Beginning July 1, several changes went into effect concerning the state's fall hunting seasons for white-tailed deer, wild turkey and black bear.

"Great things are happening in the outdoors of West Virginia and these changes to our regulations are going to improve the experience for hunters and trappers," said Stephen McDaniel, state Division of Natural Resources director.

"Because there are numerous changes that will take effect during the turkey, bear and deer seasons, I want to encourage folks to carefully review these new regulations as they get ready for their fall hunting adventures."

The changes are outlined in the 2020-21 West Virginia hunting and trapping regulations, which can be downloaded at www.wvdnr.gov, with print copies also available at all West Virginia hunting and fishing license agents.

Major changes to regulations include the following:

• Leashed dogs may now be used to track and locate mortally wounded deer or bear.

• The youth squirrel season has been extended to include Sunday, Sept. 6.

• A special youth/Class Q/Class XS bear season will be open Oct. 17-18 on public and private lands in counties open to a firearms deer season. The use of dogs is prohibited during this season except to track a mortally wounded bear.

• Black bear, buck firearms and fall wild turkey seasons now include Sunday closing days.

• Antlerless deer season dates and open counties have changed.

• Fall wild turkey season dates and open counties have changed.

• Black bear season dates and open counties have changed.

• All adult deer harvested Nov. 23-24 in Hardy County are required to be taken to a designated CWD sampling station for carcass examination and sampling. See regulations summary for designated sampling station locations.

• Beginning Jan.1, hunting coyotes at night using artificial light or night vision technology, including image intensification, thermal imaging or active illumination, has been extended and is legal through Aug. 31, 2021.

• In addition to shotguns and crossbows, bows with arrows equipped with a point having at least two sharp-cutting edges measuring in excess of three-quarters of an inch wide are now legal during the youth spring gobbler season.

• The spring gobbler season has been extended an additional eight days and will close on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

• Bolts and arrows at least 16 inches long, including the insert and the nock, are legal for use with a crossbow.

• The limitation on the number of apprentice hunting and trapping licenses a person may purchase has been removed.

• A West Virginia resident child under 12 years of age who has been legally adopted is eligible for an infant lifetime license, provided that the license is purchased within two years of the adoption order or decree.

• It is illegal to bait or feed any wildlife on public lands at any time.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) district offices, the Elkins operation center, and South Charleston headquarters are currently closed to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, printed copies of the regulations are available for pick-up by appointment. To schedule an appointment, phone the District IV office, 2006 Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley, at 304-256-6947 (Wildlife Resources) or 304-256-6945 (Law Enforcement section).

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