West Virginia’s muzzleloader deer hunting season opens Dec. 13, and hunters who want to harvest an additional deer are reminded to buy appropriate hunting stamps before the season starts.
Holly Morris, an assistant district wildlife biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, lauded the benefits of the muzzleloader season.
“The muzzleloader season offers a chance to pursue whitetails with a firearm when fewer hunters are hitting the woods compared to the traditional buck firearms season,” Morris said. “Also, there is an increased likelihood of hunting in the snow.”
During the muzzleloader season, hunters may harvest one deer on their base license and one additional deer if they purchase a Class RM or Class RRM stamp before the season starts.
"RM" is the stamp designated for residents, and "RRM" is the stamp designated for nonresidents. Non-resident hunters also need to purchase a muzzleloader deer hunting stamp.
Muzzleloader Deer Season Rules and Regulations
During the season, antlered deer are legal in all counties that have a buck firearms season, and deer of either sex are legal in all counties or parts thereof that have an antlerless season.
Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties are closed to all firearms deer hunting, including the muzzleloader deer season.
There are 10 counties or parts thereof that require hunters to take an antlerless deer within the county, which may be taken during any regular deer season open to antlerless deer hunting, before killing a second antlered deer within the county.
No more than three antlered bucks can be harvested during the regular deer seasons and the Mountaineer Heritage Season combined. All hunters afield during this week are required to wear 400 square inches of blaze orange.
Hunters cannot substitute a bow or crossbow for a muzzleloader; however, concurrent archery hunting is legal during the muzzleloader season and is subject to all archery deer hunting regulations. Concurrent waterfowl hunting is also legal.
For more information about the muzzleloader deer season and other hunting opportunities in West Virginia, hunters should read the 2021-22 West Virginia Hunting Regulations Summary, available at WVdnr.gov.