Great Dismal Swamp sees few deer hunt applications

Published 7:10 pm Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge staff is surprised by the low number of deer hunt applicants received so far this year.

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

Applications to hunt the full season must be received by Sept. 15.

Email newsletter signup

“Currently, we are at only 200 permits, but we are expecting a great hunt year,” said Lowie.

Last year’s fire in the Great Dismal Swamp has opened many acres of the thick forest of the wildlife refuge and roads that were closed because of the fire will be reopened.

The refuge deer hunt season is divided into early and late seasons. Hunt dates will be Oct. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 and Nov. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21. Registrations received after Sept. 15 will permit hunters to hunt the November dates only.

The registration process for the deer hunt will remain as in previous years. Interested hunters are to mail the required $15 permit fee, complete address, phone number and full name, as it appears on their hunting license, to Great Dismal Swamp NWR, Attention Deer Hunt, 3100 Desert Road, Suffolk, Va. 23434. The permit fee is payable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A scouting opportunity will take place on Sept. 26 for hunters with a signed permit. The designated hunting areas will include the Jericho Lane, Railroad Ditch and Corapeake Ditch entrances. For additional hunt information and a downloadable application form, go to

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 500 refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Great Dismal Swamp NWR was established in 1974 to protect the unique swamp ecosystem and is one of the largest wildlife refuges on the east coast.

Hunting is one of the priority public uses on national wildlife refuges, as affirmed in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997.

For further information, please contact the refuge office at 986-3705 on Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.