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Hunting in West Virginia

Don’t miss the big and small game in West Virginia

Both wild and wonderful can be found in West Virginia during the fall and spring hunting seasons. It’s close by, it’s not expensive, and most importantly, it’s fun. West Virginia offers plenty of public hunting land with an abundance of game and liberal bag limits, along with many different types of hunting opportunities. Hunting is a tradition in the Mountain State. From big game like deer, bear and wild turkey to small game like squirrels and rabbits, West Virginia is a hunter’s paradise. More than 1.6 million acres of public land are open to hunting. Nonresident hunters have long been attracted to West Virginia not only because of abundant public land and game populations, but also reasonable license fees.

West Virginia offers a wide variety of seasons, including those for archery, firearms, and muzzleloaders.  Of course, the two-week buck season always begins the Monday before Thanksgiving, providing an opportunity for family-style hunting during a time when many former residents return home for the holiday.

West Virginia also has many opportunities for small game hunting, which is sometimes a better choice for youngsters or anyone who is new to hunting, because the chance of success is higher. Squirrels and rabbits can be found almost anywhere but provide enough of a challenge to encourage continued interest.

Young hunters ages 8 to 14 have some special opportunities in West Virginia during the fall and spring hunting seasons, including youth hunts for wild turkey, squirrel, Canada goose, and antlerless deer. In all cases they must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old who may not carry a gun or bow and must remain near enough to the youth to provide advice and assistance.

All persons born on or after January 1, 1975 must first successfully complete a certified hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license

Visit the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to learn more about hunting opportunities in the state.

Wildlife Management Areas

Read stories by Frank Jezioro, Director,
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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