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Woodcock - USFWS.

Hunt Harvest Report Extension

Hunting is permitted on the refuge in accordance with State of West Virginia hunting regulations and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policies. There are open seasons for a wide variety of game species from September 1 through February 28, as well as a spring turkey season from March 1 to August 31.

Hunters must carry a current, signed Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge hunt permit, appropriate state hunting licenses, and a photo ID to hunt on the refuge.

It has been a condition of the refuge hunt permit for hunters to complete and turn in a hunt harvest report by June 15 each year. According to refuge policy, hunters failing to meet this deadline will be denied a refuge hunt permit for the following year. The June 15 deadline, however, has not been enforced consistently.

Letters were sent from the refuge this September informing hunters who had not submitted their hunt reports that they were ineligible to receive a refuge hunt permit for the 2014-2015 hunting seasons. There were approximately 1800 permit holders for the 2013-2014 season, and about half of those had not submitted hunt reports at the time notification letters were mailed.

Since mailing the letters, it has become clear that there is a need to improve the refuge’s administrative process for managing the process of collecting the hunt reports. We have received a large volume of calls and emails from hunters in response to the letters making these gaps evident.

With a goal of improving the process for next year, the refuge has extended the deadline to submit 2013-2014 hunt reports through midnight on October 24, 2014. Click here to download the hunt harvest report form.

Hunters will be notified of this extension by direct email or letter, and the information will be posted on our website and media.

We are committed to improve the efficiency of our hunt program’s permitting and reporting process to better serve hunters. We apologize for the confusion that has occurred this year.

To Obtain a Hunt Permit:

Submit your name, address, phone number, and e-mail (if you have one) by phone (304-866-3858, ext. 11), fax (304-866-3852) or e-mail ( Based on availability of staff refuge hunt permits may also be obtained at the refuge headquarters from 8:00 am-3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. No hunt permits will be issued on weekends. The office is not staffed on Federal holidays.   


Submitting your Harvest Report/Hunt Application:

  • If you have a current hunt permit and do not complete your Hunt Application /Harvest Report and turn it in by the due date of June 15, you will not be eligible to receive a permit for the next year. You will have to wait one year before being issued another permit.
  • If you do not hunt on the Refuge or do not harvest any game, the form still needs to be completed and returned. Please mail the form in an envelope, drop it off at the office, email or fax it to us.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Office at 304-866-3858.


Hunting is permitted in accordance with State, Federal and Refuge rules, laws and regulations from September 1 through February 28 and also during the spring turkey season. Except for spring turkey season, the refuge is closed to hunting from March 1 to August 31.

The following game species may be taken on Refuge lands during applicable seasons: white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, mourning dove, waterfowl, coot, rail, gallinule, snipe, woodcock, rabbit, hare, squirrel, red fox, grey fox, raccoon bobcat, woodchuck, coyote, opossum, and striped skunk. All other species of wildlife are protected. Hunters must carry a current, signed Canaan Valley NWR hunt permit, the appropriate State hunting license and a photo ID to hunt on the refuge.

Along with your hunt permit you will receive a copy of the refuge special regulations and a hunt information form. Please read and follow State, Federal and refuge rules, laws and regulations. Following your hunt, please complete and return the refuge hunt information form. The data will be used in planning future hunts. Return this information form to get a Refuge permit next year.

Dog training is prohibited except during legal hunting seasons.

West Virginia state hunting rules and regulations.

Refuge Hunt Plan and Environmental Assessment

Hunt Plan (pdf)

Hunt Environmental Assessment (pdf)

In response to a national lawsuit, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge revised its hunt plan and environmental assessment.

The Fund for Animals, a national animal rights organization, sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2003 alleging that the agency did not fully meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it opened national wildlife refuges to hunting between 1997 and 2003. The lawsuit affects migratory bird, upland game and big game hunt programs at 74 national wildlife refuges throughout the U.S. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in August. The court did not stop national wildlife refuge hunt programs and the Service worked to fulfill NEPA requirements for the hunts at issue by May 31, 2007. The Service also addressed similar deficiencies regarding the opening of hunts for 30 refuges opened to hunting since the lawsuit was filed and for seven 2006-2007 proposed refuge openings.

The revised hunt plan and environmental assessment for the hunt program at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge includes the Service’s analyses of the overall impacts of the hunts on resident wildlife, migratory species, threatened and endangered species, refuge facilities and visitor services, cultural resources, ecosystems, and neighboring lands. The Service also considered the cumulative impacts of past, present, and future hunts on wildlife species, refuge resources, and other wildlife-dependent refuge activities. Where appropriate, we assessed the cumulative environmental impacts at the local, regional, and migratory flyway levels.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2014
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