(a) It is unlawful at any time for any person to take, possess, transport, import, export or process, sell or offer for sale, buy, barter or trade or offer to buy, barter or trade at any time or in any manner, any bald eagle, also commonly known as the American eagle, or any golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest or egg thereof of the foregoing eagles, or to attempt to do any of these acts.
(b) Anyone who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned in the county jail not less than sixty days nor more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned. One half of any fine imposed shall be paid to any person or persons providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone violating the provisions of this section.
(c) For a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section, a person is guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than two years. An amount equal to one half of the fine imposed, not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars, shall be paid to the person or persons providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone for a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this section.
(d) "Take" is defined as including any means to pursue, hunt, wound, kill, capture, collect, poison, or molest any bald eagle or golden eagle, or any part, nest or egg thereof, or to knowingly and willfully destroy the nest or eggs of any such eagles.
(e) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the taking, possession or transportation of bald or golden eagles legally under the current federal Eagle Protection Act, 16 USC § 668a, and the current federal regulations, 50 CFR 22.1 et seq.
(f) All wildlife, merchandise, guns, traps, nets and other equipment, vessels, vehicles, aircraft and other means of transportation used in taking, possessing, transporting, importing, exporting, selling or offering for sale, purchasing or bartering or offering to purchase or barter any bald or golden eagle or part, nest, or egg thereof, or in attempting to do any of these acts in violation of this section shall be forfeited, at the time of conviction, to the state.
(g) Upon conviction of taking, possessing, transporting, importing, exporting or processing, selling or offering for sale, buying, bartering or trading or offering to buy, barter or trade any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest or egg thereof of the foregoing eagles, or of attempting to do any of these acts, the hunting licenses of such person or persons may be revoked and such person or persons shall not be issued any new hunting licenses for a period of ten years from the date of conviction.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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