Small game hunting in West Virginia is scheduled to begin with the opening of the one-day youth squirrel season September 7, 2013, followed by the opening of the statewide squirrel season September 14, 2013.

“Squirrel season is very popular with many West Virginia sportsmen. It is a time when hunters can participate in one of their favorite sports and also enjoy the fall beauty of the Mountain State,” said Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

The ruffed grouse season opens October 12, 2013, and closes February 28, 2014. Grouse hunters should look for areas that provide ample cover and soft mast species such as grape, hawthorn and greenbrier. Most soft mast species appear to be above average in abundance this year. The daily bag limit for grouse is four.

Hunting season for raccoons opens October 12, 2013, at 6 p.m. and continues through February 28, 2014. Raccoon populations should be similar to previous years. Hunters and their hounds should have a very successful season after locating good food sources. Raccoon hunters are reminded that the daily bag limit is four.

Opening day of cottontail rabbit season is November 2, 2013. With the unusually wet summer, rabbit populations are expected to be higher with the increase of food and cover. Old fields and brushy pastures are the best habitat types in which to rabbit hunt. Snowshoe hare, bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, bobcat, red fox, and gray fox hunting seasons also open November 2, 2013. Hunters should be aware of daily bag and season possession limits for each species. Night hunting with lights for foxes will open January 1, 2014 and continue until February 28, 2014.

November 2, 2013, marks the opening of trapping season for furbearing animals in West Virginia. Populations of beaver, bobcat, fox, mink, otter and raccoon are good, and trappers should be very successful. Trappers are reminded to check season closing dates as they may vary for the different species.

For more complete information on season dates and bag limits, consult the 2013–2014 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations available at all hunting and fishing license agents, DNR district offices and the DNR website

Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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