Night Hunting in West Virginia: Laws & Regulations

west virginia night hunting

In case you are not aware of the night hunting laws and regulations in West Virginia, we are here to help. 

Here’s a look at some of the most important points as stated by the Division of Natural Resources, West Virginia.

General Night Hunting Laws

What are the rules regarding the use of lights and night vision technology in West Virginia?

Artificial lights and night vision technology, including thermal imaging and image intensification, are allowed for hunting coyote, fox, skunk, raccoon, and opossum. In open season, coyotes and foxes can also be hunted by using color artificial lights. Note, the use of these technologies is illegal for locating, killing, and trapping other wild animals or birds. 

What firearms are approved/disapproved in West Virginia?

All hunting revolvers and pistols should have a minimum barrel length of 4 inches and are to be used only during the set hunting season. Hunting with a firearm larger than a .22 caliber between the period between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise is illegal. Hunting with a fully automatic firearm is also unlawful.

Other than that, hunters can’t use solid ball ammunition in a shotgun or shotshells larger than No. 2. Hunting deer, bear, or wild boar with a handgun that uses a straight-walled case less than 0.357 magnum is illegal. The use of a bottle-necked case less than 0.24 caliber or a muzzleloading pistol less than 0.38 caliber is also illegal for hunting these animals.

For coyote hunting at night, shotguns with No. 2 or smaller shots are legal. Other than that, rifles or handguns with a maximum of 0.22 caliber centerfire and 0.22 caliber rimfire are also allowed. All guns must be encased during transportation. 

For more details, you can check the listed handgun laws and regulations.

Can you hunt from a vehicle at night in West Virginia?

Hunting from a vehicle or any other form of land conveyance is illegal.

Coyote Hunting at Night

Can coyotes be hunted at night in West Virginia?

Yes. But hunting can only be done with a valid license. Satisfactory completion of the Hunter Education Course is required before a license is issued to a hunter. In case the course has not been completed, a hunter can apply for an Apprentice Hunting License.

What is the opening date for the Coyote hunting season in West Virginia?

Coyotes can be hunted all around the year. However, night hunting with night vision technology and artificial lights can be done between January 1 to July 31, 2021.

What are the daily bag limit and possession limits on coyotes?

There are no limits.

Are electronic calls legal for coyote hunting in West Virginia?

Yes.

Are there any regulations for possessing, or transporting dead coyotes, across state lines?

Shipping or transportation of raw furs, pelts, skins, carcasses, carcass parts outside the state boundaries can’t be done without attaching special shipping tags issued by DNR. Also, no animal carcasses can be dumped along any highway or public road.

Is using a drone allowed for hunting coyotes in West Virginia?

Using a drone or any other unmanned aircraft for hunting, trapping, or harassing a wild animal or a wild bird is illegal.

Deer Hunting at night

What are the timings for deer hunting in West Virginia?

The timings are between 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.

Is hunting deer with night vision or active illumination allowed?

No.

Conclusion

So even if you are a veteran hunter, it’s best to have a clear idea about the laws before starting your hunting trip.

In case you are looking for the best night hunting gear check out these details for making the best picks.

About Kim Goodwin

Kim Goodwin holds a Master's in thermal engineering from the University of Rhode Island. At Thermo Gears, she reviews most equipment that uses thermal imaging technologies.