Oglebay Resort is planning a deer culling this fall in an effort to curb the rapidly growing deer population within West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle region. The Oglebay Urban Deer Culling shall take place November 6-8 at Oglebay Resort.

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the deer population at Oglebay Resort is five times the optimal amount per square mile for the region, presenting a safety concern for both resort guests and the deer herd.

As such, Oglebay Resort aims to control the deer population to better fit the habitat and available resources. By implementing a controlled deer culling, Oglebay Resort aims to derive a balance which promotes a healthier ecosystem, reducing human-deer conflicts and ensuring the sustainability of the Resort.

”It’s going to affect the habitat because we’re going to see you know growth come back to low lying plants, things of that nature that the herd has a tendency to really cut down during their hunger periods. And it’s going to help other wildlife be sustained as well and do work towards the sustainability of the park in general which is one of our major focuses.”

Herb Faulkenberry – Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Oglebay Park

“The safety of our community including guests, employees, and wildlife is of the utmost importance to us here at Oglebay,” said Robert Peckenpaugh, President & CEO of the Wheeling Park Commission. “Managing the herd’s population through a safe and efficient method such as culling will prioritize the overall health and longevity of the herd on the property.”

A limited number of applicants will be selected through a lottery system to participate in the three-day culling. As such, selected participants will be assigned a specific zone each day by the Director of Park Operations.

Participants in the culling shall only use hunting bows. Archers will participate in the culling from a tree stand in their designated zone to ensure the safety of others. During the three-day deer culling, and after a safety briefing, archers shall begin 30 minutes prior to sunrise and end 30 minutes after sunset. All affected areas will be closed to the public during the culling.

Participating archers are not permitted to stalk deer on the ground, nor may they track deer within 300 feet of personal property. If a wounded deer leaves the boundary of the designated culling area, the archer must ask for permission of the property owner in pursuit of the deer. If permission is denied, the archer or property owner must report the deer to the Ohio County Sheriff.

For archers wanting to donate venison from the deer culling, donations shall be directed to Hunters Helping the Hungry or the Oglebay Good Zoo.

Requirements for participating in the deer culling are as follows.

· Provide copy of valid Driver’s License (18 years old minimum).

· Provide copy of valid West Virginia hunting license.

· Provide a copy of the certificate of completion for the Bowhunter Education Course.

· Possess a clean record with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

· Pass background check.

o Background check shall be subject to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

· Archers must complete all parts of the application.

In an overpopulated ecosystem, deer become more susceptible to disease, malnutrition, and poor overall health due to resource competition. Additionally, an overpopulation of deer can increase the likelihood of deer-vehicle collisions. West Virginia drivers face a 1 in 37 chance of being involved in an animal-vehicle collision, which is the highest rate in the United States.