Game law violators in West Virginia could face additional consequences for their actions under an interstate agreement recognizing suspension of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in other states. West Virginia has joined 31 other states as a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact that establishes a process whereby wildlife law violations conducted by a non-resident while in a member state may be handled as if the person were a resident in the state where the violation took place. Gov. Joe Manchin signed the Compact during a banquet held as part of the annual Governor's One Shot Whitetail Hunt Dec. 7 at Stonewall Resort State Park.
The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement that unresolved hunting and fishing violations in one state can affect a person's hunting or fishing privileges in other participating states. Any person whose license privileges or rights are suspended in a member state could also be denied future purchase of a license in West Virginia until he or she has satisfied suspension in the other state. If a person's hunting, fishing, or trapping rights are suspended in West Virginia, he or she may also be suspended in member states as well. For example, if a West Virginia resident has his hunting privileges suspended in Ohio, his privileges may also be suspended in West Virginia and in all other compact states.
"This cooperative interstate effort will enhance West Virginia's ability to protect and manage the state's wildlife resources for the benefit of all residents and visitors," Gov. Manchin said.
Also attending the banquet, which is held each year as a fund-raiser for the Division of Natural Resources Hunters Helping the Hungry program, were DNR Director Frank Jezioro; Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, USAF, Retired; Special Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach , who recently successfully prosecuted a case involving the shooting death of a West Virginia hunter by a Pennsylvania hunter who left the scene without rendering assistance; and several members of the DNR Law Enforcement and Wildlife Resources sections.
Compact member states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.