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Applications for controlled deer hunts at six West Virginia state parks available

CAIRO — A controlled deer hunt will be held at North Bend State Park and five other state parks in West Virginia later this year, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources said.

The division is accepting applications to participate in the deer harvest at North Bend, Beech Fork, Cacapon Resort, Canaan Valley Resort, Pipestem Resort and Twin Falls Resort state parks.

Hunters have until Aug. 30 to apply. Drawings will start on Aug. 31 and successful applicants will be notified in early September.

“Previous controlled hunts are one of the ways we manage deer populations at our parks,” state Parks Chief Brad Reed said. “Past hunts have proven that this is an effective and efficient way to maintain a biologically and socially balanced deer herd in areas experiencing overpopulation.”

Applications must be submitted online at wvhunt.com. Hunters must use their existing Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System account or create an account to apply.

Upon logging in, applicants must select “State Park Lottery Hunts” and choose one of the hunting options. The fee is $15 per application and each application can be for one or two people.

The application is for a three-day opportunity using a compound bow or crossbow or muzzleloader 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 zones.

Deer harvested during a controlled hunt do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.

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 or be legally exempt from purchasing a license within one week of being contacted.

Successful applicants will be contacted with more detailed information. West Virginia hunting regulations will apply.

Specific rules, hunting dates and hunting methods are available on the electronic licensing system at wvhunt.com. For additional information about a specific park hunt, call the state park of interest and indicate the call is regarding controlled hunt information.

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 harvests reduce deer numbers to levels that prevent habitat loss, property damage, vehicle collisions and potential human injuries.

Controlled hunts help the division maintain a healthy deer herd while allowing visitors the opportunity to view deer and other wildlife throughout the state parks.

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