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Buck season opens Monday

By Staff | Nov 19, 2014

As is traditional every Monday before Thanksgiving, West Virginia’s two-week antlered (buck) firearm season begins Monday, Nov. 24, and continues through Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. The West Virginia’s buck gun season provides a wealth of recreational opportunities for hunters and has a tremendous economic impact on the state’s economy.

Buck season facts:Approximately 330,000 deer hunters will be in West Virginia’s woods during this season.

Hunters should review the 2014 – 2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for detailed instructions concerning bag limits and season dates. The regulations are available at license agents, DNR district offices or online at www.wvdnr.gov .

A list of official game checking stations in West Virginia can be found online at wvdnr.gov/hunting/check_stations.asp

The buck deer bag limit during the two-week buck firearms season is two (one on the base license and one on an RG [resident] or RRG [nonresident] stamp). A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all archery and firearms seasons combined.

The last day to purchase an additional buck deer gun tag (Class RG/RRG Stamp) is Nov. 23, 2014. Class RG and Class RRG additional buck stamps can only be used to take an additional antlered deer in buck firearms season. Unused Class RG and Class RRG stamps may not be used in antlerless or muzzleloader seasons.

Antlerless deer hunting is legal on private land in 51 counties or portions thereof and selected public lands Nov. 24 Dec. 6, 2014, concurrent with the buck firearms season, with valid stamps.

All private land in counties having a firearms antlerless deer season (Class N or NN) will be open Nov. 24 Dec. 6 concurrent with the buck firearms season. All public lands having an antlerless deer season will be open Nov. 24 Dec. 6. Bag limits vary among counties but will be either one or three antlerless deer. A hunter may harvest two deer per day, but only one antlered deer may be harvested per day. The first deer does not have to be legally checked in prior to harvesting the second deer on the same day. However, all deer must be checked in before hunting during a subsequent day.

Deer hunters spend an estimated $230 million in West Virginia, much of it in the rural areas of the state that depend upon the deer seasons for a large portion of their annual income.

In 2013, hunters in West Virginia harvested 56,523 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, an increase of less than 1 percent from the 2012 harvest. This is 3 percent less than the five-year average bucks-only firearm season harvest of 58,070 and ranks 27th among all past years.

Hunters are required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange (about the size of a vest) as an outer garment for visibility and safety.

Blaze orange camouflage patterns are legal as long as 400 square inches of blaze orange are displayed on the garment. A blaze orange hat is not required, but the hunter must have blaze orange visible from both the front and the back.