West Virginia Deer Hunting Season 2023-2024

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White-tailed deer are the most prized big game species found in West Virginia. Each year, over 200 000 resident and non-resident hunters head into the mountainous woodlands to hunt for the densely populated white-tailed deer. Hunters are spoilt for choice, as they can find white-tailed deer in every habitat in the mountainous state.

Before heading out to harvest your share of white-tailed deer, it’s best to double-check the state’s seasonal dates and regulations. Thankfully, we’ve listed everything you’ll need to know, so you can have a successful West Virginia white-tailed deer season.

Season Dates 2023-2024 

West Virginia provides hunters with four (4) deer seasons; Muzzleloader, Archery and Crossbow, Firear, and Mountaineer Heritage Season (primitive weapon). In addition, hunters between the ages of eight (8) to fourteen (14) are permitted to hunt antlerless deer over two weekends in the season.

SeasonDates (start-to-end)
Archery and CrossbowSeptember 30th – December 31st
MuzzleloaderDecember 11th – December 17th 
Firearm (antlerless)October 26th – October 29th
November 20th – December 3rd 
December 7th – December 10th 
December 28th – December 31st
Firearm (buck only)November 20th – December 3rd
Mountaineer Heritage Season (primitive weapon)January 11th – January 14th 
Youth October 21st – October 22nd December 26th – December 27th

License Cost

Residents under the age of fifteen (15) years old are permitted to hunt deer without a license; however, they must be accompanied by a licensed adult that is in a position near enough to render advice and assistance.

West Virginia resident landowners may harvest deer on their land without obtaining a hunting license. A resident landowner without a license may only take the same number of deer as a registered hunter. 

Antlerless Deer license (Class N)$10
Class RG (buck only)$21
Resident Big Game Stamp (Class BG)* Required of Class A and AH license holders to hunt deer during archery, muzzleloader, and crossbow season$10
Hunting and Trapping (Class A)$19
Apprentice Hunting and Trapping License (Class AH)$19
Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping (Class X)$35
Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping 3-year (Class X3)$105
Junior Sportsman Hunting/Fishing/Trapping (Class XJ)* For ages 15 through 17$16
Conservation Stamp (Class CS)*Required for all licensed hunters and anglers$5
Conservation/Law Enforcement Stamp (Class CS/LE)*Required for all licensed hunters and anglers$13
Non-resident Statewide Hunting /Trapping License (Class E)$119
Non-resident Archery Deer Hunting Stamp (Class UU)$32
Non-resident Muzzle-loading Deer Hunting Stamp (Class VV) $32
Non-resident Antlerless Deer Hunting Stamp (Class NN)$27
Non-resident Muzzleloading Additional Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RRM) $37
Non-resident Archery Additional Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RRB) $37
Non-resident Firearms Additional Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RRG)$43
Additional Archery Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RB)$21
Additional Firearms Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RG)$21
Additional Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Stamp (Class RM)$16

Any hunter over fourteen (14) years old must purchase a conservation stamp with their hunting license and deer stamps. Hunters can subsequently buy lifetime hunting and trapping licenses online from WVDNR

In addition, any person who intends to hunt deer on public or state-owned land during the designated firearm or muzzleloader hunting season shall wear a daylight fluorescent orange outer garment over at least 400 square inches of their person.

Bag Limits and Hunting Hours

Deer hunters in West Virginia can harvest two (2) white-tailed deer per day; only one (1) of the white-tailed deer may be antlerless. Hunters may purchase additional deer stamps. However, they are restricted to harvesting three (3) antlered bucks annually and may only harvest one (1) antlerless deer across all seasons.

Deer SeasonResidentNon-resident
Archery One (1) antlered deer One (1) antlered deer
CrossbowOne (1) antlered deerOne (1) antlered deer
Buck FirearmOne (1) antlered deerOne (1) antlered deer
MuzzleloaderOne (1) antlered deerOne (1) antlered deer
MountaineerOne (1) antlered deerOne (1) antlered deer
Antlerless deer seasonOne (1) antlerless deerOne (1) antlerless deer

Hunters are only allowed to hunt deer one half-hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Using any bait or feeding any wildlife on any public land is illegal. 

What Weapons can you Hunt Deer with in West Virginia?

  • Archery- Bow & Arrow
  • Muzzleloading rifles
  • Rifles
  • Handguns 
  • Shotguns
  • Crossbows


ShotgunNo person may hunt deer with a shotgun using ammunition loaded with more than one solid ball.
HandgunMust be a minimum of .357 magnum cartridge or larger or a bottle-necked case of less than .24 caliber.
RifleMust use rimfire ammunition .25 caliber or larger.
ProhibitedAny automatic rifle, shotgun, or handgun

Bow and Arrow:

ArrowsArrows must be a minimum of 16 inches in length.
BroadheadsBroadheads must have two sharp-cutting edges, measuring 3/4 inches in width.
Bow characteristicsMinimum draw weight for hunting deer is 40 lbs. 


Crossbow draw weightCrossbow must have a minimum pull of 125 lbs, a working mechanical safety.
Arrows/ boltsBolts and arrows must have a minimum length of 16 inches.
BroadheadsBroadheads must be sharpened and have at least two sharp-cutting edges at least 3/4 inch in width.

Muzzleloading Rifle:

Powderblack powder or black powder substitute only.
CaliberA Muzzleloading shotgun or rifle used to hunt deer must be .38 caliber or larger. 
Legal projectileMust be a single-shot muzzleloader, where a single projectile can be loaded from the muzzle are permitted.
IgnitionIgnition can be wheel-lock, matchlock, flintlock, and in-line ignition systems using percussion caps. 
AmmunitionSingle projectile, including round ball or maxi ball type projectiles. 

What Types of Deer are Popular to Hunt in West Virginia?

The mountainous woodlands of West Virginia are home to white-tailed deer, which you can find across the state. White-tailed deer are the most common species scattered throughout the US and will often stomp their feet or make grunting sounds to communicate with each other.

What else is Popular to Hunt in West Virginia?

White-tailed deer are the most targeted big game species in West Virginia. However, the state offers a wide variety of big and small game for hunters to target throughout the year. Popular species of game include:

  • Black bear
  • Wild Turkey
  • Wild boar
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Squirrel
  • Ruffed grouse
  • Fox 
  • Cotton-tailed rabbit
  • Bob-white quail 

Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

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