West Virginia DNR explains fall hunting season changes

West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Commerce

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Several changes to the state’s fall hunting seasons for white-tailed deer, wild turkey and black bear are outlined in the 2020-2021 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which went into effect July 1.

The publication can be downloaded here. It is available at all West Virginia hunting and fishing license agents.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources district offices, the Elkins Operation Center and South Charleston headquarters are currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, printed copies of the 2020-2021 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations are available for pick-up by appointment at these locations, according to a press release. To schedule an appointment, residents can call the office in their area. Contact information can be found here.

“Great things are happening in the outdoors of West Virginia and these changes to our regulations are going to improve the experience for hunters and trappers,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “Because there are numerous changes that will take effect during the turkey, bear and deer seasons, I want to encourage folks to carefully review these new regulations as they get ready for their fall hunting adventures.”

According to the DNR, major changes to regulations for the 2020-2021 seasons include:

  • Leashed dogs may now be used to track and locate mortally wounded deer or bear.
  • The youth squirrel season has been extended to include Sunday, Sept. 6.
  • A special youth/Class Q/Class XS bear season will be open Oct. 17–18 on public and private lands in counties open to a firearms deer season. The use of dogs is prohibited during this season, except to track a mortally wounded bear.
  • Black bear, buck firearms and fall wild turkey seasons now include Sunday closing days.
  • Antlerless deer season dates and open counties have changed.
  • Fall wild turkey season dates and open counties have changed.
  • Black bear season dates and open counties have changed.
  • All adult deer harvested on Nov. 23–24 in Hardy County are required to be taken to a designated CWD sampling station for carcass examination and sampling. See regulations summary for designated sampling station locations.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, hunting coyotes at night using artificial light or night vision technology, including image intensification, thermal imaging, or active illumination has been extended and is legal through Aug. 31, 2021.
  • In addition to shotguns and crossbows, the use of bows with arrows equipped with a point having at least two sharp-cutting edges measuring in excess of three-quarters of an inch wide are now legal during the youth spring gobbler season.
  • The spring gobbler season has been extended an additional eight days and will close on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
  • Bolts and arrows at least 16 inches long, including the insert and the nock, are legal for use with a crossbow.
  • The limitation on the number of apprentice hunting and trapping licenses a person may purchase has been removed.
  • A West Virginia resident child under 12 years of age, and who has been legally adopted, is eligible for an infant lifetime license, provided that the license is purchased within two years of the adoption order or decree.
  • It is illegal to bait or feed any wildlife on public lands at any time.

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