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West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV!
West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV!
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2023 - 2024 Bear Hunting Regulations

To hunt black bear in West Virginia, residents must have a valid Class A, AB, X, XJ, Q, Lifetime Class A-L or AB-L License accompanied by a bear damage stamp (Class DS). A Bear Damage Stamp (Class DS) is not required of landowners, senior citizens, underage, military, disabled veterans and former POWs. A Conservation Stamp (Class CS) is required of all licensed hunters holding Class A, AB or Q licenses. ADDITIONAL LICENSES MUST BE PURCHASED:
  • To hunt on national forest lands--Class I (only for Class A, AB and Q).
  • To hunt with a handgun--Class A1.
To hunt black bear in West Virginia, nonresidents must hold a valid Nonresident Bear Hunting License (Class EE) and a Bear Damage Stamp (Class DS). A Conservation Stamp (Class CS) and Law Enforcement Stamp (Class LE) is required of all holders of a Class EE license. It is illegal to:
  • hunt bears with the use of bait. feed bears.
  • hunt a bear with (a) a shotgun using ammunition loaded with more than one solid ball, or (b) a rifle of less than .25 caliber using rimfire ammunition or (c) a pistol or revolver using a straight-walled case of less than .357 magnum cartridge or a bottle-necked case of less than .24 caliber or (d) a muzzleloading pistol of less than .38 caliber.
  • hunt bear between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  • kill or attempt to kill any bear through the use of poison, explosives, snares, steel traps or deadfalls.
  • shoot at or kill a cub bear weighing less than 100 pounds or to kill any bear accompanied by such cub.
  • pursue a bear, after the chase has begun, with dogs not in use at the beginning of the hunt. kill more than one bear per year.
  • organize for commercial purposes, or to professionally outfit a bear hunt, or to give or receive any consideration whatsoever or any donation in money, goods or services in connection with a bear hunt. (
  • for nonresidents) to hunt bear with dogs, except in certain designated counties during the bear gun season (see Dog Training Regulations).
Each person killing a bear must, within one hour and before moving the carcass from where it was killed, complete and attach a game field tag. This tag must bear the hunter's name, address, hunting license number (if required) and the date, time and county of kill. The field tag must remain on the carcass until it is dressed for consumption. A person killing a bear must, within 24 hours after the kill, transport the bear or its fresh skin to a conservation officer or an official game checking station for retagging. A checking tag must be affixed to the bear before any part of it may be transported more than 75 miles from the point of kill, and shall remain on the skin until it is tanned or mounted. BEAR ARCHERY HUNTING
All counties except Berkeley, Brooke, Doddridge, Jefferson, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Taylor, Tyler and Wetzel are open to bear archery season. Bear hunting is not permitted in the Cranberry Closed Area. The Cranberry Closed Area is bounded as follows: Starting at Dyer on Forest Service Route 86, the boundary proceeds along Forest Service Route 86 east to Forest Service Route 76 (The Black Mountain Road); the boundary follows Forest Service Route 76 (The Black Mountain Road) south to the intersection with the Highland Scenic Highway (State Route 150); the line then follows State Route 150 to State Route 39. The southern boundary of the Closed Area follows State Route 39 to the Nicholas County line; then proceeds north following the Nicholas County line to Forest Service Route 76, it then follows Forest Service Route 76 north to Forest Service Route 101. The boundary then follows Forest Service Route 101 north to Dyer. The use of dogs while bow hunting for black bear is illegal during the bear archery season. BEAR GUN SEASON
A bow may be substituted for a firearm during bear firearms seasons.

Bear hunting not permitted in Cranberry Closed Area.

The same licenses required for bear hunting are required for the training of dogs on bear. Training for nonresidents may begin October 7, 2000 and continue throughout small game season, ending February 28, 2001. In order to reciprocate with the State of Ohio, Ohio residents may train dogs between August 16 and April 30 in accordance with laws and regulations governing West Virginia residents. In counties or portions of counties having a bear gun season, Ohio residents may train dogs only during the small game hunting season. It is unlawful for a person to permit a dog owned by him or under his control to chase, pursue or follow upon the track of any deer or wild turkey. Dogs may be trained on bears on private land with the landowner's written permission, or on public lands, at any time. Persons training dogs may not have firearms or other implements for the taking of wildlife in their possession during closed seasons on wild animals and birds. ATTENTION BEAR HUNTERS
The Division of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently studying factors related to the productivity and mortality of black bears in West Virginia. As part of this research effort, radio collars, ear tags and lip tattoos have been placed on a number of bears. Anyone observing a bear wearing a radio collar or ear tag is asked to report the number of the tag (if obtainable) to the DNR. Hunters that harvest a bear with a radio collar and/or ear tag should return this equipment to the DNR. Successful bear hunters can contribute to this research effort by allowing a tooth, the size of a kitchen match, to be pulled and submitted to the bear project. This will enable wildlife biologists to determine the bear's age. After processing the tooth, the DNR will provide you with the age of the animal. A tagged bear may have been tranquilized. Please contact the District Wildlife Biologist prior to consumption of meat. BEAR REPRODUCTIVE TRACT COLLECTION
WV Wildlife biologists are continuing to collect female bear reproductive tracts. Information from these tracts, as well as a premolar tooth from each bear will reveal such data as breeding ages of females, number of cubs produced, age structure of female population and reproductive success. Please help us obtain as much information as possible by following the outlined procedures. You may call any District DNR office or the Elkins Operations Center for assistance. Beckley: 256-6947
Fairmont: 367-2720
French Creek: 924-6211
Parkersburg: 420-4550
Pt. Pleasant: 675-0871
Romney: 822-3551
Elkins Operations Center: 637-0245

  1. Open bear abdominal cavity.
  2. Move intestines aside.
  3. Locate bladder.
  4. Note uterus under bladder, over large intestine.
  5. Remove uterus and ovaries by cutting as close to vulva as possible and above ovaries. Be certain to get both ovaries which are each about the size of an acorn. They may be buried in large amounts of fat.
  6. Put in plastic bag and place in cool location (in refrigerator if available), and notify DNR personnel.
  7. If scales are available, weigh the bear.
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