SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — Urban deer hunting soon will be coming to South Charleston, the latest city to enact an effort to control the large and encroaching deer population.

The South Charleston City Council approved the proposal at Thursday night’s meeting, where Mayor Frank Mullens said support has been tremendous.

“We had public meetings with our residents and it seemed liked the majority, matter of fact an overwhelming majority, kind of supported an urban deer hunt,” he said. “And also the DNR recommended to us that that’s what we do to try an control our deer population.”

This urban deer hunt will be similar to the hunt Charleston has conducted for several years. Mullens said this doesn’t mean people will be walking through neighbor’s yards carrying weapons.

“It has to be on a property of five acres or more, has to be up on a tree stand shooting straight down and it’s bow hunting only, no guns,” said Mullens. “There’s only a few spots in South Charleston where you are going to be able to do it.”

The urban hunting will be limited to 20 areas in South Charleston and hunters must get permission from property owners before setting foot on the property. In addition, hunters must buy a permit and receive training. 

“It will be controlled through our police department. Permits will be given out by our police chief,” Mullens said. “Background checks will be done and there will be education done for these folks, so they know what they can and can’t do.”

The city could charge up to $25 for a permit, officials said.

Also in the proposal, no hunting will be allowed within 500 feet of school property or 150 feet of a dwelling or occupied building.

Hunting would be allowed during the time established by the mayor or his representative and in accordance with all applicable state hunting rules and regulations. The ordinance would require all harvested deer be checked at an official game-checking station.

Mullens said at first he opposed the idea, but after learning more about it, believes it’s a necessity for the city.

“I’m OK with this and I’m comfortable with it,” he said. “I think it will be controlled enough that probably 90 percent or more of our citizens won’t even know it’s going on.”

The exact details of the hunt were not ironed out at the meeting, but the city attorney was expected to have that completed within the next week.

Mullens said the DNR told city officials this was their best and only option for controlling the deer population.

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  • DonaldH

    Now if the would let me hunt from atop the Mound,,, with my .308-- Can't you see City Hall from the Mound? just askin

  • thornton

    Errant shots occur of varying degrees of angles and of various reasons for discharge have Amish girl driving a buggy in Ohio comes to mind.
    Sad, whenever safety is set aside....equating that to shots at a bear in a tree though would be a big stretch.
    One must not reach too far for an example.....can make the entire argument appear specious.

    Hunting is often...shooting.
    Deer over bait being one example, a porch another.
    Filling a freezer results either way.
    I would shoot a deer...I would not waste my time or court boredom hunting one.
    Far bigger names on other lines.


    Thornton, good comments. Yes, politics reigns in this state. it will never be replaced with logic and sound decision making. Now when you get time, do an extensive Google on how many errant vertical shots kill people. Thee are more than widely reported. used to laugh at the comment too until i knew a young girl who was killed by someone discharging the muzzleloader. There are many articles on this stupid act. The deck or porch can be a nice stand. but thats not hunting unless you are eating to survive. Good luck to you and many happy hunting days.

  • thornton

    Deer management decisions seldom pleases all hunters.
    The USoP sued the PGC in Penn. over the Alt Plan...they naturally lost, of course as Pa. had a big issue in many areas with browse lines and common sense prevailes often enough. A simple look at the photos of PGC fenced and unfenced areas illustrates what damage deer occasion.

    Ohio, WV and most other states seldom manage with that habitat in mind,,..instead, they mange to try and keep the majority of deer hunters happy, the Xmas/nursery owners happy and the insurance folks happy.
    Actually, DNRs are happy regardless as a focus on deer is simple for them, comparable to other specie's management.
    DNR folks above the field level are often more focused on politics and their retirement.

    Urban deer are a problem, partly because folks do not shoot the does...and the nature of the urban environment.
    Whether it is actual hunting or unimportant.
    Deer need dealt with for the damage they and the baiting deer hunters cause, well beyond themselves.

    I do doubt that many problems result from upward shooting bear hunters...that is a bit laughable.
    Running them with dogs may be an acquired taste...not for me but until I see a reason sufficient for condemnation...I won't.
    Laughable also is fretting over landowners shooting a deer sans license.
    The more killed the better...I shot my last deer, should be a capital L, from my back porch w/o shoes on...who cares?...they are just deer.
    And while I have well in excess of an acre or two...that acre or two is sufficient to swat a deer.
    That attitude may be representative of some folks w/o the option of a backyard.

    As to meetings, I have attended NF meetings re their development plan....the problem there are the obstructionists, like the SELC, who file lawsuits willy-nilly against the proper management of the forests.
    Public meetings, by and large, are simple window dressing and feel-good opportunities....on any subject.

