2015 West Virginia deer firearms season fact sheet

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

From the WVDNR

• The West Virginia buck firearms season is Nov. 23 – Dec. 5, 2015. It is open in all counties except Logan, Mingo, McDowell and Wyoming.

• Approximately 330,000 deer hunters will be in West Virginia’s woods during this season.

• Hunters should review the 2015 – 2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for detailed instructions concerning bag limits and season dates. The regulations are available at license agents, DNR district offices or online at www.wvdnr.gov .

• All hunters must have an official DNR ID number in order to check game this year. The ID number can be found on the annual hunting license when purchased, or can be obtained by calling 304-558-2758 or logging on to wvhunt.com and providing the requested information. Game may be checked by telephone at 1-844-wvcheck, online at wvhunt.com or at any hunting license agent. All field tagging, transporting and possession requirements still apply.

• Hunters may use a crossbow during the firearms season.

• The buck deer bag limit during the two-week buck firearms season is two (one on the base license and one on an RG [resident] or RRG [nonresident] stamp). A hunter may take no more than three antlered deer per calendar year in all archery, crossbow and firearms seasons combined.

• The last day to purchase an additional buck deer gun tag (Class RG/RRG Stamp) is Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. Class RG and Class RRG additional buck stamps can only be used to take an additional antlered deer during buck firearms season. Unused Class RG and Class RRG stamps may not be used in antlerless or muzzleloader seasons.

• Antlerless deer hunting is legal on private land in 47 counties or portions thereof and all public lands having an antlerless season Nov. 23 – Dec. 5, 2015, concurrent with the buck firearms season, with valid stamps.

• A hunter may harvest two deer per day, but only one antlered deer may be harvested per day. The first deer does not have to be electronically registered before harvesting the second deer in the same day. However, all deer legally harvested must be electronically registered and legally tagged before hunting during a subsequent day.

• Concurrent with the buck gun season will be a bear gun season in 29 counties, 18 of which require a permit that must be issued before the season. Consult the 2015–2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for specific counties.

• According to Southwick Associates, hunting contributes $500 million each year to the state’s economy. Deer hunters spend an estimated $230 million in West Virginia, much of it in the rural areas of the state that depend upon the deer seasons for a large portion of their annual income. Hunting is estimated to be responsible for 5,400 jobs and $35 million in sales taxes on goods and services spent in West Virginia.

• In 2014, the traditional bucks-only firearm season harvest of antlered bucks was 37,450, a decrease of 34 percent from the 2013 harvest. This is 33 percent less than the five-year average bucks-only firearm season harvest of 55,902 and ranks 34th among all past years.

• WVDNR predicts the buck harvest should be higher in 2015 than in 2014. The 30 percent reduction in the 2014 buck harvest means that many bucks survived the season and some of them should be available for harvest in 2015. In addition, the percentage of yearling bucks in the harvest in 2014 was near 30 percent. This means many bucks are surviving to reach older age classes and the chance to kill a large-antlered buck has increased.

• As of Nov. 17, 2015, Sunday hunting was legal in the following 21 counties on private land only: Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Calhoun, Clay, Hancock, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Marshall, Mingo, Nicholas, Ohio, Roane, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt and Wyoming. The only Sunday that is open in these counties during the buck season is Nov. 29.

• Hunters are required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange (about the size of a vest) as an outer garment for visibility and safety. Blaze orange camouflage patterns are legal as long as 400 square inches of blaze orange are displayed on the garment. A blaze orange hat is not required, but the hunter must have blaze orange visible from both the front and the back.

• Hunting licenses may be purchased online at any time and printed out on a home computer printer. Go to the goWILD! website at www.wvhunt.com, fill out the application, and purchase it over a secure server with a credit card.

• Hunters who wish to donate deer meat or dollars to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program, which distributes deer meat through the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Huntington Food Bank, should call 304-924-6211 or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov to find a participating meat processor.

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
http://williamsondailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_White-tailed-deer.jpgPhoto courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

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