Board of Game and Inland Fisheries
James W. Hazel
I have had the opportunity to do a number of things in my professional life. If I had tried to chart my course when I graduated high school I would have used a straight line, but as it turns out I have had a lot of course changes to get to where I am today. Many of these have involved time spent in all parts of Virginia working on a wide variety of issues important to the Commonwealth. This has included a lot of time in Richmond working with many state agencies and the General Assembly, including volunteer work a number of years ago to allow Sunday hunting on licensed game preserves.
The one constant in my life has been my love of the outdoors and in particular hunting and fishing. I started as a young kid catching blue gills and looking for groundhogs and still do the same activities to this day. One of my mentors in the early years was my Uncle, James W. Engle, who spent his entire professional life working for the VDGIF. He took me on my first deer hunt and taught me how to call turkeys, and this was when deer and turkeys were a lot harder to find in Virginia then they are now.
I have expanded my outdoor interest and spend most of my time outdoors chasing birds of all types, including lots of waterfowl and fishing for small mouth and trout on Virginia's smaller waters. I own a licensed shooting preserve and train and work my bird dogs there as often as I can; spaniels are my preferred breed. Friends bring their dogs on hunts for dove, ducks, and geese and we share many good times together. Beagles and rabbits are another favorite pursuit.
I am a member of Quail Unlimited and was a founding Board member of the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. I have helped sponsor statewide golf tournaments for Ducks Unlimited in past years and sponsored DU dove shoots in Fauquier County. My family's farm in Fauquier has been in the VDGIF's DMAP program for over 10 years and we follow its management guidelines at all times.
I live with my family in Fairfax, Virginia and my best hunting partner is my 18 year old son.