The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources recently announced that the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank will host a controlled deer hunt on the observatory site Oct. 17-18.
Applications are now available and are being accepted for this special resident-only deer hunt. Successful applicants will be notified by mail and issued a special NRAO letter of authorization for the deer hunt. Walk-ons will not be permitted to hunt under any conditions.
The controlled hunt will take place on four designated areas ranging in size from 132 acres to 1,000 acres. Each area designated (bow only, muzzleloader and shotguns with slugs) is on the application the hunter must choose to hunt. This past week, I was talking to a spokesman at the Elkins Operations Center about this controlled hunt. This person informed me that centerfire rifles or handguns of any caliber are absolutely prohibited. All successful applicants need to remember these are bonus deer and will not count toward the hunters annual licensed deer bag limit. All participating hunters must possess an appropriate West Virginia base hunting license (Class A, AH, AHJ, X, XJ, Lifetime) or be exempt from having to purchase a license. All deer taken during this controlled hunt must be checked in at the official game checking station at the NRAO site.
The maximum bag limit on the NRAO acreage is two antlerless deer (one per day), except that an on-site lottery will be held each day of the hunt that will allow five hunters to hunt a deer of either sex.
All gasoline-powered vehicles will be strictly controlled on the hunting site. Hunters will have to park only in a designated parking area, and all vehicles will be issued a "pass" that must be displayed on the windshield.
Applications may be picked up at any WVDNR district office or may be requested by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at P. O. Box 2, Green Bank, WV 24944, Attention: Hunt Coordinator. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.
I have only applied for this hunt one time and did not get picked. However, I have talked for a few people who have. Most of them have told me when the weather is halfway decent getting a deer at this location is no problem at all.
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This past Tuesday, my wife, Ruth, and I attended the monthly Mountaineer Chapter Izaak Walton League dinner/meeting. There is no one who enjoys a good meatloaf dinner with all the trimmings any more than I do, and the meatloaf was delicious.
During the meeting, the chapter members present unanimously voted in five new members who appeared to be enthusiastic to be a part of the club activities. Speaking of IWLA activities, today the annual youth "JAKES Day" will be held on the chapter property. This event is actually sponsored by the Tygarts Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. I helped out with this event last year and enjoyed every minute of it, even if it did wear me out.
These activities really encourage youth to become a part of the outdoor sports of fishing and hunting and are vitally important.