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West Virginia Hunting License Requirements by Age Group

Hunting in West Virginia involves specific licensing requirements based on the hunter's age. Understanding these regulations ensures legal compliance and promotes responsible wildlife management.

Youth Hunters: Under 15 Years

License Exemptions for Young Hunters

  • Eligibility: Residents under 15 years.
  • Condition: Must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
  • Adult Role: The adult must be close enough to offer advice and assistance.

Senior Residents: Age-Specific Licensing

Seniors Aged 65 or Older as of January 1, 2012

  • Proof of Age: Must carry a West Virginia driver’s license or DMV-issued photo ID.
  • Licenses Required:
    • Antlerless Deer: Class N
    • Additional Deer (Buck): Class RG
    • Muzzleloader Season: Class RM
    • Archery and Crossbow: Class RB
    • Handgun Hunting: Class A1
    • Waterfowl Hunting: Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamp
    • Migratory Birds: Free HIP card

Seniors Aged 65 or Older On/After January 1, 2012

  • General Hunting/Trapping: Class XS License required.
  • Specific Licenses:
    • Antlerless Deer: Class N*
    • Additional Deer (Buck): Class RG
    • Muzzleloader Season: Class RM
    • Archery and Crossbow: Class RB
    • Handgun Hunting: Class A1
    • Waterfowl Hunting: Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamp
    • Migratory Birds: Free HIP card
  • Special Provision: Class N license not needed during Special Split Youth, Class Q/QQ, and Class XS antlerless deer seasons.

General Licensing Information

  • Validity: Licenses are valid for the calendar year.
  • Renewal Requirement: New licenses must be purchased at the beginning of each year.
  • Identification: All licensed hunters/trappers must carry valid identification while engaging in hunting/trapping activities.

Resident Hunting Licenses and Stamps Overview

Basic Licenses and Stamps

  1. Conservation Stamp (Class CS) - $5:

    • Who Needs It: Mandatory for all licensed hunters and anglers, except holders of specific license classes (X, X3, XP, XJ, XS, AHJ, A-L, B-L, AB-L).
    • Purpose: Funds conservation efforts.
  2. Hunting and Trapping (Class A) - $19:

    • Eligibility: Standard license for hunting and trapping activities.
  3. Apprentice Hunting and Trapping License (Class AH) - $19:

    • Privileges: Same as Class A but does not require completion of a hunter safety course.
    • Target Group: Beginners in hunting and trapping.

Sportsman Licenses

  1. Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping (Class X) - $35:

    • Age Group: 18-64 years.
    • Inclusions: Covers Conservation Stamp, Class A, B, and BG licenses.
    • Benefits: Comprehensive license for multiple activities.
  2. Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Plus (Class XP) - $45:

    • Additional Feature: Includes the trout stamp.
    • Annual License: Comprehensive coverage for a year.
  3. Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping 3-year (Class X3) - $105:

    • Duration: Valid for three years.
    • Convenience: Long-term license option.
  4. Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Plus 3-year (Class XP3) - $135:

    • Extended Benefits: Three-year license with trout stamp.
  5. Junior Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping (Class XJ) - $16:

    • Age Group: 15-17 years.
    • Similar to: Class X but for younger enthusiasts.
  6. Apprentice Junior Hunting/Trapping/Fishing (Class AHJ) - $16:

    • Target Group: 15-17 years old, no hunter safety course required.
    • Privileges: Same as Class XJ.

Specialized Stamps

  1. Antlerless Deer Hunting Stamp (Class N) - $10:

    • Requirement: Must accompany a range of licenses (Class A, AH, AHJ, A-L, AB-L, X, X3, XP, XS, XJ, or free license).
    • Purpose: Specific to antlerless deer hunting.
  2. Additional Archery Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RB) - $21:

    • Requirement: Accompanies various licenses including crossbow hunters.
    • Notice: Purchase required before the statewide archery season opens.
  3. Additional Firearms Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RG) - $21:

    • Eligibility: Accompanies a range of licenses.
    • Purchase Timeframe: Prior to the opening of buck firearms season.
  4. Additional Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RM) - $16:

    • Accompanying Licenses: Includes Class A+BG, AH+BG, and others.
    • Purchase Deadline: Before the muzzleloader season begins.
  5. Resident Big Game Stamp (Class BG) - $10:

    • Requirement: Necessary for Class A or AH license holders.
    • Coverage: Includes deer (archery, crossbow, muzzleloader seasons), bear (with Class DS), wild turkey, and wild boar hunting.

