Time is running out for deer hunters to apply for 3,245 antlerless-deer permits for West Virginia’s 2014 whitetail season.
Division of Natural Resources officials will only honor applications received by the close of business on Aug. 15, said Paul Johansen, the agency’s assistant wildlife chief. “For sportsmen who intend to hunt in certain counties or wildlife management areas, drawing one of these limited permits is the only way to legally harvest an antlerless deer,” he said.
For most of the state, hunters may purchase antlerless-deer permits online or “over the counter” from retail license agents. But for eight counties and 11 state forests and wildlife management areas, hunters must apply for limited numbers of lottery-drawn permits.
This year’s limited-draw counties include Boone, northern Clay, eastern Fayette, Mercer, eastern Nicholas, western Pendleton, Pocahontas and eastern Raleigh.
Limited-draw state forests include Calvin Price, Greenbrier and Kumbrabow; WMAs include Beaver Dam, Big Ugly, Blackwater, Elk River, Little Canaan, Little River, Potomac and Wallback.
The number of available permits varies by area. Western Pendleton County, for example, will get only 150 permits, while Boone County will get 600. Tucker County’s Little Canaan WMA will get just 25 permits, while Braxton County’s Elk River WMA will get 250.
Johansen said DNR officials have purposely limited the number of permits in those areas in order to keep whitetail populations stable.
“These counties and WMAs are either at, or very close to, the deer populations outlined in our management objectives,” he explained.
“When we make the recommendation to hold a limited-permit antlerless hunt in an area, it means we want to continue to remove antlerless deer, but we don’t want to overdo it. The goal is to try to maintain the [area’s deer] population about where it is.”
Applications are available at DNR district offices, or they may be downloaded from the DNR’s website, www.wvdnr.gov. There is no fee to apply, but any hunter who draws an antlerless permit must purchase the $10 license.
Applications should be mailed to: Application Section, WVDNR, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241.
This year’s antlerless-deer seasons will be held Oct. 23-25 on private lands only; and Nov. 24 through Dec. 6, Dec. 18-20 and Dec. 29-31 on private and public lands.