Controlled hunts are scheduled this fall at Beech Fork, Cacapon Resort, North Bend and Twin Falls Resort state parks. Hunters have until Aug. 31 to apply. Drawing for the hunts will be held on Sept. 1 and successful applicants will be notified between Sept. 6-16.
“Controlled hunts have proven to be an effective way to maintain a deer herd in areas experiencing overpopulation,” said West Virginia State Parks Chief Brad Reed. “When deer populations reach levels that become detrimental to the landscape, over-browsing can lead to loss of native vegetation, prevent forest regeneration and alter habitat for all wildlife species living in the park.”
Controlled hunts are one of the ways the WVDNR manages the state’s deer herd population and helps reduce deer numbers to levels that prevent habitat loss, property damage, vehicle collisions and potential human injuries.
How to Apply for a State Park Controlled Deer Hunt
Applications for the hunts must be submitted online at wvhunt.com. Hunters must use their existing Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System account or create one to apply. Once logged in, applicants must follow the link for State Park Lottery Hunts and choose one of the available options. There is a non-refundable $15 application fee for each entry. Each application can be submitted for one or two people. A WVDNR ID is required to enter the lottery for all applicants.
Each application is for a three-day harvest opportunity using a compound bow, crossbow, muzzleloader or air rifle, depending on the selected date, hunt type and designated area. Rather than specified hunting stands for each hunter, as used in past controlled hunts, all hunters will be given a map and will be able to hunt within the designated hunting zones. Deer harvested during a controlled hunt do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.
Applicants may enter for multiple hunts occurring at the same or different state parks on different days. If chosen for more than one concurrent hunt, the applicant will be given the opportunity to choose the one they want. A multiple hunt winner cannot split the three days between two or more parks. Applicants may only enter each hunt once, either as an individual or as part of a group. However, if selected for multiple hunts occurring on different days, the hunter can participate in each three-day event.
If chosen, each hunter will be required to confirm their intent to participate in the hunt. They must also possess a valid West Virginia hunting license within one week of being contacted or be legally exempt from purchasing a license. Successful applicants will be contacted with more details about the controlled hunt. West Virginia hunting regulations apply to all controlled hunts.
For more information about specific rules, hunting dates and hunting methods, login to the ELS system at wvhunt.com or call the WVDNR license team at 304-558-6200.