West Virginia has no minimum hunting age (excepting deer hunting). Instead, there is a complex set of hunting regulations, which vary according to the type of game and the age of the hunter.
Hunting Rules for Youth in West Virginia
The minimum hunting age for deer hunting in West Virginia is eight. Deer hunters age eight to 14 must be accompanied by an adult that is age 21 or over and has a hunting license. Plus, the adult chaperone must not be carrying a gun while supervising the youth, and the adult must also wear blaze orange clothing (at least 400 square inches of cloth.)
While there is no minimum requirement to hunt small game, all youth under age 15 must be accompanied by an adult with a valid hunting license who is not carrying a gun. Adult chaperones need to stay close enough by the youth to give advice and assistance if necessary.
The state also has specific rules about where children may hunt. No child under age of 15 can hunt on public land or another party’s private land unless accompanied by an adult. For those shooting on private hunting grounds, refer to the laws governing accident liability on private land.
Youth Hunting Licenses in West Virginia
Below are the licensing requirements set forth by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
- West Virginian children under the age 14 and younger can hunt without a license.
- If the youth is a resident age 15 to 17, he or she must obtain a Junior Sportsman Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XJ).
- Nonresident youth seven and under do not require a license, but those ages eight to 17 must have a Junior Sportsman Hunting/Trapping/Fishing License (Class XXJ) and a Conservation/Law Enforcement Stamp (Class CS/LE).
Hunting Accident Liability Attorney
Hunting accidents can happen for a number of reasons. When youth are hunting, it is important to have a fully trained adult with them to ensure that the number of accidents is reduced. As the child gets more experience it is important that they learn how to hunt in a safe manner.
If you or your child has been injured in a hunting accident in West Virginia, you are welcomed to call The Miley Legal Group for help. We can review the situation and determine is there is an at-fault party than can be held responsible for your damages. Contact our office today for a free legal consultation at 304-931-4088.