Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Special antlerless deer and new bear seasons open Oct. 17

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Youth, Class Q/QQ and senior citizen hunters in West Virginia will soon be able to participate in a special hunting season for antlerless deer and a new season for black bear.

Special seasons for antlerless deer and bear will run Oct. 17-18, during which youth ages 8-17, Class Q/QQ and senior citizen hunters with a Class XS license may hunt antlerless deer and bear on private and public lands in counties that have a firearms deer hunting season.

“Hunting in West Virginia is a tradition everyone can enjoy and these special seasons for youth, disabled and senior hunters is one of the ways we’re making the outdoors more accessible,” said West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel. “These seasons are also a great opportunity for more experienced hunters to pass down their hunting knowledge to their kids or grandkids.”

Special Bear Season
The special bear season for youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS hunters is new this year. Hunters may not use dogs, except for tracking a mortally wounded bear. For more information, see page 7 of the 2020-21 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

The daily bag limit is one bear, which counts toward the annual bag limit. Two black bears may be taken during the archery, crossbow, special youth, Class Q/QQ and class XS and firearms seasons combined, provided that at least one bear is taken in Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Preston, Raleigh or Wyoming counties.

Bear hunters aged 15-17 and Class Q/QQ license holders are required to have a valid DS stamp, unless they are a resident landowner hunting on their own land. Resident hunters ages 8-14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult who may not hunt or possess a firearm or other weapon. Nonresident youth must possess a valid Class EE bear hunting license and conservation and bear damage stamps.

Special Antlerless Deer Season
The special antlerless deer season is open to Class Q/QQ and Class XS license holders and youth hunters ages 8-17. Hunters ages 8-14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult who may not hunt or possess a firearm or other weapon. Hunters ages 15-17 must comply with all licensing requirements.

Nonresident youth hunters must possess a junior sportsman or apprentice junior hunting license and conservation stamp or Class DT license. All accompanying nonresident adults must also be properly licensed and possess a conservation stamp.

All hunters participating in this season, as well as accompanying adults, must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange.

The daily bag limit for this special season is one antlerless deer per day. A total of four antlerless deer may be harvested during this season. Deer harvested during the special antlerless season do not count toward a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit. Class N/NN stamps are not required for this special season. A second segment for this youth antlerless deer season is scheduled for Dec. 26-27.

Each deer must be field tagged and electronically registered. Hunters must check their game within 24 hours of the close of each segment of the split season and before pursuit of any additional deer. Deer can be checked online at, by calling 1-844-WVCHECK or by visiting a license agent.

For more information about the special antlerless and bear seasons, check the 2020-21 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations or contact a local DNR district office. Hunting licenses and stamps can be purchased at

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