News, Sports

Small game & trapping seasons run through the end of February, March

West Virginia hunters and trappers have until late February and March to close out various small game seasons.

Hunting and trapping seasons for red and gray fox, bobcat and raccoon will close on February 28. Trapping seasons for coyote, otter, mink and muskrat will also close on February 28.

The trapping season for beaver will remain open 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 are required to be checked in 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 West Virginia DNR district offices.

The WVDNR 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 WVDNR 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 are encouraged to contact their WVDNR district office in advance.

The WVDNR 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

photo courtesy of the West Virginia DNR