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DNR unveils new license products for West Virginia sportsmen

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians who buy their hunting and fishing license year to year will have additional options when they make a renewal for their 2021 permits. Governor Jim Justice and Division of Natural Resources Director Steve McDaniel unveiled new options for sportsmen in West Virginia on Wednesday.

Stephen McDaniel

McDaniel said a survey of West Virginia hunters and fishermen revealed a desire for bundling of license products. The result is a new one year license which includes privileges to hunt, fish, and trap but also added the trout stamp to the package.

“The X-Plus is just like the popular X License which is the sportsman’s license. It’s mostly for convenience, there’s no extra charges, it’s just a bundled privilege,” he said.

The X-Plus will cost $45 which would be the actual cost of the Sportsman’s license and the trout stamp if purchased separately, but when they are bundled it will save on the transactions fee. Those savings will also be reflected in two other license the agency has created for the 2021 seasons which are three year license options.

“People responded they’d like to see a multi-year license. This year, for the first time, you can buy the X-3 which is a three year sportsman’s license or the X-3 Plus which is a three year sportsman’s license plus the tout stamp,” McDaniel said.

License sales in West Virginia have been on the rise, particularly for fishing. Early in the Covid 19 pandemic Governor Justice allowed for free fishing during the months of April and May, but there was a jump in license sales in June. The Governor believed many spent the first few months of the pandemic socially distancing on a stream and wanted to keep it going.

“For the first time in six years, we had an increase in our hunting and fishing license. That’s great news because all of those people who are getting introduced to West Virginia’s great outdoors it will only make them better,” Justice said in a virtual press conference.

“We gave free fishing to every West Virginia resident for two months and what that resulted in was thousands of West Virginians getting out on our waterways, many of them introduced to fishing for the first time, and it paid dividends,” said McDaniel.

Similar discounts for State Park visitors were also noted as a boost for the park system during 2020.

West Virginians who renew their license for 2021 during the month of December will again be entered into a drawing for prizes. The two first prizes will be Lifetime West Virginia Hunting and Fishing licenses. There will also be four state park getaway packages and several bags of Gold Rush swag given away in the drawings. To be eligible you need to purchase or renew your hunting and fishing license between December 1 and December 31.