The application period is now open for a limited number of permits for black bear hunting during traditional deer gun season in eight counties.
Hunters can hunt bear without dogs on public and private land in Cabell, Doddridge, Harrison, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Mineral and Wetzel counties Nov. 20 through Dec. 2.
The application deadline is midnight August 13. Hunters must apply for a limited bear firearms permit through the electronic licensing system at www.wvhunt.com.
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, 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.”
To apply, licensed hunters must log in to their account, click Enter Lottery, select 2017 Black Bear Hunt and select the desired county.
Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the first week of October, but can confirm their permit status online.
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 www.wvdnr.gov.