Crossbow Hunting Regulations in West Virginia

The following is a quick guide to crossbow hunting regulations in West Virginia; it was not intended to be comprehensive nor cover all the bases, rather the purpose is to provide you with a quick overview o the current legal situation in that state, and to let you know if it’s legal to hunt and what the requirements and restrictions are, if any. We researched the subject thoroughly before preparing this resource, however please do not expect it to be 100% accurate as it’s likely that we might have missed something or that some of these regulations have changed since our last update. For complete certainty, you should contact a legal entity and request assistance. Best Crossbow Source shall not be held accountable for the accuracy of references presented herein.

Make sure to check out our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.


The West Virginia Natural Resources Commission voted to legalize crossbow hunting in the State. Starting with the first day of archery season and lasting until the end of the year, it is now legal to use a crossbow for hunting purposes in WV. No special crossbow hunting license is required and you only need the regular bow hunting license and you’re good to go. Hunting with a crossbow in the following four counties: Mingo, Logan, Wyoming and McDowell is still illegal however.

Crossbow Hunting Regulations in West Virginia

Hunting with a Crossbow in West Virginia is only legal if you are permanently disabled, to an extent that makes using a regular vertical bow, even with the help of an aid, impossible. You will need to obtain a disability certification from a physician, and then apply for a Class Y crossbow permit; you can find the application form here: Class Y Form.

Please be advised that as you submit the form, you will be authorizing your physician to provide the West Virginia DNR with any information pertaining to your disability, at the DNR’s request. Also, you must submit the Class Y form within no more than 6 months from the day your physician issued a disability certification. For more information about the process and requirements, please contact WVDNR at: 304-558-2758.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Owning a Class Y crossbow permit authorizes you to use your crossbow for hunting only during archery seasons.
  • You must carry your permit with you at all times while hunting.
  • Other than the Class Y permit, you will also need to own a valid West Virginia hunting license, which costs $19 for residents and $119 for non-residents.  More information about these licenses can be found on this page.
  • The minimum draw weight must be 125 lbs.
  • The minimum arrow length should be 18 inches (not including broadhead).
  • The broadhead cutting diameter should be a minimum of 3/4″
  • You may not carry a firearm with you when hunting with a crossbow.
  • Using electronic deer calling devices is prohibited.

As of the moment of this writing, there are no bills pending a Senate hearing, proposing to change the above regulations.

Notice Any Inaccuracies?

We hope you found the references above useful. If for any reason you believe the above not to be accurate, or if some of our references are outdated, we would appreciate it if you could send us an e-mail. We will then get in touch with the WV DNR to confirm the situation, and will make appropriate changes as required.


Add a Comment
    1. Hello

      According to WV law, it is illegal to:

      “Be afield with a gun and bow, or with a gun and any arrows, except for concealed weapons permit holders.” So as you see if it were a bow, then it would be legal for you to carry the firearm. Unfortunately I am not aware of the law specifically mentioning crossbows in this context, only “bows.”

  1. So you cannot use your crossbow for any firearms seasons? If I’m reading it right but I don’t see the reason that I can’t. A lot of people say a crossbow is like using a gun so I don’t understand why I can’t use my class Y during gun season

  2. Is it legal in the state of WV to carry a cocked crossbow in a vehicle as long as you don’t have an arrow knocked in the crossbow

  3. Anyone who says a crossbow is like shooting a gun has never shot a crossbow. A 150# crossbow has less range than a 60# compound

  4. Crossbow hunting in West Virginia became legal on May 13th, 90 days after the law was passed. There will be no new license fee door 2015 and the season will be the entire length of deer season.

    1. When reading above article it seems to contradict itself, so you don’t need a class y permit for the whole state except the 4 counties listed, correct?

  5. Why is crossbow hunting not legal in all counties? Why is there no gun season in Logan and Mingo counties we pay the same price for our license?

    1. Those four counties( Logan, Mingo, McDowell, Wyoming) are set aside for large trophy class hunting- so they limit it to bows only.
      This insures that the majority of ppl calling themselves hunters won’t be skilled enough to take a deer. Only advanced skilled bow hunters stand a chance hunting under those restrictions.
      But it’s better then having every out of state hunter coming in to your county to rifle hunt- especially when their home state won’t allow them to use a rifle.
      Opening day sounds like the start of a military battle LMAO

  6. I was fortunate enough to take a nice buck with my crossbow in West Virginia the 2nd week of the 2015 bow season. The buck should score between 140-145. Has WV set the minimum score to make it in the WV record book for deer taken with a crossbow? If so, does anyone know what it is? Thanks

  7. Valuable analysis ! I was fascinated by the information , Does someone know if I could possibly acquire a template IRS 1098 form to fill out ?

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