Deer Hunting in West Virginia

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  • B
  • 650,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 275,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $29 and up

    Additional licenses and stamps required for different hunters, seasons, and weapons.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $151 and up

    Additional licenses and stamps required for different hunters, seasons, and weapons.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 188 7/8"

    Taken by Chad K. Scyphers in McDowell County in 2014.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 39

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 231 5/8"

    Taken by Charles McLaughlin in Wayne County in 1997.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 16

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Myran Copley with his big West Virginia buck. Photo courtesy of Myran Copley

Season Dates (2021):

Season dates were not available at the time of this writing. Please check the West Virginia DNR website to confirm season dates.

The Grade: B

West Virginia pulls in a B again this year. Though the state doesn’t compare to neighboring Ohio and Kentucky, there are good bucks here, along with an impressive amount of public land. There are numerous WMAs and state forests, as well as three national forests. Hunting success for whitetails is excellent in West Virginia and plenty of good bucks are taken each year. There are six management areas with a one-buck limit and a spread limit in place to help increase the number of older animals. Deer densities are promising, too. 

There is chronic wasting disease here, but it’s confined to the eastern corner of the state, which is well away from the bulk of the best deer hunting.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

A trophy-class animal could obviously turn up most anywhere on occasion, but the southwestern section of the state is best. Particular counties to consider are Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Wayne, and Wyoming (some of which have been archery-only for many years). This is challenging terrain, so don’t expect easy hunting. 

No private land to hunt? No worries. There is plenty of public land to hunt whitetails, and unlike other states, those grounds are evenly distributed here. Find a property to hunt by county. Or, use the interactive public land map for more detailed planning.

West Virginia Harvests

  • Clayton Hacker

    Jackson County, West Virginia

From the Realtree Trophy Den