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When Licenses or Permits are not Required


Resident Landowners

Resident Landowners or their resident children or their resident parents or resident tenants of such land, may hunt or trap on their own land without a license during open seasons.

Resident landowner privileges apply to West Virginia residents who own land in West Virginia, their resident children and parents, or resident tenants. Resident tenants must permanently live on the land.

Disabled Veterans

Residents honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces receiving total permanent service connected disability benefits or former prisoners of war as determined by the Veterans Administration or resident disabled veterans who qualify under West Virginia Code 17A-10-8 and are exempted from payment of a motor vehicle registration fee by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, may hunt or trap without a license during open seasons. Such individuals shall carry on their person an identification card issued by the Director. Additional licenses required to hunt: Class N; Class RG, RM, or RB; Class A-1.

Ohio River

Ohio Residents who carry valid Ohio hunting licesnses may hunt waterfowl on the Ohio River and its embayments or tributaries to points identified by the Director or from the West Virginia banks of said river without obtaining West Virginia licenses, and West Viginia residents who carry valid West Virginia hunting licenses may hunt waterfowl on Ohio River embayments or tributaries to designated points in Ohio or from the river's banks in Ohio without obtaining Ohio licenses.

Ohio hunting laws apply to residents of Ohio and West Virginia while hunting or fishing from Ohio banks or in Ohio embayment areas. West Virginia hunting laws apply to residents of Ohio and West Virginia while hunting on the Ohio River proper or from West Virginia banks and embayment areas.

Age Exceptions

Residents who turned 65 years old before January 1, 2012 do not need a license to hunt or trap, but shall carry a WV driver's license or WV photo ID card issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Residents who have not reached their 15th birthday may hunt without a license but they must be accompanied by a licensed adult.

Active Duty Military

West Virginia residents on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces while on military leave, may hunt or trap in season without obtaining a license. Leave papers shall be carried while hunting or trapping.

Field Trial

Persons participating in field trials permitted by the Director shall not be required to have a hunting license.


Persons under 16 years of age do not need a federal migratory waterfowl stamp.

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2003 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources