West Virginia National Forest and WMA Roads to be Open to Hunters with Disabilities
Physically challenged hunters who have obtained a Class Q/QQ hunting permit may hunt on designated roads within certain national forests in West Virginia and on selected wildlife management areas, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR).
“The designation of these Class Q/QQ roads on National Forest lands in West Virginia is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the DNR,” said Taylor. “This highly successful program provides hunting access for physically challenged sportsmen and women. For the past 20 years these areas have been well received by hunters.”
To participate in this program, physically challenged hunters must possess either a Class Q (resident) or Class QQ (nonresident) permit issued by the DNR. Applications for these permits may be obtained at any DNR office or hunting and fishing license agent. In addition to the Class Q/QQ hunting permit, both resident and nonresident hunters must possess all applicable hunting licenses and stamps. Nonresidents hunting on National Forest lands must also possess a National Forest Stamp (Class I).
Physically challenged hunters with a Class Q/QQ permit must apply in person at the appropriate National Forest district office or DNR district office and receive a letter of authorization, which must be in the hunter’s possession while hunting on the designated areas in the program.
The Class Q/QQ permit holders may be accompanied by no more than one assistant, at least 16 years of age, when hunting within a designated area. Class Q/QQ permit holders are required to furnish information on their assistant such as name, address, phone number and driver’s license. Because the assistant cannot hunt while accompanying the Class Q/QQ permit holder, he or she is not required to have a hunting license.
Authorized physically challenged hunters will have access to specific gates via a special lock. While behind the gate, hunters must observe all national forest and/or state wildlife management area regulations, and all state hunting regulations. It is illegal to bait or feed any wildlife on public land between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 and during the spring gobbler season.
In addition to the special access areas, Class Q/QQ permit holders may participate in special Class Q/QQ deer hunts on Oct. 29 and Dec. 26-27, 2011. These special deer hunts will take place on designated wildlife management areas and state forests as outlined on pages 29-30 of the 2011-2012 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
The U.S. Forest Service and DNR are committed to providing quality hunting opportunities for physically-challenged hunters and welcome comments and suggestions from participating hunters. For more information concerning access to national forest or wildlife management area Class Q/QQ roads, contact the U.S. Forest Service (304-636-1800) or DNR (304-637-0245). Information is also available on the DNR’s website (www.wvdnr.gov). Specific areas with designated Class Q/QQ roads are listed below.
Class Q/QQ Roads Available on National Forest Lands:
Cheat/Potomac Ranger District, Parsons, WV (304-478-3251)
- Goodwin Run (Forest Road #933) Tucker County
- Bonifield Run (Forest Road #929) Tucker County
- Five Lick (Forest Road #153/153A) Randolph County
- Back Ridge (Forest Road #814) Pendleton County
Greenbrier Ranger District, Bartow, WV (304-456-3335)
- Little Beech Mountain (Forest Road #385, 183A) Randolph County
- Span oak (Forest Road #224) Pocahontas County
Gauley Ranger District, Richwood, WV (304-846-2695)
- Left Branch (Frosty Gap) (Forest Road #731) Pocahontas County
- Spice Run (Forest Road #787) Webster County
Marlinton/White Sulphur Ranger District, Marlinton, WV (304-799-4334)
- Crooked Fork (Forest Road #251) Pocahontas County
- Marlin Mountain (Forest Road #300) Pocahontas County
- Panther Ridge (Forest Road #298) Greenbrier County
- Bear Track (Forest Road #882) Greenbrier County
North River Ranger District, Bridgewater, VA (540-432-0187)
- Dry River Hollow Road (Forest Road #151H) Pendleton County
State Wildlife Management Areas with Available Roads:
Bluestone WMA, Burnsville Lake WMA, Elk River WMA, Hillcrest WMA, Hughes River WMA, Lewis Wetzel WMA, McClintic WMA, Sleepy Creek WMA, Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA and Wallback WMA.