SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) has announced that four West Virginia counties will be open to early black bear gun hunting from Sept. 3-11 and five additional counties from Oct. 1-7.

The counties will be open to bear hunting with or without dogs in Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming from Sept. 3-11 while Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh will be open from Oct. 1-7.  

“Counties that will be open for early bear hunting are above their management objective and need additional bears harvested to achieve their goal,” Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources said. “The benefit of early seasons is that all bears are available because den entrance is still two or more months away.

Participants should have their bear damage stamp as well as an appropriate hunting license.

Hunters are required to submit a premolar tooth from each harvested bear, and if the harvested bear is female, hunters are encouraged to save the reproductive tract or all the entrails, which will aid officials in black bear population monitoring. According to the WVDNR, those who submit a complete reproductive tract will be eligible for a $20 gift card.

Bear tooth envelopes can be found at all district offices and the Elkins Operations Center. Pickups for reproductive tracts or entrails can be arranged at nearest district office, but in the meanwhile, they should be stored and kept cool or frozen.

To learn more about bear hunting seasons, you can visit or download a copy of the 2021-22 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary. To purchase a West Virginia hunting license, visit