DNR opens applications for controlled state park deer hunts, including Cacapon

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is now accepting applications to participate in controlled deer hunts at seven state parks.

Controlled hunts are scheduled this fall at Beech Fork, Blennerhassett, Canaan Valley, Cacapon, North Bend, Stonewall and Twin Falls state parks.

Hunters have from July 1 to August 30 to apply. Drawing for the hunts will start on August 31 and successful applicants will be notified between September 6-17.

Cacapon State Park’s controlled hunts will take place during the first two weeks in November. An archery hunt will take place November 1-3 at the park. There will be a drawing for 30 permits for the three-day hunt. Hunters must take an antlerless deer first, then may harvest one of either sex after.

A second controlled hunt by archery or muzzleloader will take place at Cacapon the following week, from November 8-10. Thirty permits will be issued for that hunt. There will be a drawing for five buck tags per day.

Large portions of Cacapon State Park will be closed to visitors and trail users during the six days of controlled hunts at the park.

“Controlled hunts have proven to be an effective way to maintain a balanced deer herd in areas experiencing overpopulation,” said West Virginia State Parks Chief Brad Reed. “These hunts are one of the ways we manage deer populations in our parks.”

Applications for the hunts must be submitted online at Hunters must use their existing Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System account or create one to apply. Once logged in, applicants must select “Enter a Lottery Drawing” and choose one of the available options. There is an application fee for each entry. Each application can be submitted for one or two people.

Each application is for a three-day harvest opportunity using a compound bow, crossbow or muzzleloader, 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.

Antlerless Deer Hunting Permit

Applications are also being accepted for Class N or NN antlerless deer stamps. There are six counties or parts thereof that require resident Class N or nonresident Class NN antlerless deer hunting with prior permit application. Those counties are Boone, Greenbrier (North Portion), Kanawha (North Portion), Nicholas, Raleigh (East Portion) and Webster.

Additionally, Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area, national forest lands in Randolph and Pocahontas counties, Camp Creek State Forest and Greenbrier State Forest have a limited number of Class N or Class NN stamps available for antlerless deer hunting.

To be eligible to hunt in one of these areas, an application must be submitted online by August 13. Resident landowners do not need a permit to hunt on their own land. Successful applicants will receive notification from the DNR by mail. Applicants can also check their application status online at beginning on August 20. There is no cost to apply for an antlerless deer hunting permit.

In limited resident and nonresident antlerless WMAs and national and state forest hunts, a hunter may take only one deer in the antlerless season.

Hunter Requirements

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 regarding the controlled hunt. West Virginia hunting regulations apply to all controlled hunts.

Hunting Dates & Methods

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