SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's 2012 archery seasons for deer and bear open on September 29, and the wild boar archery season opens on October 13. While the wild boar and traditional deer archery seasons remain about the same as last year, the bear archery season begins earlier and closes later. In addition to an earlier opening date, the bear archery season is now a split season that runs from September 29 through November 17 and December 3 through December 31.

"The state's expanding bear population can sustain additional archery hunting opportunities," said Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the Division of Natural Resources. "As a result, we have established an earlier opening date and added a new December segment to the season framework."

Hunters are reminded they need appropriate stamps if they wish to harvest additional deer during the archery season. One or two additional archery deer may be taken with Class RB (Resident) or Class RRB (Nonresident) stamps (one deer per stamp), depending on the county being hunted. (Check the 2012 - 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for details.) Hunters should also note that in 10 counties or portions thereof they must take an antlerless archery deer prior to harvesting a second antlered deer during the archery deer season. The additional archery stamps (Class RB and Class RRB) must be purchased prior to the September 29 season opening date.

Special regulations exist for the four archery-only deer hunting counties: Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming. In these counties, only two archery deer may be taken, one of which must be antlerless.

In all counties, legal resident landowners hunting on their own property and holders of Class DT (Life-threatening Conditions) licenses may use Class RB/RRB stamp privileges without stamp purchase.

In addition to a base license, bear hunters must purchase a Bear Damage Stamp (Class DS) to hunt bear in West Virginia. Two bear may be taken during the archery or the gun season (or one each in the archery and gun seasons) provided at least one bear is taken in Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Raleigh or Wyoming counties. Other than the Class DS stamp, no additional stamps are needed to harvest the second bear.

Wild boar hunting is for West Virginia residents only. One wild boar may be harvested per year (either during the archery or gun season). Only Boone, Logan, Raleigh and Wyoming counties are open to boar archery and firearm seasons.

For complete information, hunters should consult the 2012 - 2013 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary available at any WVDNR office, license agents, or by visiting the WVDNR website at   www.wvdnr.gov

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