Applications are being accepted for controlled deer hunts at two West Virginia state parks in 2015. Controlled white-tailed deer hunts are scheduled at Pipestem Resort State Park (Summers County) Nov. 16, 17, 18 and at Cacapon Resort State Park (Morgan County) Dec. 7, 8, 9.
Monitoring of the deer population and surveys conducted by wildlife and state parks personnel revealed a high deer density on these state park properties, according to Bob Fala, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “When you have too many deer in one area, there is not enough available vegetation for them to browse, which affects the health of the entire deer population in that area,” Fala explained. “The results of previous controlled hunts have proven to be a responsible resource management tool.”
Cooperative efforts among the DNR Parks and Recreation, Wildlife, and Law Enforcement sections have proven these special hunts to be safe and successful during previous events.
“Overpopulation of the white-tailed deer herd is an ongoing challenge facing the state park system,” said West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England. “This method of population control has been used in some West Virginia state parks since 2001. The positive effects of these hunts on the surrounding vegetation and the herds’ health have become apparent.”
Applications for the controlled hunts are available at www.wvhunt.com. Each applicant must, if they have not already, create an account on the Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System. Once logged in, the applicant must select “Enter Lottery.” The applicant then must select which controlled hunt(s) for which they would like to apply. Hunters also may apply by calling Pipestem Resort State Park at 304-466-2804, or Cacapon Resort State Park at 304-258-1022. However, the most efficient method of applying for the controlled hunt is by using www.wvhunt.com, which allows for 24/7 access to the application process.
Applications must be completed by midnight on Aug. 15, 2015. Forty hunters will be randomly selected for each day at Pipestem Resort State Park and 30 hunters each day for Cacapon Resort State Park. Two Class Q (hunting permit for persons disabled in lower extremities) stands are available each day. Successful applicants will be notified after Oct. 1 for the date they were selected to hunt.
Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified. Applicants may check to see if they were selected by logging into the Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System after Aug. 17. For additional information, contact Pipestem Resort State Park at 304-466-2804 or Cacapon Resort State Park at 304-258-1022.
Hunters may apply to hunt on one or both of the state parks, but will only be able to apply for one lottery hunt for each area. Each hunter may take one deer at each hunt. Deer harvested do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.
Only antlerless deer may be taken during this hunt, except that each day of the hunt an on-site lottery will be held which will allow up to five hunters to hunt a deer of either sex. Instructions on the application must be followed. All applications must be received through the electronic applications system before midnight Aug. 15, 2015.
Applicants must select which lottery hunt they want to participate in: rifle, archery (bow/crossbow), or Class Q. Hunters must possess a valid Class Q permit to apply for the Class Q slots. Each hunter, except Class Q holders, MUST provide their own climbing tree stand. Ladder stands will not be permitted due to the limited room during transportation. Lock-on stands will be permitted as long as strap-on style steps or ladder sticks are used. Screw-in steps will not be permitted. Tree stands must be adjustable to trees up to 18 inches in diameter. Hunters must hunt from the designated trees to which they are assigned.
Agency personnel will transport hunters from the registration area to their stand locations. All hunters must provide and wear a safety harness while in the tree stand. All hunters, even those hunting with archery (bows/crossbows) must wear a minimum of 400 square inches of blaze orange.
Each hunter must possess a valid West Virginia hunting license (or be legally exempt from purchasing a license) on the day of the hunt. Successful applicants for this hunt will be contacted with more detailed information regarding this controlled hunt. Unsuccessful applicants will be eligible for a lottery drawing the morning of the hunt to fill “no show” sites. Those wishing to enter the morning lottery must arrive and register at the registration area between 5 and 5:45 a.m. to be entered into the lottery.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hunting regulations will apply to this hunt. The 2015 hunting regulations brochures will be available soon at license agents and online at www.wvdnr.gov .