WV hunting regs question

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  • lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    10,009
    Well, questions (plural).

    My wife and I are considering buying a smaller property in WV to use for vacation/cabin/getaway/hunting.

    I’d like 40+ acres. My wife would like 10 or so.

    Realistically in our budget is more like 3-6. Basically something that would be extremely cheap just to dip our toes in to things and probably if it works out, look for a much larger property closer to retirement and sell/rent/gift to the kids the small property.

    I am trying to maximize the use by finding something adjoining public land.

    For hunting, I just spent 2hrs reading through the WV regs and I think I am maybe clear. Or I’ve confused the shit out of myself.

    For safety zones, it is 500 feet from a church, school or dwelling unless you have permission from EVERY resident. How strictly is that enforced? I don’t mean hope I don’t get caught. I mean, is the typical more like a knock and chat with the (hopefully!) friendly neighbor and just ask permission? Or is it like Maryland where you are supposed to have written agreement (not that I think most people actually get written agreements, but especially being the out of towner in this instance and not the resident neighbor, I’d want to try to follow the letter)?

    Do you really need permission from every resident? Or is it a lot more easy going than that? I can see how a tenant and landlord living on the same property could complicate things, but if you chat with the neighbor and they say it’s fine, are you good?

    Next, I see it says that safety zone is for firearms. Is there one for archery (vertical or crossbows?)? I don’t see any mention of one.

    Next, I am confused as hell about which counties you can hunt deer when? I’ll probably be able to figure out what the heck they are talking about on limits and counties and stuff. But in general, all counties you can hunt antlered and antlerless, at least one of each? I am kind of confused by the maps. What are the seasons like? I seem to be missing the antlerless firearms dates, but it looks like antlered deer and archery are mid November to early December and muzzleloader is mid to late December. If I am reading it right a few state parks have separate seasons of 2-3 days times two seasons. Are those state parks by permit or lottery? Is that it for season times/lengths? I guess being used to Maryland, that seems super limited on archery VS Maryland’s 5 month long archery season.

    Seems like during deer season you basically can’t be afield with anything other than a shotgun with #4 or smaller shot unless hunting waterfowl. Though I see something about 22 being okay during archery.

    Also something about night time hunting or species that can be (like coyotes), but sounds like only 22s and shotguns are allowed at night for them?

    Finally (sorry so many), what is the deal with stamps and deer? Reading the licenses don’t seem clear, but under the regulations it sounds like you need a stamp for every single antlered and antlerless deer you take. Is that the case? Or are there limits and then bonus stamps beyond the limits?

    Does WV operate like MD where you can buy your license and stamps and then later add stamps to it? For instance if I was getting a hunting license, small game, antlered and antlerless stamps, if needed could I add another deer stamp (obviously before hunting said extra deer)? How is WV on having a physical license versus digital? I assume licenses and stamps can be bought online?

    What are retrieval laws like? I assume similar to Maryland where you need permission of the landowner. What if it runs on to public land? Need to call DNR to let them know?

    I think that’s about it for now.

    Largely it boils down to if I DID want to hunt on the property I bought, if smaller could I at least be able to archery hunt without express permission of my neighbors (well assuming the deer drops on my land).

    Just having a getaway place and something much closer to public land I would want to hunt rather than being an hour+ drive away would be nice. Hunting is a bonus, but it would be good to know what I’d be getting in to on what value it is adding, or if hunting on a smaller property is going to be just about worthless in WV.

    Thanks!
     

    RRomig

    Member
    Industry Partner
    MDS Supporter
    Aug 30, 2021
    835
    Burtonsville MD
    I’ve had to deal with DNR in several states. They are usually very polite and helpful. I’d have their version of the hunting regs and notes of questions handy and give them a call. Now that most of the seasons are over it’s probably a perfect time to get dialed in.
    Good luck
     

    gwchem

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 18, 2014
    2,865
    SoMD
    I'll try to answer what I can but there's a lot there.

    Yes, you need permission from every owner or lease within 500 feet. One is enough for any property.

    Your license gets you one deer during rifle season, that's it. You have to buy bonus antlerless and bonus buck tags. And you have to take the antlerless before the second buck.

    You can buy an archery buck, an archery antlerless, and maybe a bonus, I can't remember. Be aware that after any season starts, the bonus tags are unavailable. Have to be bought by the day before. Archery runs the whole way through, from September through December, but you have to wear orange in gun season, just like Maryland. I'm not sure if public lands restrict things further.

    As for DNR, they're spread pretty thin. They're not coming on private land unless someone complains, and they stick to the main parking lots otherwise. I think you're ok with a license on your phone, but you still need to paper tag any deer.
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    10,009
    I'll try to answer what I can but there's a lot there.

    Yes, you need permission from every owner or lease within 500 feet. One is enough for any property.

    Your license gets you one deer during rifle season, that's it. You have to buy bonus antlerless and bonus buck tags. And you have to take the antlerless before the second buck.

    You can buy an archery buck, an archery antlerless, and maybe a bonus, I can't remember. Be aware that after any season starts, the bonus tags are unavailable. Have to be bought by the day before. Archery runs the whole way through, from September through December, but you have to wear orange in gun season, just like Maryland. I'm not sure if public lands restrict things further.

    As for DNR, they're spread pretty thin. They're not coming on private land unless someone complains, and they stick to the main parking lots otherwise. I think you're ok with a license on your phone, but you still need to paper tag any deer.

    That’s an excellent start, thanks!

    Can you get your license and initial stamps once the season has started? For example if I decided, I don’t know, in October to hunt. Could I get a license and archery stamp to archery hunt? Or could I only do gun/ML season that year? Probably not exactly a huge deal as I’d imagine I’d know in advance and probably wouldn’t be hunting the same year I buy a property.

    Last one is, do the archery and muzzleloader stamps act as the single stamp per deer in that season? Or are you buying a stamp for each deer AND you need an archery or muzzleloader stamp to hunt in those seasons?

    Thanks!
     

    gwchem

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 18, 2014
    2,865
    SoMD
    You can buy your archery or muzzleloader stamp once the season starts, but not any bonus stamps. My buddy's kid always forgets to buy his license before he shows up at our Thanksgiving hunt, so it doesn't cut off at the start.

    The archery stamp counts as your first deer. The bonus stamps are for #2,3...

    Oh, and same rules about property boundaries. You need permission to get your deer. Where I hunt we know the neighbors, so it's not an issue. I imagine you run the gamut from "I'll help you track, just let me get my boots on" to "show your face at my door again and you'll join Bambi".
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    10,009
    You can buy your archery or muzzleloader stamp once the season starts, but not any bonus stamps. My buddy's kid always forgets to buy his license before he shows up at our Thanksgiving hunt, so it doesn't cut off at the start.

    The archery stamp counts as your first deer. The bonus stamps are for #2,3...

    Oh, and same rules about property boundaries. You need permission to get your deer. Where I hunt we know the neighbors, so it's not an issue. I imagine you run the gamut from "I'll help you track, just let me get my boots on" to "show your face at my door again and you'll join Bambi".

    Lol. Thanks!

    Yeah. Sounds about right. Good to know all around.
     

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