Say Hello to the legalization of crossbow hunting in West Virginia. This measure was allowed by new legislative action earlier this year. House Bill number 2515 cleared the way to reintroduce elk into West Virginia and also contained the legalization of crossbow hunting as an amendment. These two measures were combined during negotiations in the House and Senate. The new legislation makes crossbow hunting legal during the big game firearms hunting seasons. It also requires the Natural Resources Commission to establish a dedicated hunting season in West Virginia for crossbows.
During the meeting, commission members approved legislation that would allow the crossbow season to start on the first day of the archery season and run all the way until the end of the year. This starts in the fall of 2015.
This legislation does not require any type of crossbow license. Any hunters that choose to use a crossbow should only need whatever license is required for bow hunting. With that, they will be fully compliant with the new legislation. For a long time, crossbow hunting was not legal in West Virginia, with the exception provided for handicapped hunters just a few years ago.
The only places in West Virginia that crossbow hunting will not be legal are the counties of Mingo, Logan, McDowell, and Wyoming. Commissioners also fought to keep the hunting restriction in these four coal field counties to just bow and arrow, just as it has been for many years. Crossbows will continue to be illegal in those counties.
Here is an excerpt from the fact sheet available at http://www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/PDFFiles/Crossbow_Fact_Sheet.pdf
“Facts Sheet — Crossbow Hunting in West Virginia
The West Virginia State Legislature took action earlier this year to legalize the use of crossbows during big game firearms seasons. They also instructed the Division of Natural Resources to establish a separate crossbow hunting season and identify those game species that could be hunted during this crossbow season. The following points are provided for your information and should serve to clarify the new crossbow hunting opportunities available during the fall 2015 hunting seasons.”
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