SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s various small game hunting and trapping seasons will soon be underway, and wildlife biologists from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are predicting good opportunities for success.
Ruffed grouse season begins Oct. 14 and ends Feb. 28. Hunters should look for grouse in five- to 20-year-old timber cuts with abundant soft mast producers like hawthorn, dogwood, greenbrier and grapes. The daily bag limit is four.
Raccoon hunting season opens Oct. 14 and ends Feb. 28. Hunters with hounds should experience success similar to last year, provided they pay attention to river bottom areas near favored food sources. The daily bag limit is four per hunter or groups of hunters.
Cottontail rabbit numbers appear stable in quality habitat, such as old field and brier thickets. Numerous opportunities should be available this season, which runs Nov. 4 through Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is five.
Hunting seasons for snowshoe hare, bobwhite quail, bobcat and red and gray foxes open Nov. 4. Hunters should check the hunting regulations summary for specific closing dates for each species.
Red and gray fox night hunting will begin Jan. 1 and run through Feb. 28.
Trapping seasons for red and gray foxes, raccoon, mink, muskrat, coyote, skunk, opossum and weasel open Nov. 4 and close Feb. 28. Populations look good on all species, and trappers should see more animals available due to a low harvest last year and a relatively mild winter.
Bobcat, fisher, beaver and otter seasons open Nov. 4. Trappers should check the 2017-18 regulations summary for the closing dates for each species. These species must be electronically registered within 30 days of the close of season.