West Virginia

Last updated July 2020

Link to state website


WVDNR – Wildlife Resources Section
Environmental Coordination Program
PO Box 67
738 Ward Road
Elkins, WV  26241
Phone: 304/637-0245 ext. 2048

Is a state permit needed for banding?

Yes. The statutory definitions pertaining to wildlife and permits state, “Take” means to hunt, shoot, pursue, lure, kill, destroy, catch, capture, keep in captivity, gig, spear, trap, ensnare, wound or injure any wildlife, or attempt to do so. ”

Permit application forms

  • Application Form
  • Renewal – same form
  • Threatened and Endangered – same form
  • Salvage – same form

State lands

Public land managers may require a collecting permit in addition to the Scientific Collecting Permit.  Additional permits are required for state parks, state forests, state rail-trails, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and national parks/rivers/recreation areas if working on those lands.

Prior notice

Check permit conditions. Even if not expressly required to do so, you should always contact the manager of that particular state land unit or with the owner of private land before your arrival. You want to be aware of the hunting seasons, and, of course want to be sure that your activities will not interfere with the activities of that park, wildlife management area, or other state land unit, and that your activities will not adversely affect public use of the land or with the activities of private landowners.


West Virginia Code. Chapter 20 Natural Resources.

§20-2-50. Permit to hunt, kill, etc., wildlife for scientific or propagation purposes.

The director may issue a permit to a person to hunt, kill, take, capture or maintain in captivity wildlife exclusively for scientific purposes, but not for any commercial purposes. Any person desiring to collect or procure any wildlife, including any body tissue, organ or other portion thereof, eggs, nesting materials or other materials from the habitat of such wildlife shall be required to make application to the director for a scientific collecting permit. The director shall promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the issuance of the permits. A permit may be issued only upon written application to the director setting forth at least:

(1) The number and kind of wildlife to be taken;

(2) The purpose and manner of taking;

(3) The name, residence, profession and educational or scientific affiliation of the person applying for the permit; and

(4) The geographic location where the collection or procurement is planned to take place.

A fee, to be set at the discretion of the director, shall accompany the application. No permit may be issued for the purpose of killing deer and bear.

West Virginia Code of State Rules


Sec. 58-42-1.  General

1.1.  Scope and Purpose.  —  This legislative rule establishes procedures and requirements for the application and issuance of scientific collecting permits.

1.2.  Authority.  —  W. Va. Code Sec. 20-1-7(30) and 20-2-50.

1.3.  Filing Date.  —  March 27, 2008.

1.4.  Effective Date.  —  March 27, 2008.

Sec. 58-42-2. Definitions

2.1.  “Director” means the Director of the Division of Natural Resources.

2.2.  “Division”  means the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

2.3.  All other terms have the meaning prescribed in W.Va. Code  Sec. 20-1-2.

Sec. 58-42-3. Application

3.1.  An applicant for a wildlife scientific collecting permit shall submit an application to the Director or his or her designated representative on the forms prescribed by the Director.

3.2.  The application form shall contain the following information:

3.2.1.  The name, address and telephone number of the applicant;

3.2.2.  The applicant’s institutional affiliation, if any;

3.2.3.  The applicant’s profession;

3.2.4.  The specific manner of collection, collection dates and collection locations;

3.2.5.  The  purpose for which specimens are to be collected;

3.2.6.  The disposition of collected specimens; and

3.2.7.  A listing of the species and numbers of species to be collected.

Sec. 58-42-4. Conditions of Issuance, Denial, and Revocation

4.1.  The Director shall determine if an applicant possess the appropriate educational and professional experience to collect and handle wildlife designated on the permit.

4.2.  The Director shall not issue permits for the purpose of killing deer or bear.

4.3.  The Director may place restrictive provisions on the permit to minimize the unnecessary loss of the State’s wildlife.  These restrictions may include:

4.3.1.  Limitations on species and/or the number to be taken;

4.3.2.  Limitations on the manner and/or equipment used to take wildlife; and

4.3.3.  Limitations on the locations and/or time of year of collections;

4.4.  The Director may deny a permit based on:

4.4.1.  Inappropriate conduct of the applicant, including but not limited to, past
or current violations of federal or state wildlife laws or rules or regulations;

4.4.2.  Past noncompliance of the applicant with permit provisions; and

4.4.3.  The current population status of wildlife to be collected, such as federally threatened or endangered species, or  other conditions which necessitate a ban or limitation of any taking.

4.5.  The Director may revoke any permit for the following reasons:

4.5.1.  A permittee’s non-compliance with permit provisions;

4.5.2.  Violation of state or federal laws or rules or regulations by the permittee; or

4.5.3.  For good cause.

4.6.  The permittee shall contact the Division – Law Enforcement Section prior to initiating the taking of wildlife within the time period shown on the permit if notice is  required as a condition of the permit.

4.7.  The permittee   shall contact the Division – Wildlife Resources personnel within the time period shown on the permit, if contact is  required as a condition of the permit.

4.7.1.  The permittee shall notify the Division – Wildlife Resources Section contact listed on the permit within twenty-four (24) hours of the occurrence of any unexplained deaths occurring in wildlife captured or held under his or her  permit.

4.7.2.  The permittee shall notify the Division of Natural Resources – Wildlife Resources Section contact listed on the permit within twenty-four (24) hours of the occurrence of any diseased wildlife captured or held under his or her  permit.

Sec. 58-42-5.  Permit Length

5.1.  The Director shall determine the length of the permit, but may not issue a permit
which extends beyond the end of the calendar year.

Sec. 58-42-6.  Record Keeping and Reporting

6.1.  The permittee shall submit a report on forms prescribed by the Director to the Wildlife Resources Section  no later than forty-five (45) days after the termination date of the permit.

Sec. 58-42-7.  Penalties

7.1.  Any person who fails to obtain a scientific wildlife collecting permit or to comply with any of the provisions of the permit is subject to the penalties as prescribed in W. Va. Code §20-7-9.

Sec. 58-42-8.  Fees

8.1  The annual fees for scientific collecting permits are as follows:

8.1.1.  Consultants – $200.00;

8.1.2.  Out-of-state academics or students – $25.00;

8.1.3.  In-state academics or students – No fee;

8.1.4.  Falconers – $25.00; and

8.1.5.  State agencies (in- or out-of-state), federal government, non-profit groups – No fee

8.2.  Fees shall accompany the application.

West Virginia state endangered species law

The state of West Virginia does not have a state endangered species statute, regulation, or state-listed species.