West Virginia Changes Include Earn-A-Buck

The 2012-2013 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary brochure is 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 also is available online at the Division of Natural Resources’ website: www.wvdnr.gov.

Significant changes are in place this fall during the hunting and trapping seasons. These include the following:

— Ten counties or portions thereof will have special antlerless deer regulations in place. 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.

— The statewide archery deer season will open Sept. 29 and end 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 December 3-31.

— 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 during the buck firearms season; all 55 counties open from Dec. 3-31. The daily bag limit is one (1) bear and season limit is two (2) bears, provided at least one (1) 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 (7) counties open from Oct. 13-20 and Oct. 29-Nov. 3; 14 counties open from Oct. 13-20 and Oct. 29-Nov. 17.

Beginning 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 www.wvhunt.com.

— The Senior Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XS), which was available beginning Jan. 1, 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 and Dec. 26-27.

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-Feb. 28, 2013.