West Virginia’s buck firearms season opens Nov. 19, 2018. (Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.)

West Virginia’s buck firearms season opens Monday

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s traditional buck firearms season begins Monday, Nov. 19, the earliest possible opening date. This season opens the Monday before Thanksgiving every year, and gives hunters an opportunity to hunt during part of the rut, when bucks are active.

“Hunters should enjoy a great deer season in 2018,” said Gary Foster, assistant chief in charge of Game Management for the Division of Natural Resources. “West Virginia’s deer seasons provide quality outdoor recreation for hunters and, at the same time, boosts the state’s economy by hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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 required to use their permanent DNR identification number to check in their game from their phones at 1-844-WVCHECK, their computers at wvhunt.com or at a hunting and fishing license agent. For a list of license agents, visit wvdnr.gov.

Harvesting an additional buck

Resident hunters wanting the opportunity to harvest an additional buck must buy the Class RG stamp before the start of the season. The RG stamp is $21 and must be accompanied by a Class A and CS, A-L, AB-L, X, XS, XJ, AH, AHJ or free license.

Resident landowners 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 before the beginning of the season. The RRG stamp is $43 and 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 10 counties and portions of two counties are required to take an antlerless deer with a firearm (required Class N permit for residents or Class NN permit for nonresidents) or with a bow or crossbow under archery season regulations, before harvesting a second antlered deer within each of these respective 12 counties. For more information, hunters should consult the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

Concurrent hunting

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. 19 on private land and selected public lands. Hunters should consult the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations available at license agents and at 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.

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