    We do all have opinions...simply wish more folks would look beyond themselves and their opinions and preferences.....that is the only way to learn and to affect change that is actually meaningful....state or nationwide.

    Good luck with your cross-gun....I personally hope you never miss.

  • doesntmatter

    Give it a while if the dnr sees a dollar they will do it right or wrong. Look no further than all the bear hunters that use dogs and the tresspassing effect on real hunters.

    • thornton

      "effect on real hunters"...there is the problem well past deer in the suburbs.
      The elitist nature of deer bowhunters who believe ethics revolves around weapon used rather than actions taken.

      "trespassing effect"...the second issue of the snobs.
      Deer have occasioned Leasing which will and has begun to kill hunter recruitment by it's selfish and self-focused nature.
      Locate, Lease & Lock Up...the new mantra in hunting whereever the antler or the gobble controls the endorphins of Me.

      I suppose it is a good thing that there are so few ruffed grouse from so much ignorance and lack of concern for a healthy forest.
      If there were ruffed grouse then the bowhunters perched pantingly in trees would see more dogs using state, federal and , especially,Corporate ground...and, they likely could not abide that is not in their developing nature.
      More sad and predictable that.
      More sad the Future.


        Thornton, you have god points. I've attended the spring hosted DNR meetings for years. I have only seen a few, emphasis on few, great ideas or plans as submitted by attendees ever presented to the powers to be or legislature for consideration and implementation. Treeing a bear with dogs never seemed to be hunting to me much less shooting a round vertically into the air. But that is state hunting tradition. I am passionate about authorizing the crossbow to hunt. I don't qualify for the handicap permit. My doctor and I have read the requirement. It's ridiculous. I no longer have the upper body strength to pull my Mathews bow back and hold for an accurate and timely shot. I also don't understand the biologist's recommendations in regards to many seasons or regulations. I have the option to hunt all over the state. From the Eastern Panhandle to George Washington Natl Forest and center of the state and have watched the doe population dwindle for some time. I understand management concepts and buck to doe ratios. Up until recently, I used to spend an average of 50 days on stand. I know what I observe and what my cameras capture. We don't really have a voice is my final thought. I also have a problem with landowners killing for free. Owning enough land to hunt and kill 500 yards from a house is total BS. The profit from those licenses alone would support many viable management programs. Again, just my humble opinions. Good and safe hunting to all.

  • DonaldH

    I suppose the biggest threat from the deer are to the motorist-- I say the idiots riding their bicycles along these "Share The Road" roads are the bigger danger object than the deer,, both obey traffic laws about the same and neither have enough sense to know they are no match for a 4000lb object.... I no longer yield for deer and my patience for the inconsiderate bicyclist is waning...

  • justme

    I too have found broad heads in deer, also have seen deer wounded by rifles stumbling through the woods I think it has to do with how much pride the person takes in being a good hunter (bow or gun) that is why I dont think shooting deer in peoples backyards is true hunting

    • must go

      You are correct; this is not hunting. It is a way to control the herd that is living with in the city limits. No true sportsman would consider this "hunting" ; but a way of herd control and more venison for the freezer. The only alternative is to trap and relocate. This would not help control the states population and would be very expensive in doing so.


      I agree. Another solution should be discussed.

  • Shadow

    I doubt if there is anyone who would disagree that an excessive number of deer is a liability to the gardener or homeowner because of the damage to foliage My question is why do all the governmental agencies that control the capability to reduce this damage have to make money off the reduction of the deer population? It makes no sense but it is done by DNR and now South Charleston.


    Re-locating the deer to the mountains would be best but I am sure it is cost prohibitive. Bow hunting is a bad idea. Most archers in this state and many others that hunt with compound bows wound as many deer as they kill. They simply don't either the time to practice shooting or don't have as much time to practice as required. Many of us wish the legislature would approve the use of crossbows just like MD, PA and VA did many years ago. It's more humane, lethal, accurate and would also contribute more dollars to the DNR's licensing coffers thru the issue of a special permit. Data from the above states has already revealed no negative consequences from the use of crossbows as many suggested early on. But we have an organization in this state who lobby's and successfully blocks this legislation. They are called the WV Bowhunters Association. At least that is what I have been told on numerous queries as to why there is not a crossbow season. So we take our hunts to the above three states and spend our money there. I'm too old to pull back a compound or traditional bow and don't qualify for a handicap permit. So once again, a special interest group in this state stands in the way of a good idea.

    • thornton

      If you think that crossbows reduce wounding of are sadly mistaken.
      Deer are wounded by bad decisions regarding shoot or becoming excited over shooting the silly deer in the first place.
      That from Ohio.

