SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), four state parks will soon be open to controlled deer hunt applicants.

For hunters who have applied, controlled hunts will be held at Beech Fork, Cacapon Resort, North Bend and Twin Falls Resort state parks.

Applications must be submitted online at wvhunt.com, using an Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System account, by Aug. 31. Those entering the lottery must also use a WVDNR ID. A drawing for the hunts will be held on Sept. 1. Any successful applicants will be notified and contacted with more details about the controlled hunt between Sept. 6-16.

“Controlled hunts have proven to be an effective way to maintain a deer herd in areas experiencing overpopulation,” said West Virginia State Parks Chief Brad Reed. “When deer populations reach levels that become detrimental to the landscape, over-browsing can lead to loss of native vegetation, prevent forest regeneration and alter habitat for all wildlife species living in the park.”

When applying, applicants must follow the link on wvhunt.com for State Park Lottery Hunts. Each entry includes a non-refundable $15 application fee and each application can be submitted for one or two people.

According to the WVDNR, “each application is for a three-day harvest opportunity using a compound bow, crossbow, muzzleloader or air rifle, depending on the selected date, hunt type and designated area.”

Multiple hunts can be entered, even if they are occurring at the same or different state parks on different days. Only one hunt can be participated in at a time. Hunters cannot split the three days between two or more parks and may only enter each hunt once. However, with different hunts on different days, the hunter can participate in each three-day event.

All hunters will be given a map and designated hunting zones. Controlled hunts do not count against a hunter’s annual deer season bag limit.

Winners will be required to confirm their participation and must also possess “a valid West Virginia hunting license within one week of being contacted or be legally exempt from purchasing a license.”

For more about the hunts, login to the ELS system at wvhunt.com or call the WVDNR license team at 304-558-6200.