Applications to participate in controlled deer hunts necessary to manage herds at nine West Virginia state parks are being accepted through Sept. 9.
The hunts are scheduled throughout the fall at Pipestem, Stonewall, Beech Fork, North Bend, Twin Falls, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, Lost River, and Watoga, according to West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England.
“Previous controlled hunts have been successful in helping us manage deer populations at our parks,” England said Wednesday. “It is an effective and efficient way to maintain a biologically and socially balanced deer herd in areas with overpopulation.”
Applications for the hunt must be submitted online at www.wvhunt.com. Applicants must create or use their existing Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System account: Once logged in, select “State Park Lottery Hunts,” and choose one of the hunting options for each $15 application fee. Each application can be for one or two people, England said.
Drawings for the hunts will start on Sept. 10. Successful applicants will be notified between Sept. 14 and 21.
Each application is for a three-day harvest opportunity using archery/crossbow or muzzleloader rifles, depending upon the dates, hunt types and designated areas. Rather than specified hunting stands for each hunter, as used in past controlled hunts, all hunters will be provided a map and will be able to roam and hunt within the designated hunting zones. Deer harvested do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.
Specific rules, hunting dates and hunting methods are available on the electronic licensing system. For additional information about a specific park hunt, call the park.
Controlled Hunts Benefits
Controlled hunts are a successful tool for deer management, when populations reach levels that become detrimental to the landscape. Over-browsing by deer can lead to loss of native vegetation, prevent forest regeneration and alter habitat for all wildlife species living in the park. Controlled hunts help reduce deer numbers to levels that prevent habitat loss, property damage, vehicle collisions and potential human injuries. Hunting contributes to wildlife conservation and helps maintain a healthy deer herd population.
If chosen, each hunter will be required to confirm participation in the hunt. They must also possess a valid West Virginia Hunting License (or be legally exempt from purchasing a license) within one week of being contacted. Successful applicants will be contacted with more detailed information regarding the controlled hunt.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hunting regulations will apply to all managed hunts. To learn more about hunting in West Virginia and the Division of Natural Resources, visit www.WVHunt.com.