West Virginia Accessible to Physically Challenged Hunters

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Physically challenged hunters possessing a Class Q hunting permit may hunt on designated roads throughout the Monongahela National Forest, portions of the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest, and on certain state-owned Wildlife Management areas, according to Curtis Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

"This is a cooperative program between the U.S. Forest Service and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), providing access to suitable hunting areas for sportsmen who possess a Class Q permit. These Class Q roads have been well received by physically challenged hunters," Taylor said.

Both resident and nonresident hunters who qualify and obtain a West Virginia Class Q permit may now participate in special Class Q hunts (see 2006-2007 Hunting Regulations booklet) and use designated Class Q hunter access roads. Nonresidents must have an applicable nonresident annual hunting license and Conservation Stamp in addition to the Class Q permit. Resident hunters must possess a Class A and Conservation Stamp or a Class X, XL, A-L or AB-L license in addition to the Class Q permit.

Both resident and nonresident hunters with a Class Q permit must apply in person or by mail at the appropriate National Forest Ranger District office or appropriate WVDNR district office. Hunters applying by mail must include a copy of their Class Q permit. Approved hunters will be issued a letter of authorization, which they must carry with them while hunting.

The Class Q permittee may be accompanied by no more than one assistant when hunting within a designated area. Assistants may change from one trip to the next, but all assistants must be listed on the letter of authorization. The assistant may hunt with the Class Q permit holder, but must be out of the vehicle while hunting and possess appropriate hunting licenses as required by state law. A hunting license is not required for the assistant if he is not hunting.

All state hunting regulations are to be observed while hunting these designated areas. Authorized hunters will have access to specific gates via a special lock, for which the hunter will be issued a key. While behind the gate, hunters must observe all National Forest and state Wildlife Management Area regulations. All off-road driving is prohibited.

For specific information about applying for a key to access National Forest Class Q roads, including location and road length, contact the respective National Forest Ranger District. For information on State Wildlife Management Area Class Q roads, call the WVDNR office in Elkins at 304-637-0245.

For a list of Class Q roads visit www.wvdnr.gov/2006news/06news184.shtm