Bath hunters propose regulation changes
Hot Springs, Va. – Over the past year in Bath County, a group of hunters and landowners have been working to address the issues of game management and the declining deer population in the area. The Appalachian Members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association has been gaining members and it held its quarterly meeting on Wednesday June 20. The group met to review some proposed changes to game regulations that it has been working on. Wayne Anderson is the spokesperson for the Appalachian Members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association.
“I think the meeting was very successful,” says Anderson. “I was somewhat disappointed in the turnout, even though we had thirty plus folks here and that’s a sizable number. What it is, is the thirty people we had are worker bees and that’s what you need to make an organization successful.”
The group has come up with proposed game regulation changes that it’s going to submit to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The proposed changes include four points on a side for the second buck, a limit of two does, one by muzzleloader and one by rifle and an extended bear season. And for turkey hunting, bearded birds only during Thanksgiving week, a shortened deer season, doe day moved up to the first day of muzzleloader season, feeding deer year around for game management purposes and harsher fines for trespassing and poaching. The Virginia Deer Hunters Association has agreed to support the group on these proposed changes. The proposed changes will be looked at more favorably by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries if local county governments also support them. So Anderson is hoping to get support from the Boards of Supervisors in Bath, Highland and Alleghany counties.
“Well, the four points on a side certainly will probably pass, if the Supervisors endorse it,” says Anderson. “Now things can pass without being endorsed by Supervisors, but it’s unlikely that it can pass without that. Because they want the county government’s blessing when they do things like that. So that’s probably a no brainer. The two does is certainly probably a no brainer. The biggest controversy obviously is the feeding. Personally, just like I said earlier in the meeting, it should be up to the individual landowner and their rights.”
By September these proposed changes will be submitted to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Any that are approved will take effect in about eighteen months.
“It’s important to have good quality management on the national forest, just as important as it is on private land,” says Anderson. “If it wasn’t for the private landowners there would be very few deer in this area, period. So it is important that we work together. Because even we have deer on private land and we have several deer on private land. But they are dwindling in numbers also. So if we can do whatever to work with the national forest or Virginia state forestry, etc., to better put deer on public land then it helps the private landowner also.”
For more information about the Appalachian Members of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, contact Wayne Anderson at 540-997-0203.