      I do wish more folks would come to Ohio as the deer numbers are far too high with not enough folks killing does. Too many want the ability to brag about some buck at the barbershop.
      The result is early successional that is affected as just a start....add in the selfishness of deer feeding and deer do little but satisfy a small and self-focused group of hunters.
      Best deer management is in Pennsylvania where the wonderful Alt Deer Plan slammed the things as they should be slammed into better health....deer and habitat both.

      Rather than mange for any specie, the WVDNR should manage the habitat for diversity and so, health....the species will follow the betterment of habitat.
      Otherwise, it is yet another way that selfishness shines.

    • must go

      WVirginian For Life - you are speaking on feelings and not facts. Where are your facts that you state that :archers wound more than killed". Also your support of the cross bow is on the wrong terms. Most archers are true archers and take pride in their marksmenship. A lot of the supporters for the cross bow is the ones who want an easy way to kill a deer in bow season without having to become proficient with a long bow. And a deer that is shot properly dies swiftly and usally does not even know that it has been shot. I have killed many with a bow and most die within sight.

      If you really were interested in obtaining a cross bow permit, I bet you could get one on the disability clause. Because if you are in good enough shape to hunt, but unable to pull a 45lb draw. Then there must be a physical problem and you would justify a crossbow permit.

      You mention the other states and WV getting more money. There again you speak on feelings and not knowledge. IF WV went to the cross bow like the other states. Then WV needs to follow the other states in deer management. The others states manager their deer where the cross bow does not have an effect on the quality of the deer population. But WV has a terrible deer management and it would have bad effects on our deer quality. If WV would manage our deer pop. lake the states you mentioned. People would come here to deer hunt. The reason WVians go to OH, KY is for the quality of bucks. Not so they can use a cross bow.


        You must be one of the associations members. Again, nothing different is done in MD, PA or VA in regards to a crossbow permit. The same counties open to regular archery are open to crossbows. I know, I have hunted all three for five years with a crossbow. So yes, I do know the facts. Let those who hunt decide which approved weapon to use. And your comment on wounded deer by archers is crap. I have skinned enough deer in my life and found broad heads everywhere. I have also found many carcasses during rifle season from bad shot artists. A crossbow is lethal up to 60 yards (Ten Point models) for most and certainly 30 for all models. it's not about easy killing. Geez, you could say that about rifles and in-line muzzleloaders with scopes. Again, no negative consequences from those arms and seasons. Stop blocking the wants and desires of other sportsman with your unsupported facts and ultra conservatism.

        • must go

          I am calling you BS!
          I have skinned counless deer and NEVER found a broad head.

          Just the points you make and your argument tells me that you are not a hunter. A person that has hunted; yes. but not a hunter.

          You are correct about the rifles, muzzelloader thing. But a x bow is not ARCHERY! And your argument does not hold water. It is based on feelings and not proof!

          • WV Sportsman

            WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE - I have read this banter between you two. And it looks like you are the one getting all upset. And you are the one getting beligerant. How do you get that "must go" is an out law?
            And what does it matter that you fired many weapons. I think that you are grasping for straws. You sir have an opinion just like "must go" But you are the one that cannot consuct yourself in a civil manner. I think you are mad because you have no other argument. Good day.......


            Must go. You are no doubt an outlaw who hunts 24/7 or some variation thereof. Again, crossbows are no different than any other firearm or approved weapon for hunting. There is no valid argument for blocking their use. I served 30 years in the military, trained and fired many weapons in multiple scenarios to include combat. So get a grip dumb a_s. this is a forum for comments, not a slugfest or cage fight for degenerates.


        You must be one of the associations members. Again, nothing different is done in MD, PA or VA in regards to a crossbow permit. The same counties open to regular archery are open to crossbows. I know, I have hunted all three for five years with a crossbow. So yes, I do know the facts. Let those who hunt decide which approved weapon to use. And your comment on wounded deer by archers is bull. I have skinned enough deer in my life and found broad heads everywhere. I have also found many carcasses during rifle season from bad shot artists. A crossbow is lethal up to 60 yards (Ten Point models) for most and certainly 30 for all models. it's not about easy killing. Geez, you could say that about rifles and in-line muzzleloader s with scopes. Again, no negative consequences from those arms and seasons. Stop blocking the wants and desires of other sportsman with your ultra conservatism.

  • thornton

    I recall The Fogger truck wending it's way thru the streets, belching out some killer juice, with us kids trailing along behind and as happy as clams.

    Deer are equivalent to skeeters with antlers so it might be a good idea to fog the things into submission.
    Little would be lost, much would be saved.

  • justme

    should call it deer getting there is no real hunting involved

    • leroy j gibbs

      I hunt therefore I am.

      Plenty of venison out there for bow gun or crossbow. You cant eat antlers