West Virginia’s buck and antlerless deer firearms seasons open Nov. 21

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s traditional buck firearms season begins Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. The buck firearms season has opened the Monday before Thanksgiving every year since 1965. The timing of the season is a balance of hunting during some of the “rut” (mating season) while still allowing for the annual renewal of the deer herd.

“Hunters should enjoy a great deer season in 2016,” said Gary Foster, assistant chief in charge of game management for the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “I always buy my additional buck stamp so I’m never without the opportunity the last day of the season to harvest that buck of a lifetime.”

Resident hunters wanting the opportunity to harvest an additional buck must purchase the Class RG stamp for $21 before the beginning of the season. The RG stamp must be accompanied by a Class A and CS, A-L, AB-L, X, XS, XJ, AH, AHJ or free license. Resident landowners and their resident children or resident parents have the privilege of harvesting an extra buck without purchasing the RG stamp if they are hunting on their own property.

Nonresident hunters wanting the extra buck must purchase a RRG stamp for $43 before the beginning of the season. The RRG stamp must be accompanied by the Class E, AAH, AAHJ or XXJ license. Nonresident hunters who own land in West Virginia are not exempt from purchasing a license or the extra buck stamp, even if hunting on their own property.

Buck firearm hunters in 14 counties (see 2016–2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations) are required to take an antlerless deer with a firearm (required Class N permit for residents or Class NN permit for nonresidents) before harvesting a second antlered deer during the buck firearms season.

Most counties are open to concurrent antlerless deer season hunting during the traditional buck gun season. Class N or Class NN permits to hunt during the antlerless deer season can be purchased at any time. Antlerless deer firearms season opens Nov. 21 on private land and specified public lands. Hunters should consult the 2016–2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations available at license agents and at www.wvdnr.gov for specific antlerless deer regulations in each county and wildlife management area.

Small game hunting, including bobcats, is prohibited during the first three days of buck firearms season in all counties having a buck firearms season. Archery and crossbow hunting for antlered and antlerless deer is legal during the buck firearms season subject to all archery and crossbow deer hunting regulations.

Hunters may harvest two deer on the same day, but only one of those can be an antlered buck. The first deer does not have to be legally checked before harvesting the second deer in the same day. However, all deer must be checked and the checking confirmation number recorded by the hunter before hunting during any subsequent day.

Hunters are reminded that they are required to use their permanent DNR identification number to check in their game from their phones at 1-844-WVCHECK (1-844-982-4325), their computers at wvhunt.com or at a hunting and fishing license agent. For a list of license agents, visit www.wvdnr.gov.