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West Virginia Deer Hunting Season

  • May 22, 2013 /

Hunting season is upon us again and many hunters in the West Virginia area are looking forward to getting the opportunity to head out once again. But, before you get started it is important to review all of the rules and regulations that surround deer hunting in the state of West Virginia. We’ve compiled the most important information and special regulations that need to be learned to ensure a safe, healthy and legal hunting season.

Season Dates

The legal buck season opens in mid November and runs through early December. Hunting in State Parks is prohibited unless otherwise specified and all rules and regulations must be followed in order to be in accordance of the law. Specifically a license to hunt, unless hunting as a landowner on your own property, must be obtained. Youth under the age of 21 are permitted to hunt without a license, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is licensed. The dates listed are specifically for the hunting of Bucks with antlers that are 3 inches above the hairline. The dates include bow and arrow hunting as well as firearm hunting; including traditional guns and muzzleloader guns.

Legal Weapons

During the buck season rifles using centerfire ammunition can be used to hunt deer. Additionally rifles using .25 caliber or larger ammunition are permitted to be used. Muzzleloading rifles and handguns are permitted for deer hunting as long as the item uses .38 caliber ammunition or larger. Handguns with a .357 magnum cartridge or larger are permitted, but a Class A-1 license for handguns is required for legal use during hunting seasons. Shotguns with solid ball ammunition are also permitted. Non-modified bow and arrows with or without scopes are permitted for use during the season. Crossbows must have a draw weight of 125lbs or higher to be considered legal. Modified crossbows are illegal during the archery season.

Each location may have their own regulations pertaining what can be used at the time. The Wilson Cove Deer Study Area is holding a muzzleloader only hunting season. Those carrying non-muzzleloader weapons will not be permitted to hunt.

Special Regulations

Landowners in West Virginia are permitted to hunt deer on their own property without a license, however the number of deer taken remains limited to the limitations that licensed hunters are held to. A landowner can not take more than 3 deer during the entire season, nor can a landowner take more deer through licensed hunting. One RG stamp can be purchased prior to the start of the season. The stamp allows for one extra deer to be taken; however the stamp must be purchased before the opening of the season; no exceptions.

A special state park season will be taking place November 5th and November 8th at Blannerhasset Island. During this period hunters are allowed to hunt deer in the state park at Blannerhasset Island. The regulations pertaining to hunting, including the number of deer the can be taken and the firearms that can be used still apply. Hunting is only permitted during the dates listed and all those who plan to hunt must be wearing blaze orange to be permitted into the park.

All hunters in areas that offer youth licenses must wear blaze orange. The garment must be outerwear and cover 400 square inches for safety reasons. Those who are not wearing blaze orange in these counties will be removed from the premises. Landowners hunting on their own property are not legally held to this responsibility but it is suggested that all hunters outfit themselves in blaze orange.