Hunters are reminded that a concurrent bear season without dogs will occur from November 23 – December 5 on public and private land in 18 counties, according to Colin Carpenter, Black Bear Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Barbour, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Lewis, Mercer, Monroe, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, and Webster counties will be open for concurrent bear hunting during the traditional buck-gun season by permit only. 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 bear hunt on their own land.
“Counties that will be open for bear hunting during the buck-gun season are currently above their management objective and additional bears need to be harvested to achieve their goal,” said Carpenter. “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 third time that hunters in the majority of these counties will have the opportunity to harvest a black bear during the buck-gun season, and we hope they will take advantage of it.”
Hunters must apply for a limited bear firearms permit using the Electronic Licensing System at www.wvhunt.com. To apply, simply log into your account and click on “Enter Lottery” on your home screen and click “Enter” to the right of “Black Bear Hunt.” Then select the county you want to apply for during the hunt. As in the past, hunters may also select a secondary county in case they aren’t selected for their first location. Hunters without accounts can also create one at www.wvhunt.com. Hunters can also call their local DNR District office for help with the application process. The deadline for applications is midnight August 15, 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the first week of October. In addition, successful applicants can learn whether they received a permit starting August 18, 2015 by logging into their account. Neither the permit nor the class DS stamp is transferrable, and the county of hunt cannot be changed. Clay County has 100 permits available.
Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found on pages 36-39 of the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.