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Hunting

Woodcock - USFWS.

To Obtain a Hunt Permit:

Obtain a hunt permit/brochure at a kiosk location listed below. Fill out the personal information completely in the white block on the front of the hunt permit/brochure. The information should match your photo ID and WV Hunting License.

Be sure to SIGN the hunt permit/brochure,stating that you have read the Refuge regulations.

Carry the hunt permit/brochure on your person at all times while hunting. The entire brochure can be carried or you may cut out and carry the white block with the personal information.

The hunt permit/brochure will be available at all kiosks throughout the Refuge as well as the Visitor Center, or you can download a copy here.

Kiosk locations:

  • Refuge Visitor Center
  • Parking lot at Boardwalk on Freeland Road
  • Parking lot at upper end of Idleman’s Run Trail
  • Parking lot at Beall Trails
  • Parking lot at Camp 70 Loop/Brown Mountain Trail
  • A-Frame Road at Overlook
  • A-Frame Road at Middle Valley Trail
  • Parking lot at A-Frame Road termination

Hunters must obtain and carry a signed CVNWR hunt permit/brochure, the appropriate West Virginia State Hunting License, and a photo ID while hunting on CVNWR.  Hunting on the Refuge is permitted in accordance with state and refuge regulations from September 1 through February 28 and also for turkey during the spring turkey season.

Filing a Harvest Report (Note: The printed Harvest Report for the 2015-2016 Season must still be submitted to the CVNWR offices.)

It is important that, when you check your game with the State of West Virginia Electronic Game Checking System at www.wvhunt.com or by phone, you be sure to indicate that the game was taken on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This requires the following steps using the appropriate data:

    WV DNR Harvest Report Screen (full size)  

Complying with this reporting procedure will eliminate the need to turn in a hunt harvest report form.  Hunters DO NOT need to turn in a hunt harvest report form by June 15 of the accompanying year in order to obtain a hunt permit/brochure for the following year. Biological data will be obtained through the above process.


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.

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: Sep 21, 2016
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