Hunting in West Virginia

West Virginia Hunting at Glance

The state of West Virginia has a long and rich history when it comes to hunting. For many years, it has been home to some of the best hunting in the country and in recent years it has become a hotspot for hunting enthusiasts from all over the world.

There are a few things that make hunting in West Virginia so special. First, the state is home to a large number of game animals. This includes deer, elk, bear, turkey, and more. In addition, the state has a variety of terrain that makes it ideal for hunting. From the mountains to the valleys, there is something for everyone in West Virginia.

West Virginia ranks #9 in the nation for hunting license per capita and has a strong hunting culture with over 11.5% of the population classified as registered hunters.

Table of Contents

Hunters (Based on Hunting Licenses)
Population: 1,793,716
Hunters 206,277
Hunter % 11.50%
Hunters Rank 9
Land Types (Acres)
Acres % Rank
Total 15,415,700
Huntable Public 1,482,000 9.61% 22
Private Land 13,885,700 90.08% 25
Tribal Land 0 0.00% no tribal land

West Virginia ranks #25 for the percentage of private land vs total acres and number no tribal land in terms of acres of tribal land.

West Virginia Hunting Seasons & Requirements

For the most accurate information on West Virginia Hunting Seasons, along with the state’s requirements for tag and bag limits, it’s a good idea to check with the West Virginia DNR.  We’ve provided their contact information below, along with links to helpful resources, including licensing.

West Virginia DNR

324 Fourth Ave
South Charleston, WV 25303

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Popular Game to Hunt in West Virginia

The most popular big game to hunt in West Virginia are deer, bear, turkey, elk, and bighorn sheep. For small game hunters, turkey are a popular choice, as they are abundant in many areas of the state and provide excellent table fare.

Small Game Hunting in West Virginia

West Virginia is a mecca for small game hunters, with an abundance of squirrels, rabbits, grouse, pheasants, and quail. The state’s diverse landscape provides ample opportunity to bag these elusive creatures, and the challenge of tracking down these wily animals is part of the appeal. For those who are new to small game hunting, squirrels and rabbits are a good place to start. These animals are relatively easy to find and provide a good introduction to the sport. Grouse and pheasants are more challenging to hunt, but the reward is a delicious meal. Quail are considered the king of small game birds, and their complex flavor is well worth the effort required to track them down. No matter what your level of experience, small game hunting in West Virginia is sure to provide a fun and challenging adventure.

Big Game Hunting in West Virginia

Deer are by far the most popular big game to hunt in West Virginia. In fact, according to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, deer hunting accounts for about 90% of all big game hunting in the state. Bear, turkey, and elk are also popular animals to hunt, but they make up a small fraction of the total. Bighorn sheep are not commonly hunted in West Virginia. The reason for this is likely because there are only a few hundred bighorn sheep in the state, and they are mostly found in remote areas. For hunters looking for a more challenging hunt, bear and elk may be the better option. But for those who just want to enjoy a day in the woods with a good chance of success, deer hunting is the way to go in West Virginia.

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Where are the Best Areas to Hunt in West Virginia

West Virginia offers great hunting opportunities across the state, both on public and private land. We’ve included some of the best areas for public hunting below and as we have access we’ll be adding more private land too.

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Popular Public Hunting Land in West Virginia

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the most popular public hunting areas in the state are the Monongahela and George Washington national forests, as well as the Jefferson National Forest. These three forests offer a variety of game species, including white-tailed deer, black bear, turkey, and grouse. In addition, the Pisgah National Forest and the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park are also popular hunting areas. The Pisgah National Forest is home to a variety of game animals, including elk, deer, bear, and wild boar. The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is best known for its waterfowl hunting, but it also offers opportunities to hunt deer, squirrels, and rabbits.

1. Monongahela National Forest
2. George Washington National Forest
3. Jefferson National Forest
4. Pisgah National Forest
5. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Hunting Private Land in West Virginia

Since the majority of West Virginia is private land getting access for hunting can be very appealing. When you hunt private land, it’s not only less crowded, the animals also tend to be less skittish and this means you’ll have a better day out in the field.  Traditionally, accessing private land for hunting has been complicated and expensive.  You either needed to join a club, hire a guide, or start knocking on doors.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying this for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some options great below.

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Wing It - Access. Granted White

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