Update (November 27, 2023): Unfortunately, decisionmakers at Oglebay Resort apparently decided to move forward with the deer slaughter, despite our best efforts to persuade them to consider humane alternatives. Please continue to contact Oglebay’s management asking that they do better in the future and that they discourage the feeding of deer and any other wildlife at the resort.
Reportedly, officials at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, have approved a bowhunting event on its grounds, scheduled to take place November 6 through 8, with the apparent intent of reducing the local deer population. Bowhunting is among the cruelest forms of killing, as victims’ deaths are slow and agonizing—it can take weeks for some to die. And lethal initiatives tear wild families apart, leaving young and weak animals vulnerable to starvation and dehydration.
Lethal methods don’t work to control wild populations and can actually backfire—as long as food is plentiful, surviving herd members will breed, with female deer producing twins or triplets rather than single fawns. The typical result is an endless killing cycle. Shockingly, we’re told that visitors to Oglebay Park have for years been allowed to feed wildlife with such regularity that deer routinely approach visitors and even eat food right out of their hands. Slaughtering these animals after they have been enticed to congregate unnaturally is unthinkably cruel. The resort will have better luck managing the population if it strictly prohibits visitors from feeding wildlife.
We have urged Oglebay Resort to cancel this cruel event, but our pleas have been ignored. A group of local residents has also filed a lawsuit trying to stop the cull. Now it’s your turn! Please politely urge Oglebay Resort management and the Oglebay Foundation directors to immediately cancel this cruel event and to commit to only effective, humane methods of management moving forward.
Please continue to call and e-mail the following people, reminding them that if guests are allowed to feed wildlife, the deer population will continue to increase—and urging them to do better in the future:
G. Randolph Worls
And please ask the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to step in and work with Oglebay Resort to ensure that it stops allowing visitors to feed wildlife. Please send polite e-mails to the following officials at the agency:
Brett W. McMillion
Brian R. Bolyard
Deputy Director of Operations
Paul R. Johansen
Chief of Wildlife Resources Division