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Can You Hunt on Sunday in West Virginia? Everything You Need to Know!

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hunter leaning on the post

Known as the “Wild and Wonderful,” West Virginia is home to abundant wildlife and is a haven for people who love indulging in outdoor activities. If you are a hunter, you may find West Virginia an oasis with many opportunities to hunt.

But is hunting allowed in West Virginia on Sunday? Yes, fortunately, the long-held prohibition of hunting on Sunday in West Virginia is a part of history now. So, if you want to experience this activity on the last day of the weekend, you can do so with ease.

This article explores more details on this issue. So, take a look!

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Why Was Hunting on Sunday Prohibited Anyways?

The ban on Sunday hunting was initiated as puritanical laws established in the 1800s in colonial America. The reason for this prohibition was to prevent the clash of a “day of rest” with activities such as trade.

When this restriction was first placed, other activities, such as tilling fields, drinking alcohol, and opening a store, were also banned on Sundays. That said, soon, merchants realized the negative outcome of this restriction, which persuaded them to challenge the laws in the 19th century. As a result, some bans started to be repealed.

The ban on hunting on Sunday also gradually led to an anti-hunting view. Since hunting is a significant part of America’s heritage, its ban slowly contributed to the loss of millions of dollars that conservation and wildlife programs make for the economy.

A ban also meant a reduction in recreational activities available on a Sunday, and that harmed the local economy by a significant margin.

Sunday hunting is an excellent opportunity to help young people indulge in this sport and learn the art to teach the next generation further. Also, it is imperative to maintain the number of hunters in America to keep the revenue flow consistent and to sustain wildlife conservation programs.

Unfortunately, many anti-hunting groups supported (and still do) the ban on this activity on Sunday. But the prohibition wasn’t here to last for a long time.

hunter walking in the wild
Image By: Piqsels

Sunday Hunting Is Now Allowed in West Virginia

In 2017, West Virginia was one of the few states that finally allowed Sunday hunting. But then, it was only allowed on private land after taking written permission from the landowner.

Luckily, in 2018, West Virginia decided to expand its Sunday hunting opportunities, allowing this activity on public land as well. The deal opened 1.5 million acres of land for people interested in enjoying this weekend’s activity.

One of the main reasons behind passing this bill was the pressure created by various grassroots campaigns against the Sunday hunting ban.

Advantages of Sunday Hunting in West Virginia

There are many advantages to the economy in lifting this ban.

Part of the Tourism Plan

Sunday hunting in West Virginia is a powerful push for the economy of the state. In addition, West Virginia’s location is pretty apt for hunters living in the US. For most people, the state is just within an 8-hour drive, and many hunters pass through this location to reach their hunting destinations.

The state must welcome people to enjoy hunting on the weekend, so they don’t cross West Virginia to go somewhere else for hunting. And that was only possible by lifting the Sunday hunting ban in this state.

Sunday hunting has helped hunters enjoy the amazing hunting opportunities that West Virginia provides. As a result, they are in a better position to use their resources to the fullest and simultaneously benefit the state’s economy.

coyote hunter scanning the site
Image By: CLP Media, Shutterstock

Opens the Public Land for Hunting

When the ban on Sunday hunting was lifted, it opened more than a million acres of natural forests, 380,000 acres of land covered by wildlife management areas, and 710,000 acres of state forests. These public lands provide vast opportunities to experience hunting at their best, which was all the hunters needed then and now.

Considering this fact, it was imperative to open the grounds for hunting on Sundays, and that’s what the legislation did. Today, you can experience hunting at its best on the weekends and enjoy this experience.

Is West Virginia a Good Place for Hunters?

Hunting is a significant part of the Appalachian culture, and that is why hunters in West Virginia find it a great place to enjoy this game. You can easily locate many world-class hunting points or destinations throughout the state, but a few such as Monroe, Ritchie, Jackson, and Mason counties are the most-visited ones.

