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Four dates set aside for deer hunts at conservation center

August 09, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Officials at a federal facility near Shepherdstown are opening their lands to hunters again this fall in an attempt to thin large deer herds that have been trampling farmland and eating crops.

This is the third year hunters have been allowed to hunt deer at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's National Conservation Training Center along Shepherd Grade Road, spokesman Steve Chase said.

About 35 deer were killed last fall at the center and about 30 were killed the first year, Chase said.

Officials at the center are hoping for a higher deer kill this year to help control the herds, Chase said.

In past years, large herds of deer have been invading farms in Jefferson County, trampling and eating corn and soybeans, and threatening other operations such as vineyards, officials said.

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In the fields at the training center, it is not unusual to see several dozen deer at a time, officials have said.

The public will be given the chance to hunt deer Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, at the training center, according to a press release.

There will be morning and evening hunting sessions and 15 hunting stands will be set up, the release said. That means there will be 90 hunting opportunities.

Training center officials have not reached the maximum number of hunters they can accommodate in past years, Chase said.

All hunters are required to have completed an approved state hunter-education course and attend a National Conservation Training Center hunt orientation before hunting, the release said.

Hunting reservations will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery cards are due to the center no later than Sept. 3. The drawing will be Sept. 6, the release said.

To obtain information about the hunt and lottery, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to NCTC, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, Attn: Hunt Program.

There will be a youth hunt Oct. 29, and disabled hunters can apply to hunt on any of the four dates, the release said.

When mailing for information, specify the type of hunt being sought (regular, youth or disabled) so proper materials can be mailed, the release said.

For more information, call Karen Lindsey at 304-876-7436.

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