WV DNR News Release

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Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: November 21, 2019

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Media Contact: Andy Malinoski, 304-553-9305, [email protected]


Gary Foster, Wildlife Resources Section, (304) 637-0245, [email protected]

National forest and wildlife management area roads in West Virginia open to physically challenged hunters

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Numerous special hunter access roads will be open to Class Q/QQ physically challenged hunters on state-owned and National Forest Cooperative Wildlife Management Areas this fall.

“Thanks to our partnerships with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and the Monongahela National Forest, we’ve been able to provide some excellent hunting opportunities to physically challenged hunters,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the DNR Wildlife Resources Section. “We started this program about two decades ago and we’re very pleased with how it has expanded.”

Class Q (resident) and QQ (non-resident) hunting permits are issued by the DNR to applicants who are permanently disabled in their lower extremities, as certified by a licensed physician. Approved applicants will be issued a wallet-sized permit card.

This card must be presented in person at the appropriate National Forest or DNR district office to receive a letter of authorization and a gate key to use designated Class Q/QQ roads, which are kept closed and locked to ensure restricted access.

Class Q/QQ hunters must obey all National Forest and/or state WMA rules and all state hunting regulations while behind gates. No ATV/UTV use is permitted on National Forest lands or on state WMAs. All appropriate documentation, licenses, and stamps must be in the hunter’s possession while he or she is hunting. Nonresident hunters must have a National Forest Stamp (Class I) to hunt on U.S. Forest Service lands in West Virginia.

When hunting within a designated area, Class Q/QQ hunters may hunt from a stationary vehicle with the engine turned off, and the vehicle may not be parked on any public road or highway right-of-way. The permittee may be accompanied by one assistant at least 16 years of age inside the vehicle.

While these rules for the program have been in place for years, misunderstandings associated with them have led the DNR to modify them in 2018, according to Gary Foster, assistant chief of the DNR’s Game Management Unit.

“There’s been some confusion in the past as to whether the Class Q hunter’s assistant could hunt as long as they weren’t in the vehicle,” Foster said. “That depends on where you’re hunting, as different rules apply based on land ownership.”

Those assisting Class Q hunters on private lands or on state-owned WMAs may hunt provided they are more than 75 feet from the vehicle; however, hunters on National Forest lands must follow additional rules. The Class Q program on National Forest lands is authorized through a Special Land Use Permit granted to the DNR by the U.S. Forest Service.

“The U.S. Forest Service land use permit clearly states the Class Q permittee must have an assistant, that the assistant must be within sight of the permittee at all times, and that the assistant may not hunt at any time,” Foster said. “It is the hunter’s responsibility to know where they are hunting, who owns the land, and what rules and regulations apply before they go hunting.”

The U.S. Forest Service may levy penalties or fines for failure to return keys or for violating conditions of the Class Q/QQ permit. Keys are to be used only by the permittee, and keys cannot be copied or shared. If keys are lost or not returned, or if permit conditions are violated, the permittee may be assessed a fine by the Forest Service and may be denied a Class Q/QQ hunting permit in the future.

For more information about National Forest or state-owned WMA Class Q/QQ hunting opportunities, contact the appropriate U.S. Forest Service Ranger District or DNR District Office listed below. Information is also available via the DNR website, www.wvdnr.gov, and the DNR Hunting Map tool under the “Hunting” menu. Class Q/QQ roads appear in purple on maps generated by the GIS map tool.

Monongahela National Forest:
Cheat Ranger District, Parsons, WV (304-478-3251)
Godwin Road (Forest Road 933), Tucker County
Brushy Fork (Forest Road 973), Tucker County
Five Lick (Forest Road 153/153A), Randolph County

Potomac Ranger District, Petersburg, WV (304-257-4488)
Back Ridge (Forest Road 814), Pendleton County

Greenbrier Ranger District, Bartow, WV (304-456-3335)
Little Beech Mountain (Forest Road 385, 183B), Randolph County
Span Oak (Forest Road 224), Pocahontas County

Gauley Ranger District, Richwood, WV (304-846-2695)
Frosty Gap (Forest Road 731), Pocahontas County
Buckeye Branch (Forest Road 273), Webster County

Marlinton Ranger District, Marlinton, WV (304-799-4334)
Crooked Fork (Forest Road 251), Pocahontas County
Marlin Mountain (Forest Road 300), Pocahontas County

White Sulphur Springs Ranger District, White Sulphur Springs, WV (304-536-2144)
Panther Ridge (Forest Road 298), Greenbrier County
Bear Track (Forest Road 882), Greenbrier County

George Washington & Jefferson National Forests:

North River Ranger District, Harrisonburg, VA (540-432-0187)
Dry River Hollow (Forest Road 151H), Pendleton County

Class Q/QQ Roads on DNR Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs):

DNR District 1, Farmington, WV (304-825-6787)
Hillcrest WMA, Hancock County - 2,212 acres
Lewis Wetzel WMA, Wetzel County - 14,072 acres
Little Indian Creek WMA, Monongalia County - 1,083 acres

DNR District 2, Romney, WV (304-822-3551)
Sleepy Creek WMA, Morgan/Berkeley counties - 22,952 acres

DNR District 3, French Creek, WV (304-924-6211)
Burnsville Lake WMA, Braxton County - 12,579 acres
Elk River WMA, Braxton County - 18,396 acres
Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA, Lewis County - 18,289 acres

DNR District 4, Beckley, WV (304-256-6947)
Bluestone Lake WMA, Summers County - 17,744 acres
Beury Mountain WMA, Fayette County - 10,456 acres

DNR District 5, Alum Creek, WV (304-756-1023)
McClintic WMA, Mason County - 3,655 acres
Green Bottom WMA*, Cabell County - 1,097 acres
Beech Fork Lake WMA*, Cabell County - 7,531 acres

DNR District 6, Parkersburg, WV (304-420-4550)
Hughes River WMA, Ritchie County - 6,214 acres

*WMA has Class Q/QQ-accessible hunting area only - no gated road.