West Virginia

Policy Document

Persons Interested in Becoming Wildlife Damage Control Agents

The West Virginia Code 20-2-50A provides that the Director of the Division of Natural Resources shall establish regulations for licensed wildlife damage control agents.  Legislative rule (Title 58, Series 41 – Wildlife Damage Control Agents) establishes regulations to govern the licensing, training, and operations of wildlife damage control agents in West Virginia.

Persons interested in becoming licensed wildlife damage control agents must:

1.   Complete an application for a wildlife damage control agent license.

2.   Be 18 years of age or older.

3.   Register for and complete the online course available at

https://store.nwctp.com/products/west-virginia-wdca-training-and-certification-  program. Applicant must satisfactorily pass the online test that is part of this training and present their certificate of completion.

4.   Demonstrate his or her knowledge of wildlife damage control agent laws, regulations, and policies through the satisfactory completion of a WVDNR monitored, written test.

5.   Satisfactorily pass a background check to determine if the applicant has been
convicted of any violations of federal or state statues relating to the activity for which
the license is sought.

6.   Pay the appropriate fee for the category of license applied for.

The online course costs $200. Online tests are timed, and open book. You will only be allowed two attempts at no additional cost. Cost is $100 for each additional two attempts. Attempts online are unlimited.

WVDNR monitored, written test will be administered at Division of Natural Resources district offices on scheduled dates.  These tests are timed, closed book, at no cost. You will only be allowed two attempts each six months to obtain a passing grade.

Test questions will be obtained from the references listed below.  The examination will be difficult.  The test will cover various questions on legislative rules, animal identification, and wildlife damage control.  Taking the online course will assure that you are prepared to take and pass the test, and to be successful in your business as a WDCA in West Virginia.

The following reference materials are required for study and will provide you with all the study materials you will need to pass the test and run a successful business:

1.   West Virginia Administrative Regulations Title 58, Series 41, Wildlife Damage
Control Agents. Obtained from WVDNR.

2.   Curtis, P., S. Hyngstrom, and R. Smith, eds. 2018. West Virginia Wildlife Damage Management with Wildlife Species Information. National Wildlife Control Training Program. 438 pp. Obtained from https://store.nwctp.com/products/west-virginia-wildlife-damage-control-agent-training-manual.  

3.   West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations (current year). Obtained from WVDNR or at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/hunting_regs.shtm.

The following reference materials are recommended:

1.   Krause, Tom. 1984. NTA Trapping Handbook: A Guide for Better Trapping. Spearman Publishing and Printing. 206 pp. Obtain from National Trappers Association Inc.

2.   Green, N. Bayard and Thomas K.  Pauley. 1987. Amphibians and Reptiles in West
Virginia. University of Pittsburgh Press in Cooperation with the West Virginia
Division of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program, 241 pp.

3.   Burt, W.H. and R.P. Grossenheider. 1976. A Field Guide to the Mammals. Houghton
Mifflin Co., Boston, MA. 284 pp.

4.   Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA. 366 pp.

5.   Robbins, Chandler, Bertel Brown, and Herbert Zimm. 1966. A Guide to Field
Identification of Birds of North America. Golden Press, New York, 360 pp.

6.   Peterson, Roger Tory. 1963. A Field Guide to the Birds. Houghton Mifflin Co.,
Boston, MA. 290 pp.

The wildlife damage control agent should have a local field guide to mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.  There are several good ones available and these can be substituted for the above references.  If possible, obtain the latest edition of these guides.

                                                                                                                                    July 9, 2020