SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Several important changes in the state’s fall hunting seasons for squirrel, white-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey, as well as the new senior hunting, trapping and fishing license and a new otter trapping season, are included in the 2011-2012 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary
brochure, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro. The publication is now available at all West Virginia hunting and fishing license agents, DNR district offices, Elkins Operation Center and South Charleston Headquarters. The 2011-2012 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary is also available online at www.wvdnr.gov
Hunters and trappers are encouraged to carefully review these regulations due to the numerous changes in hunting seasons, especially squirrel, wild turkey, bear and deer hunting, as well as otter trapping, which will be in place this fall. Major changes for 2011- 2012 (see brochure for details) include:
- The statewide squirrel season will open on September 10, 2011.
- The statewide archery deer season will open on October 1, 2011.
- The West Virginia Chronic Wasting Disease Containment Area has been expanded to now include all of Hampshire County, that portion of Hardy County which lies north of Corridor H and WV Rt. 55 from Wardensville to the Virginia Stateline, and that portion of Morgan County which lies west of US Rt. 522.
- Black bear hunting seasons in 2011 include nine counties open September 26-28; 11 counties open September 26–October 1; seven counties open November 21–December 3 during the Buck Firearms Season; and all 55 counties open December 5-31. The daily bag limit is one bear and the season limit is two bears, provided at least one bear comes from Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Raleigh or Wyoming counties.
- Fall wild turkey hunting season has been reduced this year with 11 counties open October 22-29, seven counties open October 22–November 5, and 14 counties open October 22–November 19.
- The new Lifetime Senior Hunting /Trapping/Fishing License (Class XS), which is available beginning January 1, 2012, is required for resident hunters and anglers who reach the age of 65 on or after January 1, 2012, except that those seniors who hold a valid Class A-L or AB-L license will not need to purchase the Class XS license to hunt or trap.
- The otter trapping season will open on November 5, 2011, and close on February 29, 2012, with an annual bag limit of one otter, which must be checked at an official game checking station. Otter trappers should obtain a plastic CITES seal for each otter pelt they plan to sell out of state.
- Hunters can now use green, as well as amber and red artificial lights to hunt coyotes at night from January 1 through July 31.
- It is illegal to bait or feed wildlife on public land between September 1 and December 31 and during the spring gobbler seasons.
Paul Johansen, Wildlife Resources Section