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

Media Contact: Samantha Smith, Commerce Communications, 304-957-9364,

State Parks Contact: Sam England, West Virginia State Parks Chief, 304-558-2764,

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Applications to participate in controlled deer hunts at nine West Virginia state parks are being accepted through Sept. 9. These hunts are scheduled throughout the fall at Beech Fork, Cacapon Resort, Canaan Valley Resort, Lost River, North Bend, Pipestem Resort, Stonewall Resort, Twin Falls and Watoga.

“Previous controlled hunts have been successful in helping us manage deer populations at our parks,” said West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England. “It is an effective and efficient way to maintain a biologically and socially balanced deer herd in areas with overpopulation.”

Applications for the hunt must be submitted online at Applicants must use their existing Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System account, or create one. 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. Drawings for the hunts will start on Sept. 10. Successful applicants will be notified between Sept. 14 and 21.

Each application is for a three-day harvest opportunity using archery/crossbow or muzzleloader rifles, depending upon the dates, hunt types, and designated areas. Rather than specified hunting stands for each hunter, as used in past controlled hunts, all hunters will be provided a map and will be able to roam and hunt within the designated hunting zones. Deer harvested do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.

Controlled Hunts Benefits

Controlled hunts are a successful tool for deer management, when populations reach levels that become detrimental to the landscape. Over-browsing by deer can lead to loss of native vegetation, prevent forest regeneration and alter habitat for all wildlife species living in the park. Controlled hunts help reduce deer numbers to levels that prevent habitat loss, property damage, vehicle collisions and potential human injuries, while still allowing 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.

Hunter Requirements

If chosen, each hunter will be required to confirm participation 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 regarding the controlled hunt.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hunting regulations will apply to all managed hunts. To learn more about hunting in West Virginia and the Division of Natural Resources, visit

Specific Hunting Dates and Methods

Specific rules, hunting dates and hunting methods are available on the electronic licensing system.  For additional information about a specific park hunt, call the park at the below numbers and indicate the call is regarding controlled hunt information. The superintendent or representative responding to controlled hunt calls, if unavailable, will return calls.