SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Resident West Virginia hunters have a chance for a rather unique hunting opportunity in February. The Division of Natural Resources this week announced plans to draw for permits to hunt wild boar during the second half of the split boar season in February on a piece of private property in Logan County.
According to Assistant Chief of Game Gary Foster, the area’s hunting privileges are currently leased by the land owners, Western Pocahontas Land Company but the company requested an allowance of limited public access for the three day boar season.
“We were approached by them to open up some of their lands just for those three days of the late wild boar season, February 5th through the 7th. There’s around 8,000 acres this draw will apply to. The draw is just to gain access to the Western Pocahontas properties,” he explained.
The area is rugged and situated south of the area typically considered the historical wild boar lands of southern West Virginia. The species was introduced in the Spruce Laurel Fork area to create big game hunting opportunities in the early 1970’s. Although the Western Pocahontas Property was not in the original release zone, the pigs have found there way into the region.
“They did indicate they have a pretty dense wild boar population and did indicate some limited problems with wild boar on the property. But I think also it was a good faith effort to reach out to try and open up some property that may have had limited hunting for wild boar and provide some additional access,” Foster said.
Hunters who want to get in on the drawing must be a West Virginia resident. You can apply from January 5-14 on the DNR’s electronic licensing system website. A total of 200 permits will be issued and there is a $10 non-refundable application fee to anyone who wants to be part of the drawing.
“Our plans will be to immediately after January 14th to do the random draw and get the information out to the successful applicants the following week.,” Foster explained.
Those drawn for the limited permits will be provided the permit along with maps showing parking areas and property boundaries for the three day hunting season.
Boar have seen a significant decline since numbers peaked in the late 70’s and early 80’s. However, Foster explained there are still plenty of them in the area to hunt and the attention generated by the drawn hunt may have created an uptick in interest.
“Season frameworks have changed a bit, but populations did decline over time. Five or six years ago we started to see that population starting to grow and bounce back. It’s still at lower levels and not as widespread as it was 30 years ago, but there are still good populations in select areas down there,” said Foster.