SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials at the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources are reminding hunters and trappers that West Virginia's 2023 furbearer trapping and small-game hunting seasons will end in February and March.
Hunting and trapping seasons for red and gray foxes, bobcats, and raccoons will close on Feb. 28. Trapping seasons for coyote, otter, mink, and muskrat will also close on Feb. 28, though the trapping season for beaver will remain until March 31.
Beaver trappers are reminded that during the month of March, traps must be placed in the water. Trappers should be aware that it is illegal to set traps or leave traps after noon on the last day of the respective season.
All beaver, bobcat, otter, and fisher pelts must be checked electronically within 30 days of the close of their respective seasons. Trappers, hunters and fur dealers are reminded that furs shipped out of West Virginia must have a fur shipping tag, which is available at W.Va. DNR district offices.
The W.Va. DNR also is reminding bobcat hunters and trappers, and otter trappers to obtain a plastic Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species seal for each bobcat and otter pelt they plan to sell out of state.
All bobcat and otter pelts sold by licensed fur dealers must have a CITES seal from the state where the animal was harvested before being sold on the international market. CITES seals are only available at division district offices and must be attached to the pelt by a wildlife biologist.
To ensure personnel authorized to seal pelts will be available, hunters and trappers must contact their division district office in advance.
The W.Va. DNR also is reminding landowners to make plans to deal with nuisance muskrats and beavers before the trapping season ends. Trappers may be more likely to assist landowners while their gear is in working order and pelts are prime.
To learn more about small game hunting and trapping in West Virginia or to purchase a license, visit WVDNR.gov.