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WVDNR announces starts of December deer, bear hunting seasons

West Virginia Press Association

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hunters will have several opportunities to target deer and bear in December with the next segments of West Virginia’s antlerless deer and bear firearms seasons set to open early in the month.

The next segment of West Virginia’s antlerless deer firearms season will be open Dec. 7-10 in the state’s 51 counties open to deer firearms season. The next segment of the bear firearms season will open Dec. 4 and run through the end of the year.

“December brings the thrilling opportunities of bear and deer hunting. Make the most of this time to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and create lasting memories in the heart of the great outdoors.” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion.

Hunters are reminded to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange when hunting in a county with an open deer firearms season. Hunters must also check big game at a license agent, by calling 1-844-WVcheck or online at WVhunt.com. For more information about these hunting seasons, open counties and regulations, hunters should consult the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available to download at WVdnr.gov/hunting-regulations.

Antlerless Deer Season
All antlerless deer taken during the season must be taken on a Class N or NN stamp or with a Class DT license. Landowners hunting on their own property do not have to purchase a Class N or NN stamp. Only one antlerless deer may be taken on each stamp. For bag limits by county, hunters should consult the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

A final segment of the antlerless deer season will be open Dec. 28–31.

Bear Firearms Season
All or a portion of 26 counties will be open for bear hunting with or without dogs and all or parts of 35 counties will be open for bear hunting without dogs Dec. 4-31. For a complete list of these counties and portions thereof, check page 39-40 of the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

All bear hunters are required to have a Class DS stamp. Hunters who harvest a bear are required to submit a premolar tooth from each bear. Hunters who harvest a female black bear are encouraged to save and submit the complete reproductive tract to the WVDNR for a $20 gift card. The WVDNR uses data obtained from tooth samples and reproductive tracts to monitor the black bear population.

For instructions on how to submit a bear tooth, check page 37 in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available to download at WVdnr.gov/hunting-regulations.

Other December Hunting Opportunities in West Virginia
West Virginia’s week-long deer muzzleloader season is also set to open on Dec. 11 in the 51 counties open to the buck firearms season. Two deer may be taken during the season and hunters who purchase a Class RM or RRM stamp or a Class DR license may take one additional deer. For more information about the deer muzzleloader season, hunters should consult page 30 in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

To participate in these seasons, hunters are reminded to purchase their stamps to go along with an appropriate hunting license. Hunting licenses and stamps may be purchased at license agents around the state or online at WVhunt.com.

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