Access roads in select national forests and state WMAs open to Class Q permit holders.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With fall hunting seasons about to open, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is reminding hunters with disabilities that select access roads in national forests and state-owned wildlife management areas are open to those with Class Q permits.
“The WVDNR is proud to have created opportunities for hunters with disabilities through the Class Q hunting program as part of our partnership with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest and the Monongahela National Forest,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion. “This program is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy the outdoors and the rich hunting outdoor heritage of Almost Heaven, West Virginia.”
The Class Q hunting program allows improved, extended vehicular access on 13 roads in national forests and 13 roads on state wildlife management areas. These roads are gated to limit vehicular access for approved Class Q hunters only, which includes hunters with permanent and irreversible respiratory, cardiovascular and/or lower extremity use limitations. For a list of Class Q access road sites, visit WVdnr.gov/hunting/class-q-hunting.
Class Q hunting permits are issued by the WVDNR to applicants who are permanently disabled in their lower extremities. Approved applicants are issued a wallet-sized permit card, which must be presented in person at the appropriate national forest or DNR district office to receive a letter of authorization and a gate key to use designated Class Q roads.
To qualify for the program, applicants must meet the requirements that have been established in West Virginia Chapter 20 Natural Resources Laws. Applications must be certified by a licensed physician to be considered for approval. Application forms and more information about Class Q permits is available at all WVDNR offices or online at WVhunt.com and WVdnr.gov/hunting.
Rules for Using Class Q Access Roads
When hunting within a designated area, Class Q hunters may hunt from a stationary vehicle with the engine turned off, and the vehicle may not be parked on any public road or highway right-of-way. The permittee may be accompanied — or in the case of national forest lands, must be accompanied — by one assistant at least 16 years of age inside the vehicle, but the assistant is not allowed to hunt from or outside the vehicle while assisting a Class Q permittee.
Class Q permit hunters must obey all other hunting rules and regulations while behind gates. No ATVs or UTVs may be used in national forests or state wildlife management areas and hunting with bait is prohibited on public lands. All proper licenses and stamps along with the Class Q permit must be in the hunter’s possession while he or she is hunting. Hunters on national forest lands must follow additional rules. The Class Q program on national forest lands is authorized through a Special Land Use Permit granted to the WVDNR by the U.S. Forest Service.