Edited from a Press Release
WVDNR Law Enforcement reminds hunters to obey laws and hunt safely

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the deer firearms seasons beginning Nov. 20, the Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reminds everyone to take precaution and be aware of laws regarding safety and lands open to hunting.


Any person who hunts on public or private lands is required to wear a daylight fluorescent orange, or “blaze orange,” outer garment that is at least 400 square inches and visible from front and back. This color allows hunters to be easily seen by other hunters.


“A vest is generally enough to meet the requirement, but camouflage backpacks and other equipment may minimize the visibility of your blaze orange vest,” said Jason Hudson, Natural Resources Police Officer with the District 4 office in Beckley. “We also recommend that hunters use blaze orange on their heads and hands since those are parts of the body that are generally seen first while hunting.”


Hunters should also be aware of their surroundings. The most common hunting incidents are caused by hunters making judgment mistakes. To help avoid hunting incidents, every hunter should follow these basic rules: Treat every gun as if it is loaded, never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you do not intend to shoot, keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot, and be sure to identify the target and know what is in front of it and beyond it before pulling the trigger.


It is unlawful for any person to shoot, hunt, fish or trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted lands of another person without written permission in his or her possession from the owner, tenant or agent of the owner. The owner, lessee or other person entitled to possession of unenclosed lands may have erected and maintained signs or placards legibly printed, easily discernible, conspicuously posted and reasonably spaced or, alternatively, may mark the posted land as set forth in 61-3B-1 of the code, to indicate the territory in which hunting, trapping or fishing is prohibited.


Beginning in 2016, property owners have the option of posting boundaries, as set forth in State Code 61-3B-1. These postings should have a clearly visible purple painted marking, consisting of one vertical line no less than eight inches in length and two inches in width, and the bottom of the mark not less than three nor more than six feet from the ground or normal water surface. Such marks may be affixed to immovable, permanent objects that are no more than 100 feet apart and readily visible to any person approaching the property.


Being safe and responsible hunters allows one to share and enjoy the great outdoors without any incidents during the hunting seasons. The Division of Natural Resources also wishes the hunters of West Virginia a safe and successful season.