SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Applications are now being accepted through Aug. 25, 2019, for controlled deer hunts at six West Virginia state parks. Those six parks are Beech Fork in Cabell County, Cacapon Resort in Morgan County, Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County, North Bend in Ritchie County, Pipestem Resort in Summers County and Twin Falls Resort in Wyoming County.
The random drawings will be held on Aug. 26 and the winners will be notified between Sept. 3 and 13, 2019, West Virginia DNR officials said.
Without controlled hunting, deer can reach levels that become detrimental to the landscape, according to a DNR news release. Over-browsing by deer leads to loss of native vegetation, prevents forest regeneration, and alters habitat for all wildlife species living in the park, officials said.
“Controlled hunts have been successful in deer management in West Virginia state parks during the past few years,” said State Parks Chief Sam England. “It is an effective and efficient means of maintaining a biologically and socially-balanced deer herd at areas with overpopulation,” according to England.
Hunters who are chosen will have a three-day harvest opportunity using archery/crossbow or muzzleloader, depending upon the dates, hunt types and designated areas. In past controlled hunts, hunters had specified hunting stands, but in 2019 all hunters will be provided a map and will be able to roam and hunt as they like within the designated hunting zones, officials said.
Hunters can apply online using their existing DNR ID account. First-time users must enroll using the Electronic Licensing and Game Checking system (ELS). Once logged in, applicants should select “State Park Lottery Hunts” and then choose one of the hunting options for each $15 application fee. Each application can be for one or two people.
Each hunter will be required to confirm their participation and possess a valid West Virginia Hunting License (or be legally exempt from purchasing a license) within one week of being contacted, if selected.
Deer harvested during the controlled hunts do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hunting regulations will apply to all controlled hunts.
Hunters can book lodge rooms, cabin or camp sites at the parks, online.