Hunting season changes explained in new 2023-24 Hunting and Trapping Regulations summary

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With updated hunting regulations in effect, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to review several important changes to hunting seasons for white-tailed deer, wild turkey and black bear before their respective seasons open this fall.

These changes are included in the new 2023-24 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, which is now available online at Hunters who wish to obtain a printed copy of the summary, should contact their local hunting and fishing license agent or WVDNR district office. Copies will also be available at the WVDNR’s Elkins Operation Center and South Charleston headquarters in July.

Major changes hunters should take note of include the following:

  • Season dates and open counties for the antlerless deer season have changed, see pages 15-20.
  • Season dates and open counties for the black bear season have changed, see pages 38-39.
  • Season dates and open counties for the fall wild turkey season have changed, see page 42.
  • All deer harvested on Nov. 20-21 in Barbour, Jackson, Mason and Upshur counties are required to be brought to a designated Biological Game Examination Station for carcass examination. See page 14 for designated sampling station locations.
  • The Special Youth, Class Q and Class XS Bear Season will be a split season with the first segment open Sept. 16-17. This segment is open in all or parts of 26 counties open to bear hunting with or without dogs. You may hunt with or without dogs during this segment. For more information, see page 36.
  • It is now legal to use an encapsulated propellant charge that loads from the breech when the projectile is loaded from the muzzle in a single-shot muzzleloading pistol or single-shot muzzleloading rifle that has a bore diameter of .38 caliber or larger during the muzzleloader deer season. These encapsulated charges may not be used with muzzleloading firearms during the Mountaineer Heritage Season.
  • Non-resident lifetime hunting, trapping and fishing licenses are now available for purchase, see page 47.

To purchase a hunting license and stamps, visit

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