Lifetime Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing Licenses in West Virginia

West Virginia offers a variety of lifetime licenses for residents, covering hunting, trapping, and fishing activities. These licenses replace the need for equivalent annual licenses. Applications are accessible through Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices, licensed agents, and online at WVdnr.gov.

Senior and Student Eligibility

  • Senior Residents: West Virginia residents who are seniors and have previously purchased a license through an agent or DNR office can acquire a senior lifetime license online.
  • Non-resident Students: Full-time students enrolled in any West Virginia college or university are eligible for lifetime licenses.

Lifetime License Fees

  1. Combination Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing (Class AB-L): $805
  2. Combination Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing - Child (Class AB-L):
    • Under age 1: $322.00
    • Age 1 to under 5: $442.75
    • Age 5 to under 10: $603.75
    • Age 10 to under 15: $724.50
  3. Hunting and Trapping (Class A-L): $782
  4. Hunting and Trapping - Child (Class A-L):
    • Under age 1: $312.80
    • Age 1 to under 5: $430.10
    • Age 5 to under 10: $586.50
    • Age 10 to under 15: $703.80
  5. Senior Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XS): $25
    • Required for resident hunters and anglers aged 65 or older since January 1, 2012. Note: Holders of Class A-L and AB-L licenses may still need to purchase additional stamps (e.g., bear damage, trout stamps).
  6. Small Arms Hunting (Class A1-L): $75
    • Available for individuals aged 21 and older.

Additional Information

  • Class BG License and Conservation Stamp Exemption: Holders of Class AB-L, A-L, and XS Lifetime Licenses are exempt from needing a Class BG License and Conservation Stamp.
  • Child Lifetime License: The fee schedule for children under 15 also applies to legally adopted children or those in legal foster care. Conservation Stamp is not required for these licenses.

Nonresident License

Bear Damage Stamp (Class DS) - $10

  • Purpose: Required to hunt or chase bear.
  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with Class A+BG, AH+BG, AHJ, A-L, AB-L, EE, X, X3, XP, XJ, or C license.

Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) - FREE

  • Applicability: Mandatory for all licensed migratory bird hunters.

Small Arms Hunting Stamp (Class A1) - $8

  • Eligibility: For hunters aged 21 or older.
  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with Class A, AH, A-L, AB-L, X, X3, XP, XS, E, EE, H, J, or a free license.

Special Hunting and Fishing License for Life-threatening Conditions (Class DT) - FREE

  • Eligibility: Issued for individuals aged 20 or under.
  • Additional Licenses: None required.

Nonresident License Details

Conservation/Law Enforcement Stamp (Class CS/LE) - $13

  • Requirement: Needed by all licensed hunters and anglers, except Class J license holders.

National Forest Hunting/Trapping/Fishing Stamp (Class I) - $2

  • Requirement: Required on National Forests, alongside a Class E, AAH, F, EE, LL, or H license.

Statewide Hunting/Trapping License (Class E) - $119

  • Features: Covers statewide hunting/trapping.

Apprentice Hunting/Trapping License (Class AAH) - $119

  • Features: Same as Class E, without the need for a hunter safety course.

Junior Sportsman Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XXJ) - $16

  • Age Group: Ages 8-17.
  • Included Privileges: Class I, UU, VV, and WW stamps.

Apprentice Junior Hunting/Trapping License (Class AAHJ) - $16

  • Features: Same as Class XXJ, for under 18; hunter safety course not required.

Bear Hunting License (Class EE) - $162

  • Purpose: Specifically for bear hunting.

Small Game Hunting License (Class H) - $27

  • Duration: Valid for six consecutive days.
  • Additional Requirement: Must have CS/LE stamp.

Antlerless Deer Hunting Stamp (Class NN) - $27

  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E, AAH, AAHJ, or XXJ license.

Additional Archery Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RRB) - $37

  • Requirement: For crossbow hunters for an additional deer.
  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E+UU, AAH+UU, AAHJ, or XXJ license.

Additional Firearms Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RRG) - $43

  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E, AAH, AAHJ, or XXJ license.

Additional Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RRM) - $37

  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E+VV, AAH+VV, AAHJ, or XXJ license.

Archery Deer Hunting Stamp (Class UU) - $32

  • Purpose: Required for Archery and Crossbow Seasons.
  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E or AAH license.

Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Stamp (Class VV) - $32

  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E or AAH license.

Turkey Hunting Stamp (Class WW) - $32

  • Accompanying Licenses: Must be paired with a Class E or AAH license.

Commercial Small Game Shooting Preserve License (Class J) - $10

  • Note: CS/LE stamp not required with this license.
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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.