Applications being accepted for the controlled deer hunt scheduled for November 17, 18 and 19, 2008, at Stonewall Resort State Park, located in Lewis County near Weston.
Monitoring of the deer population and consequent surveys conducted by wildlife and parks personnel revealed a high deer density on the state park property. The excessive whitetail population is damaging to vegetation, creates environmental imbalance within the park and subjects the herd to increasingly poor browse and health conditions.
Cooperative efforts among the Parks and Recreation, Wildlife, and Law Enforcement sections of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) and Benchmark Management Company, which operates the park facilities for the state, makes this controlled hunt an acceptable method of wildlife management in a public setting. Hunting contributes to wildlife conservation while maintaining a healthy deer herd population.
“The result will be good and responsible resource management that a controlled deer hunt can produce,” according to DNR Director Frank Jezioro. Controlled hunts at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park have been conducted in recent years with good results.
The application and instructions for the Stonewall controlled hunt are posted on the WVDNR Web page, www.wvdnr.gov under Hunting, Stonewall Controlled Hunt.
Applications also are available at all DNR District Offices, the DNR Operations Center in Elkins, DNR Offices in Building 3 at the Capitol Complex in Charleston, W.Va. State Park and Forest offices; the W.Va. Wildlife Center at French Creek, and at the Stonewall Resort State Park office. Application forms are two-sided with the application on one side and information on the reverse. Hunters also may download and complete the application on their computers; however, the completed applications must be printed, then signed and dated and mailed. Completed applications must be mailed to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241, prior to August 29, 2008.
A random selection of approximately 50 hunters for each day will be made from applications received. Successful applicants will be notified after October 1. For additional information, contact Stonewall Resort State Park at (304) 269-0524, or District 3 DNR Office at (304) 924-6211.
The controlled hunt is open to West Virginia residents and holders of West Virginia Lifetime Licenses. Hunters may apply for a permit to participate in the Stonewall Resort State Park Controlled Deer Hunt, to be held November 17-19, 2008. Hunters may apply individually or as part of a two-person party and may use any weapon legal for deer hunting in West Virginia. One (1) deer may be taken by each hunter. 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 four (4) hunters to hunt a deer of either sex. Instructions on the application must be followed. Applications must be signed, legible, complete, and postmarked by August 29, 2008.
All applicants must designate the type of weapon (firearm or bow) and hunting method (free roaming or fixed stand) to be used. All persons applying as a party must hunt with the same type of weapon (firearm or bow) and use the same method of hunting (free roaming or fixed stand). Hunting parties which include a hunter with a Class Q permit must hunt from the same Class Q stand.
Each hunter must possess a valid West Virginia hunting license (or be legally exempt from purchasing a license) on the day of the hunt. The hunt area is divided into two zones: a Fixed Stand Zone and a Free Roaming Zone. In the Fixed Stand Zone, hunters must hunt from elevated tree stands placed in designated trees. In the Free Roaming Zone, hunters may hunt from the ground or from portable tree stands and they are not limited to stationary locations. A safety belt is required to be worn while hunting from an elevated stand. Scopes are allowed on all legal firearms. There will be no waiting list or walk-ons. There will be approximately 50 applications per day randomly drawn in advance. Successful applicants will be contacted with more detailed information regarding this controlled hunt. Deer harvested do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hunting regulations will apply to this hunt.