Hunting in the snow at Canaan NWR

For generations, hunters have returned to Canaan Valley to pursue the abundant and varied game in an area known for its beautiful scenery. Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge is committed to continuing that long and varied hunting tradition. Located in the highest-elevation valley east of the Rockies and the largest wetland complex in West Virginia, the refuge offers a huge expanse of land for hunters to pursue white-tailed deer, bear, turkey, squirrel, grouse, waterfowl, woodcock, fox, raccoon, bobcat, cottontail and snowshoe hare. The hunting season follows state schedules from September through the end of February (with a spring turkey season). The October archery deer hunt is most popular, but perhaps the best hunting on the refuge is for woodcock. The refuge is big enough that hunters don't feel crowded.

To Obtain a Hunt Permit:

The hunt permit/brochure will be available at all kiosk locations throughout the Refuge. You may also download a copy of the 2023-2024 Hunt Permit/Brochure here.  

Canaan Valley NWR hunt map can be downloaded and used with other applications.  Download the hunt map here.  You will still need to carry a hunt permit while hunting.  

Obtain a hunt permit/brochure and 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.  

Kiosk locations:
  • Refuge Visitor Center
  • Parking lot at upper end of Idlemans 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.

West Virginia state hunting rules and regulations.

Filing Out a Harvest Report

It is important that, when you check your game with the State of West Virginia Electronic Game Checking System at or by phone, you be sure to indicate that the game was taken on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

To Reserve an Accessible Hunt Blind

There are two accessible hunt blinds on the refuge available to hunters who have a Class Q or QQ hunting license.  To reserve a hunt blind, download the Hunt Blind Permit here and email it to along with a copy of your Q/QQ license.  You may also stop by the refuge's visitor center and fill out the permit there .  Here are some general conditions that apply to reserve a hunt blind:

  • It is first come first serve.
  • The refuge will not be taking reservations on Saturday or Sunday due to the lack of staff.
  • Reservations can be made for back to back days but no more than twice a month.  Only one reservation per week.
  • Hunters may have an assistant with them but that person is not allowed to hunt.
  • No more than one vehicle is allowed at the hunt blind.

Those hunters with permanent and irreversible respiratory, cardiovascular, and/or lower extremity use limitations may be eligible for a Class Q/QQ special use permit through the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.  Applications must be certified by a licensed physician to be considered for approval by the agency. Application forms for the Class Q/QQ permit are available at all WVDNR offices or on the online WVDNR licensing and game check system.

To find your nearest Class Q/QQ hunting opportunity, contact your local WVDNR district office by telephone or use the DNR’s onlinehunting map tool. Designated Class Q/QQ roads on public lands are shown in purple on the map.