Applications Available for Controlled Blennerhassett Island State Park Deer Hunts

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Joint planning efforts between the Parks and Recreation, Wildlife and Law Enforcement Sections of the Division of Natural Resources and E.I. Dupont, which owns Blennerhassett Island and leases it to the State Parks System, have resulted in a plan for a controlled antlerless deer hunt on October 28, 29 and 30 and November 7, 8, and 9 on Blennerhassett Island State Park, located on the Ohio River near Parkersburg, WV.

This will be the second year for the controlled deer hunt on Blennerhassett Island. In 2001, a total of 263 hunters harvested 185 deer from the island during the first hunting season on a State Park since 1958.

Surveys conducted by Wildlife personnel, with assistance from volunteers, indicate a very high population of deer on the island with fall surveys revealing a deer density of nearly one deer per acre. Such a high deer population causes severe pressure on the habitat.

Legislation passed in 2000 authorized the Natural Resources Commission to permit and regulate hunting of white-tailed deer on the Island. "Hunting is the most reasonable and responsible way of reducing the deer herd on the Island, " said Ed Hamrick, Director of the Division of Natural Resources.

The application and instructions for the controlled hunt are posted on the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources web page at . The application can be filled out online but must then be printed so applicants can sign and date the form. Applications are also available at all DNR offices. Completed applications must be mailed to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV prior to August 31, 2002.

A random selection of hunters will be made from those applications. All applicants must choose which type of weapon they will be using - either archery or firearms. Firearms are limited to muzzleloaders or shotguns with slugs. Scopes are permitted. All hunting must be from elevated tree stands (self climbing or ladder type) provided by the hunter. At least five stands have been eliminated this year with an additional stand being moved to accommodate the physically challenged hunter. Safety belts must be worn while in the stand.

Applicants are limited to two days (first and second choice) but will only be eligible for one day of hunting unless there are unfilled stands on the day of their second choice. Party permits are reduced to two applicants instead of four. This year, there are no waiting lists or "walk-ons." The limit is two deer, one per day, and these deer do not count against the annual bag limit. The hunt is open to both residents and nonresidents and several sites are available for Class Q (immobile in both lower extremities) license holders. Each hunter must possess a valid West Virginia hunting license (or be legally exempt from purchasing a license) on the day of the hunt.