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West Virginia hunting licenses are required of prospective hunters in order to participate in one of the most popular pastimes in the state. Residents and visitors who obtain the proper hunting credentials will be allowed to harvest game from approved state lands. To buy a hunting license in West Virginia, hunting license applicants must follow the procedures outlined in the paragraphs below. Though licensing standards are not generally stringent, they must nevertheless be followed correctly in order to avoid frequent trips to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Criteria set by the DNR include meeting the minimum age requirement, establishing proof of residential status (for in-state applicants) and following the education mandates. Not to mention, applicants are responsible for following the necessary application procedures and paying the appropriate fees. West Virginia hunting licenses can be acquired in a variety of ways, including online, in person and by telephone. Online applicants can enjoy the convenience of receiving their license to hunt immediately by printing it from their own computer. Getting a hunting license in person can also be a convenient process as DNR authorized license agents are located throughout the state at a number of retail locations close to where most applicants live or work. To learn more about each of these points, take a look at all of the sections below, which expand greatly on the aforementioned information:

  • Types of hunting licenses in West Virginia
  • How to buy hunting licenses in West Virginia
  • Hunter education in West Virginia
  • Replacing hunting licenses in West Virginia

What types of hunting licenses are available in West Virginia?

Several kinds of hunting licenses are available to both resident and non-resident hunters in West Virginia. Licenses range both in the length of their validity and in the age and residency of the applicants who can apply for them. If you intend to learn how to get hunting licenses in WV, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the licensing options that are available by taking a look at the list below:

  • Combination hunting and fishing licenses (for adults and juniors)
  • Senior lifetime hunting licenses
  • Small game licenses
  • Hunting tags for specific animal species in West Virginia
  • Hunting stamps required of all hunters and fishermen
  • Disabled veteran and prisoner of war licenses

How do I purchase hunting licenses in West Virginia?

Applicants who want to find out where to get hunting licenses in West Virginia will find that there are several avenues that are straightforward and convenient. To buy hunting licenses, the Division of Natural Resources offers three distinct application methods. While each application procedure features its own steps and requirements, they are all designed to be easy to complete. The three methods in which applicants can obtain a hunting license are online, in person and by mail.

If you have a valid credit card number, you can buy hunting licenses online. You must provide a number of personal details, such as your Social Security Number and your date of birth, in order to complete the application process.

Local licensing agents are located all throughout West Virginia. Chances are that there is a retail establishment near you that houses an authorized hunting license agent. They operate from major discount department stores, convenience stores, hardware shops and other places that are accessible to the majority of shoppers.

If you intend to apply for a disabled veteran license or another credential which features its own application form, you may fill out the document and mail it in to the address listed at the top of the form.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a West Virginia hunting license purchase?

Most new West Virginia hunting license applicants will be required to enroll in a hunter’s education class from the Division of Wildlife Resources. Any hunting permit applicant born on January 1, 1975 or afterwards is required to meet this education requirement. Applicants must furnish their certificate of completion in order to receive a license to hunt.

To ensure a smooth application process, mandated applicants should sign up for either an online or an in-person hunter education course. All classes and course materials are offered free of charge by the West Virginia DWR. The course is a thorough introduction to subject matter that is important for modern hunters to know. During the course, students will learn about topics such as firearm safety, hunter ethics and responsibility, first aid and survival, and much more.

Both the online and the traditional classroom hunter education courses take about 12 hours to complete. The classroom option is taught by experienced outdoorsmen who volunteer their time to ensure that these important hunter safety principles are followed by each student. Students 10 years of age and older have the option to take the hunter education course online. Online students must show proof of having passed the various quizzes and exams before scheduling an in-person field day. Upon successful completion of the final assessment, students will be issued a hunter education card.

How can I replace a West Virginia hunting license?

West Virginia hunting licenses that have been lost, stolen or damaged can be replaced with a duplicate license. Duplicate hunting licenses are available for purchase via the method in which the original license was obtained. For example, if you visited an authorized license agent to buy a license to hunt, then you will need to revisit that same location and ask the salesperson for a printout of your current hunting privileges. That form must then be taken to a West Virginia law enforcement district office, where a duplicate hunting license can be obtained for a nominal fee. Hunting license holders whose purchase was made via the online purchasing system may replace a hunting license document at no extra cost. Online applicants must simply log in to the website and reprint a copy of their hunting credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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