Bath County Groups Are Working Together To Address The Declining Deer Population
Warm Springs, VA – In Bath County, groups are working together to address the issue of game management and the declining deer population in the area. The Appalachian Members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association held a meeting on Tuesday March 20 that brought together representatives from various agencies. Wayne Anderson is the Spokesperson for the Appalachian Members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association.
“The goal of the meeting was to determine what proposed regulations for hunting and etc., for game management that we could change to help benefit us in this Appalachian area, or the Bath County Highlands area,” says Anderson. “And we actually came to the conclusion of what they were and I would prefer at this moment not to go into those, because we haven’t gotten the verbiage exactly the way we want it when we present it.”
Anderson plans to have the proposed changes submitted to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries by June or July. He says this process includes working with all concerned hunters and game management groups, including the Bear Hunters Association and the Wild Turkey Federation, in order to improve the quality of hunting of all game throughout the region.
Anderson feels his recent meeting went exceptionally well. There were fifty two members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association present, along with Bath County Supervisors Bart Perdue and Cliff Gilchrest. Representatives from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Virginia Department of Forestry also attended.
“I want to also meet with the enforcement people from the Department of Game,” says Anderson. “One of our topics was increasing fines for trespassing and poaching. I want to meet and get a feeling from them. I know that has to go through the state legislature, so we’ll be working with our local reps, Senator Deeds, etc. so we can see if we can get that changed. Because right now it’s not stringent enough to put enough teeth in it to really make people too upset if they get caught. And that’s a bad thing. So we want to really strengthen those regulations when it comes to poaching and trespassing.”
Also in attendance was a researcher from Virginia Tech who is conducting a study of coyotes for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Although the study is just getting started, some interesting information about coyotes in the area has already been discovered.
“The main thing that we learned, they travel for miles,” says Anderson. “It’s just unbelievable. Such as one coyote had left North Carolina and traveled all the way to Richmond. And a coyote that had been collared here in Bath County had traveled both sides of Warm Springs Mountain and now is over in Greenbrier County, next to Pocahontas, in that area.”
For more information about the Appalachian Members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, contact Wayne Anderson at 540-997-0203.