with a firearm before harvesting a second antlered deer.
  • Most counties are open to a concurrent antlerless deer hunting season on private land and selected public lands during the traditional buck gun season.
  • Class N or Class NN permits to hunt during the antlerless deer season can be purchased at any time.
  • Hunters may harvest two deer the same day, but only one may be an antlered buck. Both deer must be legally checked before hunting any subsequent day.

Licenses may be purchased at any of about 170 official license agents across the state or online at wvhunt.com. Information about all deer seasons regulations, wildlife management areas open to public hunting, and counties open for the various deer seasons is available at www.wvdnr.gov.

 Don’t forget: Hunters are required to use their permanent DNR identification number to check in their game via phones at 1-844-WVCHECK (1-844-982-4325), computers at wvhunt.com or at a hunting license agent.

Good Luck and Remember Safety First!