This year, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is expanding the hunting opportunities within state parks. Hunts will take place in 10 parks around the state – Beech Fork, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, Chief Logan, Lost River, North Bend, Pipestem, Stonewall Jackson, Twin Falls, and Watoga. For most parks hunting would take place over a 6 day period in the fall, with 9 days at North Bend. This plan is intended to control the deer population and generate revenue through application fees.
After receiving several calls from members who were alarmed about the proposal, we decided to see how the public felt. In just a couple days, we received nearly 200 responses to our survey, with the majority expressing concern about the hunting proposal. We delivered these responses to the Division of Natural Resources at a public meeting, which was also attended by several concerned citizens from Logan County.
Logan County residents have been the strongest voices resisting this proposal, including hanging signs around Chief Logan State Park, and taking out an advertisement in the Charleston Post-Gazette. They maintain that the deer in Chief Logan State Park are not overpopulated, and that the hunt is an unnecessary disturbance. As a result of their efforts, the DNR has delayed its decision on hunting in Chief Logan State Park. We hope the agency will use the extra time to do more research on the deer population and meet with local residents.