H. B. 4418
(By Delegates Williams, Stemple, Collins,
Beach, Michael and Proudfoot)
[Passed March 14, 1998; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact section fifty-four, article two,
chapter twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to license for
privately-owned commercial shooting preserves; permits an
additional month of hunting; requires operators to furnish
numbered tags; and removes the exemption of nonresidents
purchasing required state hunting licenses.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section fifty-four, article two, chapter twenty of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-54. License for privately-owned commercial shooting
(1) The director may issue a license for privately-owned
commercial shooting preserves to any person who meets the
(a) Each commercial shooting preserve shall contain a
minimum of three hundred acres in one tract of leased or owned
land (including water area, if any) and shall be restricted to no
more than three thousand contiguous acres (including water area,
if any), except that preserves confined to the releasing of ducks
only shall be authorized to operate with a minimum of fifty
contiguous acres (including water area); and
(b) The exterior boundaries of each commercial shooting
preserve shall be clearly defined and posted with signs erected
around the extremity at intervals of one hundred fifty yards or
(2) The director shall designate the game which may be
hunted under this section on which a more liberal season may be
(3) The operating licenses or permits issued by the director
shall entitle holders thereof, and their guests or customers, to
recover not more than eighty percent of the total number of each
species of game bird released on the premises each year, except
mallard, black duck, ringnecked pheasant, chukar partridge and
other nonnative game species upon which a one hundred percent
recovery may be allowed.
(4) Except for the required compliance with the restriction
on the maximum number of released birds that may be recovered
from each preserve each year, as provided in subsections (3) and
(8) of this section, shooting preserve operators may establish
their own shooting limitations and restrictions on the age, sex and number of birds that may be taken by each person.
(5) In order to give a reasonable opportunity for a fair
return on a sizeable investment, a liberal season shall be
designated by the director during the nine-month period,
beginning the first day of August and ending the thirtieth day of
(6) All harvested game shall be tagged with a numbered tag
prior to being either consumed on the premises or removed
therefrom, such tags to remain affixed until the game actually is
delivered to the point of consumption.
(7) Each shooting preserve operator shall maintain a
registration book listing all names, addresses and hunting
license numbers of all shooters; the date on which they hunted;
the amount of game and the species taken; and the tag numbers
affixed to each carcass. An accurate record likewise must be
maintained of the total number, by species, of game birds and
ducks raised and/or purchased, and the date and number of all
species released. These records shall be open to inspection by
a delegated representative of the director at any reasonable
time, and shall be the basis upon which the game recovery limits
in subsection (3) of this section shall be determined.
(8) Any wild game found on commercial shooting preserves may
be harvested in accordance with applicable game and hunting laws
pertaining to open seasons, bag and possession limits, and so
forth, as are established regularly by the director and the
United States fish and wildlife service.
(9) State hunting licenses shall be required of all persons
hunting or shooting on shooting preserves.
(10) The fee for such commercial shooting preserve license
shall be fifty dollars per fiscal year for the first three
hundred acres of the shooting preserve area, plus twenty-five
dollars per fiscal year for each additional three hundred acres
or part thereof.