The Airgun Sporting Association, the trade organization for the airgun industry, announced that West Virginia will soon allow airgun hunting for both small and large game.
On May 3, Governor Justice signed legislation amending Article 2 (Wildlife Resources) of the West Virginia Code of 1931, as amended, by adding a new section (Section 20-2-5k). This new section legalized airguns for hunting big game and small game during regular firearm seasons, as long as specific county regulations do not prohibit firearms for deer hunting. The change prohibits the use of air rifles during the muzzleloader seasons and the Mountaineer Heritage season. Also, air rifles for shooting arrows are prohibited for hunting small and large game.
Some details in the new code include:
- Airguns used for hunting big game must have a minimum caliber of .45 and a bullet of at least 200 grains. Turkey hunting requires .22 caliber or larger.
- Airguns used for hunting small game must have a minimum caliber of .22.
- Airgun hunters are subject to all other firearms hunting regulations and airguns may not be fired within 500 feet of a dwelling.
The West Virginia DNR will finalize airgun hunting regulations in the coming weeks.
“We are very excited to add West Virginia to the growing list of more than 24 states that allow airguns for big game hunting,” said Mitch King, President. “Our goal is to work closely with our industry partners and state wildlife agencies to develop their proposed regulations, legislative language, and airgun safety training programs.”
To join the ASA or to view a map of states that allow airguns for hunting, visit airgunsporting.org and click on the Regulations tab.