Jul 28, 2023


by: Brandon Eanes

Posted: Oct 5, 2022 / 04:10 PM EDT

Updated: Oct 5, 2022 / 04:10 PM EDT

GHENT, WV (WVNS) — Hunting has long been thought of as a right of passage for some. A way to bring families together for others. Maybe just a way to enjoy mother nature in Appalachia in all her glory.

Some West Virginia hunting seasons are already in session, but more are just around the bend!

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) Hunting and Trapping Guide, different hunting seasons span across the entire year. However, the animals available to be hunted or trapped differs.

When some people think of hunting, their minds lean towards the common white-tailed deer, squirrel, and even turkey. What outdoor novices may not realize, is the sheer amount of Mountain State critters than can either be killed or trapped, and the strict seasons in which they fall under.

Birds like the Ruffed Grouse can only be hunted from October 15, 2022, to February 28, 2023. Another bird, the Bobwhite Quail, can only be shot from November 5, 2022 to January 7, 2023.

There are different seasons when animals can be hunted versus when they can be trapped. For example, Racoons can be hunted from October 15, 2022, to February 28, 2023. This is an earlier start date then when you can begin trapping, which begins on November 5, 2022.

Certain animals can be hunted and trapped simultaneously within one season. Bobcats can be both hunted and trapped from November 5, 2022 to February 28, 2022.

Each season in West Virginia includes a daily bag limit, possession limit, and season limit. The daily bag limit is how many of that particular animal can be killed in a calendar day. The possession limit is the number of a single animal you can have in your possession at one time; it is a combined total of your daily take and anything you have at home. The season limit is the amount of one animal taken for the entire season.

Below is a list of the different animals and their respective season dates across West Virginia.

There are still some animals across the Mountain State that do not have an open season attributed to them. This is mainly due to either their endangered species status or a repopulation project in progress. Song and insectivorous birds, owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles are unable to be hunted or trapped at any time in West Virginia. Heavy fines and possible jail time is the result of hunting a prohibited animal.

Before you head out into the woods or down that trail, make sure you are well aware of all rules and regulations while hunting. Most importantly, stay safe!

For more information on specific bag limits and WV hunting and fishing regulations, you can go to the WVDNR website and find the 2022-23 West Virginia DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary!

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Wild Boar (Gun Only) (Split Season) Wild Boar (Archery & Crossbow) Deer (Buck Firearms) Deer (Archery & Crossbow) Deer (Antlerless) Deer (Muzzleloader) Deer (Youth) (Split Season) Deer, Bear, and Turkey (Mountain Heritage) Bear (Archery & Crossbow) Bear (Gun) Bear (Youth) Turkey (Fall) (Split Season) Turkey (Spring 2023) (Bearded Only) Turkey (2023 Youth Season) Squirrel (Black, Gray, Albino and Fox) Squirrel (Youth Season) Ruffed Grouse Bobwhite Quail (Hunting closed on Tomblin WMA) Cottontail Rabbit Snowshoe or Varying Hare Ring-necked Pheasant (cock birds only) Raccoon (Hunting) Raccoon (Trapping) Red Fox/Gray Fox (Hunting & Trapping) Bobcat (Hunting & Trapping) Mink/Muskrat (Trapping) Fisher (Trapping) Beaver (Trapping) Otter (Trapping) Crow (Nuisance Crows) (Split Season) Coyote (Hunting) Coyote (Trapping) Skunk/Opossum/Woodchuck/Weasel/English Sparrow/European Starling/Pigeon Skunk/Opossum/Weasel (Trapping)