By MELINDA WILLIAMS
With temperatures expected to climb into the low 50s next week, some may be inclined to head out to Claytor Lake State Park for a hike.
However, park users should make note that the park will be closed between 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, and 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, for a managed deer hunt. During this time all trails and fishing, boating and overnight facilities will be closed.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which operates state parks, uses managed hunts as part of its deer management program. Sites offering managed hunts can change from year to year.
Hunters must register to participate in the managed hunts. The daily, non-refundable, fee is $15 and, at Claytor Lake, the number of hunters is limited to 20 per day. The reservation period began Oct. 12, but reservations will be taken up to two days before the requested hunt day provided space is still available.
Muzzleloaders, shotguns and slugs can be used at Claytor Lake. However, hunters are required to show proof of having completed a hunter education course to participate. Hunter education certification and hunting licenses must be presented at check-in.
To register for the upcoming managed hunt, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center, 1-800-933-PARK
The following rules apply when hunting on state park lands:
•Hunting and camping are permitted only in designated areas.
•Virginia game laws apply in all designated hunting areas.
•Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of all state park buildings and roads.
•State law requires hunters to wear blaze orange. The minimum required by law is a blaze orange cap or vest; most managed hunts at state parks require a blaze orange vest, at a minimum, which is more than required by state regulations.