These are a few of the perfect hunting regions in the state. First, that’s because they are close to water, where you can easily find a game to hunt. Secondly, these locations’ state forests provide acres of land for both small and big games.

The thriving population of animals such as whitetail deer, wild turkey, and black bear offers exciting challenges for hunters with shotguns, rifles, and bows. West Virginia also has an increased bird population, providing additional time for hunters in the woods to pursue grouse, dove, and squirrels.

All these factors make West Virginia an ideal location to experience hunting. However, you need to know a few requirements before making a weekend plan.

hunter shotgun aimin dawn dusk low light red dot sight
Image By: Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB, Shutterstock

Things to Know Before West Virginia Sunday Hunting Experience

Are you planning a getaway to the woods of West Virginia this weekend? If yes, make sure you know the best locations, regulations, and dates to experience this activity to the fullest.

Hunting Locations

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) has partnered with the Conservation Fund to acquire many acres of land. The properties are located in the west-central regions in West Virginia, mainly around Jackson, Ritchie, Calhoun, and Wirt counties.

Also, there are many state forests in the state, such as the Calvin Price State Forest, Panther State Forest, Coopers Rock State Forest, and Seneca State Forest, that offer many public hunting opportunities.

There are also some beautiful man-made hunting spots, such as the Mountain Meadow Hunting Preserve, a privately operated and owned preserve that provides opportunities for big game hunts. Similarly, the Land Baron Outfitters is one of the best hunting farms in West Virginia. It has turkey and whitetail deer hunts and occupies more than 236 acres of land.

It is imperative that the hunting location should choose the kind of hunting experience you may want to have. And so, make sure to know all the details of the area you are heading out to before making a plan.

a hunting rifle on a tripod
Image Credit: ddefillipo, Pixabay

Hunting Season Dates

West Virginia has set the season dates for various games you may want to hunt. For instance, hunting the wild boar with a gun is only allowed between October 23 and October 30, while if you use a crossbow, you can pursue the game between September 25 and December 31.

If you want to save yourself from embarrassment, it is essential to know the dates and tools you can use to hunt a game. Further, make sure that you have a valid license. Without proper permission from the WV Division of Natural Resources, you won’t be allowed to explore the state forests of West Virginia to enjoy this epic hunting destination.

Rules and Laws

Finally, if you don’t want to bear any fines, make sure to go through the general regulations on hunting in West Virginia. There are so many things considered illegal, such as 15-year-olds hunting on public land or enjoying this activity while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Similarly, no one is allowed to fish or hunt using a modified bow without a permit from the Director. It is not allowed to shoot an animal or a wild bird unless it is visible. It is also illegal to feed the beat at any time and shoot a bear or a deer while in water.

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Final Thoughts

West Virginia is a land of many hunting opportunities, courtesy of its state forests and acres of public and private lands to support this activity. In the 1800s, hunting on Sunday was banned in West Virginia, but the ban was finally properly lifted in 2018.

Now you are free to experience Sunday hunting in this state and enjoy the many locations it offers. Sunday hunting is a great opportunity for hunters to enjoy wildlife during the weekends and an excellent way to boost the state’s economy.

But before you plan hunting on a Sunday, make sure you are aware of the suitable locations and dates. Plus, go through all the regulations to avoid any fines.

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Featured Image Credit: Clint Patterson, Unsplash

About the Author Jeff Weishaupt

Jeff is a tech professional by day, writer, and amateur photographer by night. He's had the privilege of leading software teams for startups to the Fortune 100 over the past two decades. He currently works in the data privacy space. Jeff's amateur photography interests started in 2008 when he got his first DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel. Since then, he's taken tens of thousands of photos. His favorite handheld camera these days is his Google Pixel 6 XL. He loves taking photos of nature and his kids. In 2016, he bought his first drone, the Mavic Pro. Taking photos from the air is an amazing perspective, and he loves to take his drone while traveling.