Hunting Season Changes Highlighted
The 2012-13 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary brochure is now available at all West Virginia hunting and fishing license agents, Division of Natural Resources district offices, the Elkins Operation Center, and South Charleston Headquarters. This regulations summary is also available online at the Division of Natural Resources’ website, www.wvdnr.gov.
Sportsmen and women are encouraged to carefully review these regulations, as there will be several significant changes in place this fall during the hunting and trapping seasons. These include the following:
The statewide archery deer season will open on Sept. 29 through Dec. 31.
The statewide archery bear season will open earlier this year and be a split season that includes the following days: Sept. 29-Nov. 17 and Dec. 3-31.
Ten counties or portions thereof will have special antlerless deer regulations in place this fall. Within these 10 counties, archery deer hunters will be required to take an antlerless deer during the archery deer season prior to harvesting a second antlered deer during the archery deer season. In addition, buck firearms season hunters will be required to take an antlerless deer during the antlerless firearms season prior to harvesting a second antlered deer during the buck firearms season.
Black bear firearms hunting seasons will include nine counties open from Sept. 24 – 26; 12 counties open from Sept. 24 – 29; eight counties open from Nov. 19 Dec. 1, 2012 during the buck firearms season; all 55 counties open from Dec. 3 – 31.
The daily bag limit is one bear and season limit is two bears, provided at least one bear comes from Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Raleigh, or Wyoming counties.
The fall wild turkey hunting season will be expanded this this year with 15 counties open from Oct. 13 – 20, seven counties open from Oct. 13 – 20, and Oct. 29 – Nov. 3; 14 counties open from Oct. 13 – 20, and Oct. 29 – Nov. 17.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the new Apprentice Hunting and Trapping Licenses for West Virginia residents (Class AH or AHJ) and non-residents (Class AAH or AAHJ) will be available to those individuals who have never had a valid base hunting/trapping license.
Prior completion of a hunter safety training course will not be required to purchase an Apprentice Hunting and Trapping License; however, holders of one of these licenses must be accompanied and directly supervised by a licensed adult hunter.
The Apprentice Hunting and Trapping licenses can only be purchased online at Division of Natural Resources’ goWILD! website: at www.wvhunt.com.
The Senior Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XS), which was available beginning Jan. 1, 2012, is required for resident hunters and anglers who reach the age of 65 on or after Jan. 1, 2012. Seniors holding a valid Class XS license may participate in the Special Split Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS antlerless deer season which will be held on Oct. 20, 2012 and Dec. 26 – 27, 2012.
It is legal to hunt between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise with a .22 caliber centerfire firearm or smaller or a shotgun using #2 shot or smaller.
Any color artificial light is legal for hunting coyote at night from Jan. 1 – July 31, 2013, and for fox from Jan. 1, 2013 – Feb. 28, 2013.