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Limited bear firearms season permit applications available online

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for a limited number of permits for black bear hunting during the traditional deer gun season in eight counties. The application deadline is midnight Aug. 13.

Hunters with these permits will be allowed to hunt bear without dogs on public and private land in Cabell, Doddridge, Harrison, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Mineral and Wetzel counties, from Nov. 20 through Dec. 2, 2017. Resident landowners, their resident children or resident tenants who live on the land are not required to apply for a limited bear firearms season permit or purchase a class DS bear hunting stamp to hunt on their own land.

“Counties open for bear hunting during the buck-gun season are above their management objective and need additional bears harvested to achieve their goal,” said Colin Carpenter, DNR black bear project leader. “Timing is critical when setting bear hunting seasons, and the limited bear firearms season will occur when the maximum number of hunters are in the woods. This is the fifth year with expanded bear hunting opportunities during the buck-gun season, and we hope hunters will continue to take advantage of them.”

Hunters must apply for a limited bear firearms permit by using the Electronic Licensing System at To apply, licensed hunters must log in to their account and click on “Enter Lottery” on the home screen, select “2017 Black Bear Hunt” and select the desired county. Hunters also may call their local DNR district office for help with the application process.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the first week of October. Applicants can see if they received a permit, starting Sept. 1, by logging into their account. Neither the permit, nor the class DS stamp, is transferrable, and the county of hunt cannot be changed.

Hunters are also reminded that 31 counties in West Virginia do not require permits to hunt black bears during the buck-gun season. Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found in the 2017-2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available soon at license agents and online at


Permits Available
Cabell 100
Doddridge 100
Harrison 100
Lincoln 100
Marion 100
Marshall 100
Mineral 100
Wetzel 100
Total 800

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