“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.”
Changes have been made for the 2019 controlled hunts. Each application remains as a three-day harvest opportunity using archery/crossbow, archery or muzzleloader, depending upon the dates, hunt types and designated areas. However, rather than specified hunting stands for each hunter as in past controlled hunts, all hunters will be provided a map and will be able to roam and hunt as they like within the designated hunting zones.
Controlled Hunt Application Process
Hunters must apply online at www.wvhunt.com using their existing DNR ID account. First-time users must enroll using the Electronic Licensing and Game Checking system (ELS). Once logged in, applicants must 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.
Hunters will be selected at random; successful applicants will be notified between Sept. 3 through Sept. 13, 2019. Each hunter will be required to confirm 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 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 managed hunts. To learn more about hunting in West Virginia and to view the 2019-2020 hunting regulations, visit www.wvhunt.com.
Hunters interested in overnight accommodations can visit wvstateparks.com to book a lodge room, cabin or campground. Please visit wvdnr.gov for more detailed information on the 2019 state park controlled hunt dates and methods.
Controlled Hunt Benefits
Without the principle tool of controlled hunting, deer can reach levels that become detrimental to the landscape. Over-browsing by deer leads to loss of native vegetation, prevents forest regeneration, and alters habitat for all wildlife species living in the park. The primary goal of controlled hunts is to reduce deer numbers to levels that prevent habitat loss, property damage, vehicle collisions and potential human injuries, yet still allow visitors the opportunity to view deer and other wildlife throughout the state park. Hunting contributes to wildlife conservation while maintaining a healthy deer herd population.
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