Wildlife refuge surprised by low number of hunting applications this year

SULFFOK, Va. – Officials at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge are surprised by the low number of applications for deer and bear hunting this

Great Dismal Swamp in Suffolk, Virginia

year.

“Usually by now we have received several hundred permit requests for the fall deer and bear hunts,” refuge manager Chris Lowie said.

Lowie says data shows that hunter numbers are down nation-wide but wants those in the area to know where they can hunt, ” We want folks to know we are here for those who want to hunt. Harvest rates are generally average, and reports from hunters reflect they enjoy the experience and appreciate the opportunity.”

The Great Dismal Swamp is one of over 550 refuges administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The refuge has been opened since 1974, and has allowed deer hunting  since 1979 and bear hunting since 2006.

Only deer and bear hunting are permitted on the Great Dismal Swamp during specific dates and times in the fall.

To participate in the refuge Deer or Bear Hunt, hunters must apply online at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Click here to apply.

The deer hunt is listed as hunt #701. The fee is $15 for the season.  All paid deer hunt applicants will receive a permit.

The bear hunt is listed as hunt #501 and the fee is $25 for the season.  The first 100 paid bear hunt applicants will receive a permit, and registration is on-going throughout the season.