The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), has announced its 2012 deer hunting program. In order to manage the deer population on campus, archery hunting will again be allowed, with gun hunting later in the season.
The dates are as follows: Oct. 6 and 8 Youth and Disabled with Class Q permit shotgun; Oct. 27 shotgun; Nov. 24, Dec. 1 and 15 shotgun; Dec. 8 muzzleloader. Limited archery hunting will be available on most firearms hunting dates. This managed hunt is open to all hunters licensed in West Virginia, including out-of-state applicants, who have received a hunter safety certification. Hunters with disabilities are welcome to participate and accommodations will be made as needed.
For applications and regulations, visit the NCTC website at nctc.fws.gov/deerhunt.html, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-876-7272. Applications for the hunt must be emailed or received by mail by Tuesday, Aug. 28.
NCTC's director Jay Slack described the hunt as an opportunity to build partnerships and better manage habitat. "As stewards of the land and wildlife on NCTC's 532 acres, we welcome the opportunity to work with our conservation partners in the hunting community, and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), every year on the NCTC Deer Hunt," Slack said. The training center is looking forward to hosting around 120 hunters over the course of the hunt. Slack remarked, "With the assistance of the hunting community, NCTC is better able to successfully manage local wildlife and land in the interest of posterity."
Rich Rogers, a district wildlife biologist with the West Virginia DNR, advises NCTC on establishing population management goals for the hunt. Rogers said, "When deer densities get too high, the deer can damage our plant communities, effectively destroying the habitat which they and other wild animals- depend on for survival. To keep the herd and habitat healthy at a place like NCTC, the deer population must be managed." Rogers also acknowledged the benefits to people. "Managing the deer helps control the tick population and reduce the number of deer-car collisions, both of which are significant issues in the Panhandle area."
The National Conservation Training Center is the home of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a leader in environmental sustainability. The center provides exemplary training tailored to support service employees and conservation partners in the accomplishment of the agency's mission. For more information about NCTC or their green practices, visit nctc.fws.gov.