H. B. 4502
(By Delegates Proudfoot, Leggett, Williams, Willis, Evans,
Stemple and Tillis)
[Passed March 14, 1998; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact section two, article one, chapter
twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating to natural resources;
definitions; clarifying that bag limit and creel limit apply
to any individual; and providing that game fish includes all
game fish hybrids.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article one, 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 1. Organization and Administration.
As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires
a different meaning:
"Agency" means any branch, department or unit of the state government, however designated or constituted.
"Alien" means any person not a citizen of the United States.
"Bag limit" or "creel limit" means the maximum number of
wildlife which may be taken, caught, killed or possessed by any
"Bona fide resident, tenant or lessee" means a person who
permanently resides on the land.
"Citizen" means any native born citizen of the United States,
and foreign born persons who have procured their final
"Closed season" means the time or period during which it shall
be unlawful to take any wildlife as specified and limited by the
provisions of this chapter.
"Commission" means the natural resources commission.
"Commissioner" means a member of the advisory commission of
the natural resources commission.
"Director" means the director of the division of natural
"Fishing" or "to fish" means the taking, by any means, of
fish, minnows, frogs or other amphibians, aquatic turtles and other
forms of aquatic life used as fish bait.
"Fur-bearing animals" include: (a) The mink; (b) the weasel;
(c) the muskrat; (d) the beaver; (e) the opossum; (f) the skunk and
civet cat, commonly called polecat; (g) the otter; (h) the red fox; (i) the gray fox; (j) the wildcat, bobcat or bay lynx; (k) the
raccoon; and (l) the fisher.
"Game" means game animals, game birds and game fish as herein
"Game animals" include: (a) The elk; (b) the deer; (c) the
cottontail rabbits and hares; (d) the fox squirrels, commonly
called red squirrels, and gray squirrels and all their color phases
-- red, gray, black or albino; (e) the raccoon; (f) the black bear;
and (g) the wild boar.
"Game birds" include: (a) The Anatidae, commonly known as
swan, geese, brants and river and sea ducks; (b) the Rallidae,
commonly known as rails, sora, coots, mudhens and gallinales; (c)
the Limicolae, commonly known as shorebirds, plover, snipe,
woodcock, sandpipers, yellow legs and curlews; (d) the Galli,
commonly known as wild turkey, grouse, pheasants, quails and
partridges (both native and foreign species); and (e) the
Columbidae, commonly known as doves, and the Icteridae, commonly
known as blackbirds, redwings and grackle.
"Game fish" include: (a) Brook trout; (b) brown trout; (c)
rainbow trout; (d) golden rainbow trout; (e) largemouth bass; (f)
smallmouth bass; (g)spotted bass; (h) striped bass; (i) chain
pickerel; (j) muskellunge; (k) walleye; (l) northern pike; (m) rock
bass; (n) white bass; (o) white crappie; (p) black crappie; (q) all
sunfish species; (r) channel catfish; (s) flathead catfish; (t) sauger; and (u) all game fish hybrids.
"Hunt" means to pursue, chase, catch or take any wild birds or
"Lands" means land, waters and all other appurtenances
"Migratory birds" means any migratory game or nongame birds
included in the terms of conventions between the United States and
Great Britain and between the United States and United Mexican
States, known as the "Migratory Bird Treaty Act", for the
protection of migratory birds and game mammals concluded,
respectively, the sixteenth day of August, one thousand nine
hundred sixteen, and the seventh day of February, one thousand nine
"Nonresident" means any person who is a citizen of the United
States and who has not been a domiciled resident of the state of
West Virginia for a period of thirty consecutive days immediately
prior to the date of his or her application for a license or permit
except any full-time student of any college or university of this
state, even though he or she is paying a nonresident tuition.
"Open season" means the time during which the various species
of wildlife may be legally caught, taken, killed or chased in a
specified manner, and shall include both the first and the last day
of the season or period designated by the director.
"Person" except as otherwise defined elsewhere in this chapter, means the plural "persons" and shall include individuals,
partnerships, corporations or other legal entities.
"Preserve" means all duly licensed private game farmlands, or
private plants, ponds or areas, where hunting or fishing is
permitted under special licenses or seasons other than the regular
public hunting or fishing seasons.
"Protected birds" means all wild birds not included within the
definition of "game birds" and "unprotected birds".
"Resident" means any person who is a citizen of the United
States and who has been a domiciled resident of the state of West
Virginia for a period of thirty consecutive days or more
immediately prior to the date of his or her application for license
or permit: Provided,
That a member of the armed forces of the
United States who is stationed beyond the territorial limits of
this state, but who was a resident of this state at the time of his
or her entry into such service, and any full-time student of any
college or university of this state, even though he or she is
paying a nonresident tuition, shall be considered a resident under
the provisions of this chapter.
"Roadside menagerie" means any place of business, other than
commercial game farm, commercial fish preserve, place or pond,
where any wild bird, game bird, unprotected bird, game animal or
fur-bearing animal is kept in confinement for the attraction and
amusement of the people for commercial purposes.
"Take" means to hunt, shoot, pursue, lure, kill, destroy,
catch, capture, keep in captivity, gig, spear, trap, ensnare, wound
or injure any wildlife, or attempt to do so.
"Unprotected birds" shall include: (a) The English sparrow,
(b) the European starling, (c) the cowbird, and (d) the crow.
"Wild animals" means all mammals native to the state of West
Virginia occurring either in a natural state or in captivity,
except house mice or rats.
"Wild birds" shall include all birds other than: (a) Domestic
poultry -- chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, peafowls and
turkeys; (b) psittacidae, commonly called parrots and parakeets;
and (c) other foreign cage birds such as the common canary, exotic
finches and ring dove. All wild birds, either: (a) Those
occurring in a natural state in West Virginia; or (b) those
imported foreign game birds, such as waterfowl, pheasants,
partridges, quail and grouse, regardless of how long raised or held
in captivity, shall remain wild birds under the meaning of this
"Wildlife" means wild birds, wild animals, game and fur- bearing animals, fish (including minnows), reptiles, amphibians,
mollusks, crustaceans and all forms of aquatic life used as fish
bait, whether dead or alive.
"Wildlife refuge" means any land set aside by action of the
director as an inviolate refuge or sanctuary for the protection of designated forms of wildlife.