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Hunting regulations are noted for residents

By Staff | Nov 11, 2009

Hunting in West Virginia is a time-honored tradition in which the majority of families have at least one member who participates on a regular basis. Each year more than 350,000 hunters take to West Virginia’s woods in search of some sort of quarry. With this pursuit millions of dollars are directed toward the state’s economy, creating more than 5,000 jobs. West Virginia’s hunting-related expenditures for food, lodging, transportation and equipment brings in nearly $270 million to the state’s economy. The economic benefit of hunting in West Virginia is especially valuable because of the amount of revenue generated in our most rural areas.

Deer season is right around the corner in West Virginia and with the season comes questions of licensing, stamps, fees, etc. Following is a small sampling of dates, fees, licensing regulations in order to hunt legally in West Virginia.

Buck Firearms – The season lasts from Nov. 23 – Dec. 5 — Maximum season bag limit is two. The first antlered deer must be taken on a valid base license or license combination, free license, resident underage or by a resident landowner hunting on his/her own land.

One additional antlered deer may be taken on a Class RG or RRG stamp or by a resident landowner using that privilege.

Antlerless Deer – The season takes place on Nov 23-24 private land only; Nov. 25 – Dec. 12 and Dec. 29-31 on public and private land. — Maximum season bag limit is four. Up to four antlerless deer may be taken on Class N or NN stamps or by a resident landowner hunting on hunters own land in each county or combination of counties not to exceed an annual statewide total of four Class N or NN deer.

Requires a valid base license or license combination, or free license plus a Class N or NN stamp for each deer, except for resident landowners hunting on their own land.

Muzzleloader – The season takes place from Dec. 14 – 19 — Maximum season bag limit, two.

A first either sex deer must be taken on a valid base license or license combination, free license, resident underage or by a resident landowner hunting on his/her own land. One additional either sex deer may be taken on a Class RM or RRM stamp or by a resident landowner using that privilege.

Hunting, trapping and fishing licenses are good for the calendar year. New licenses must be purchased each year.

Some license and stamp fees will increase effective January 1, 2010.

Hunting Licenses may be obtained as follows: At over 350 agent locations throughout the state and all county clerks offices ($3 issuing fee for first purchase and $1 for subsequent purchases); At the www.wvhunt.com official WVDNR web site ($2 fee per transaction); or directly from the Hunting and Fishing License Unit by phoning 304-558-2758 ($2 fee per transaction).

Several classes of licenses are available including: Sportsman Hunting/Trappings/Fishing License (class X – #33) for ages 18 through 64. Includes privileges of Conservation Stamp, class A, B and BG licenses; Junior Sportsman Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (class XJ – $15) which is similar to class X, for ages 15-17.

Some of the more popular stamps that are available are: Conservation Stamp (class CS – $5) which is required for all licenses hunters and anglers except holders of class X, XJ, A-L, B-L and AB-L licenses); Antlerless Deer Hunting Stamp (class N – $10); additional Archery Deer Hunting Stamp (class RB – $20); additional Firearms Deer Hunting Stamp (class RG – $20); and additional Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Stamp (class RM – $15).

Lifetime licenses are also available to citizens of the state. Resident lifetime hunting, trapping and fishing licenses serve in lieu of the equivalent annual license; applications are available at Division of Natural Resources offices and all license agents.

A combination Hunting, Trapping Fishing lifetime license can be purchased for $760; combination Hunting, Trapping and Fishing lifetime license – infant can be purchased for an infant, before the child’s second birthday for $380.

Non-resident Statewide Hunting/Trapping License (Class E – $110), are available to visitors to West Virginia. The fee for the Statewide Fishing License is $35.

Hunting Licenses are required to hunt or fish in the state of West Virginia. Some residents, however may hunt, trap or fish without a license.

Some of those residents eligible to hunt, trap or fish without a license are: West Virginia resident landowners may hunt on their own land without obtaining a license. Residents under the age of 15, but they must be accompanied by a licensed adult age 18 or older, (except for youth seasons when the licensed adult must be age 21 or older); Residents 65 years of age or older, but they must carry a West Virginia driver’s license or photo ID card issued by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles; and Active Military personnel (must carry leave papers with them while hunting), former POW’s and Disabled veterans.

Each person killing a deer must attach a completed field tag to the deer or remain with the deer and have upon their person a completed field tag before moving the carcass from where it was killed.

For more information on the Hunting/Trapping and Fishing regulations and guidelines in the state of West Virginia, go to the DNR web site at www.wvdnr.gov.