SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s traditional buck firearms season begins Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The buck firearms season has opened the Monday before Thanksgiving every year since 1965. The timing of the season is a balance of hunting some of the “rut” (mating season) but still allowing for the annual renewal of the deer herd.
“Hunters should enjoy a great deer season in 2015,” said Paul R. Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “Many carry-over bucks should be available from last year, and hunters can harvest an additional buck with the purchase of the appropriate stamp.”
Resident hunters wanting the extra buck must purchase the Class RG stamp before the beginning of the season for $21. 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 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 for $43. 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 nine counties (see 2015–2016 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. 23 on private land and selected public lands. Hunters should consult the 2015–2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations available at license agents and at http://www.wvdnr.gov for specific antlerless deer regulations in each county and wildlife management area.
Small game hunting 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.
This fall, hunters are required to get a permanent DNR identification number which allows them 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 http://www.wvdnr.gov.