W.Va. hunting-fishing license contest begins Sunday

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Young hunter in the field in West Virginia
Young hunter in the field in West Virginia. Courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce

West Virginians may now purchase their 2020 hunting and fishing licenses earlier than ever before and will also be entered to win a drawing for prizes, Governor Jim Justice announced this morning.

Beginning Sunday, anyone who purchases a Sportsman or Junior Sportsman license will automatically be entered to win a free lifetime license or a vacation getaway at a West Virginia state park.

“As a lifelong hunter and fisherman myself, I know there is no better place in the world to enjoy the wonders of nature than right here in Almost Heaven West Virginia,” Justice said.

“This is truly a special opportunity for all West Virginians and I hope everyone who loves hunting and fishing in our great state takes a shot at winning this great prize.”

Historically, hunting and fishing licenses weren’t available until later in the year, but sales will begin early this year to allow for holiday gift purchases and early renewals.

Stephen McDaniel, director of the state Division of Natural Resources, said he hopes the program boosts licensure and participation in the sports.

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“We’re excited to offer this prize drawing, and we hope it reminds West Virginians to renew their licenses and encourages new outdoor enthusiasts to get a license,” McDaniel said.

“If you haven’t hunted or fished in a few years or know someone who would enjoy it, this is a great opportunity to get back in the game or to help them get started on their outdoor adventure.”

Prizes include a Lifetime Sportsman Hunting, Trapping and Fishing License (Class AB-L), four overnight stays at West Virginia State Parks, and eight gift bags filled with hunting and fishing gear. Winners will be announced in mid-January.

Licenses go on sale this Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. Those who purchase a Sportsman Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping (Class X; Class XJ for ages 15-17) license before January 1, 2020, either online at or through a licensed retailer, will be automatically entered to win.

The prize-drawing is sponsored by the division and the West Virginia Tourism Office.

To view prize descriptions, learn how to purchase a license as a gift, or see complete contest rules, visit .

Gov. Justice and the division remind West Virginians to follow all and to always practice safety when engaging in outdoor activities.


Death by Hunter: a buck considers the approach of winter

A white-tailed buck forages during winter in the eastern woodlands.

Author L.W. Oakley here considers the thoughts of a buck in the wilds of eastern North America as the hunt and winter ensue: Another long winter lay just ahead. Daylight was now longer coming and sooner leaving. The warmth of the sun did not soothe his body or calm his mind, even though the cold of the night kept him restless, on the move, wandering constantly...

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