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Board Meeting Minutes

DRAFT MINUTES

BOARD OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES MEETING
4000 WEST BROAD STREET
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 

MARCH 6, 2003, 9:00 A.M.

PRESENT:  Charles G. McDaniel, Chairman, Richard L. Corrigan, Vice Chairman, Dan Hoffler, Jimmy Dean, Richard E. Railey, Jr., Will McNeely, Sherry S. Crumley, Jack T. Shoosmith, Dan R. McCoy, Chuck Cunningham, ABSENT:  Cecil T. Campbell, schedule conflict.  LEGAL COUNSEL:  Roger Chaffe, DIRECTOR:  William L. Woodfin, Jr.; SENIOR STAFF:  Ray Davis, Bob Duncan, Herb Foster, Gary Martel, Charlie Sledd, Jeff Uerz, David Whitehurst  

Chairman McDaniel called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.   

In open session at 9:05 a.m., Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. Corrigan, passed unanimously, that the Board go into a closed session pursuant to § 2.2-3711.A.3 of the Code of Virginia for discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose, or of disposition of publicly held property with respect to a surplus declaration and subsequent sale for the property known as the Staunton Field Office in Augusta County.  

At 9:10 a.m., Ms. Crumley certified, seconded by Mr. Railey, passed unanimously that whereas the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries had convened a closed meeting on this date pursuant to an affirmative recorded vote and in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and whereas § 2.2-3712.D of the Code requires a certification by this Board that such closed meeting was conducted in conformity with Virginia law, now, therefore, be it resolved that the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries hereby certifies that (i) to the best of each member’s knowledge, only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements by Virginia law were discussed in the closed meeting to which this certification resolution applies, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting were heard, discussed or considered by the Board.  

Mr. McNeely moved, seconded by Mr. Shoosmith, passed unanimously, that the Board authorize the Director to proceed, according to § 2.2-1153 with a surplus declaration for the property known as the Staunton Field Office, tax parcel # 54A(2), Block 9, Lot 11, Augusta County, Virginia and further that the Director pursue the sale of the property pursuant to applicable state procedures.  

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  NON-AGENDA ITEMS:  Chairman McDaniel requested that individuals limit their comments to three minutes.  Individuals representing groups were requested to limit comments to five minutes.  

PETE DAVIS, representing the Goshen Alliance and Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, Lexington, VA spoke in support of SB 786 and requested the Board to accept public comments regarding the management of the Departments wildlife management areas, particularly the Goshen Little North Mountain WMA. 

ALVIN ESTEP, representing the Western Virginia Deer Hunters Association, Fulks Run, VA presented a $1,000 check from the Association to the Director and Bob Duncan for the Department to use for any youth oriented program.  

RECOGNITION OF EMPLOYEES AND OTHERS:  Colonel Herb Foster introduced Game Warden of the Year Chris Thomas. The previous recipients of this award selected Sergeant Thomas for this honor.  His peers are honoring him for his outstanding work as a game warden and for his work in his local community.  

Colonel Foster introduced Lieutenant Steve Pike and Game Warden John Hopkins, III. Upon hearing a call for help to locate a missing five-year old in Spotsylvania County on April 1, 2002, these officers volunteered to assist.  They had just completed tracking school as a part of their SLAP team training.  They were able to locate the youngster, Justin Smith, as nightfall was approaching, using skills they had just learned in the course.   He had been lost in the woods for approximately nine hours. 

Gary Martel introduced Mike Thacker.  Mr. Thacker recently retired from American Electric Power.  During his career with AEP Mr. Thacker was very supportive of the Department and pro-actively worked to benefit its constituents by developing water level management techniques.  He was presented with an appreciation plaque for his work. 

Charlie Sledd recognized the Department’s media staff, Lee Walker, Mel White and Ron Messina. They received the Telly Silver award for a video produced for use at the National Association of State Boating Laws Association conference.  They received the bronze Telly for a video series entitled “A Look Outside, The Great Backyard Bird Count”.   

A moment of silence was observed in memory of Biggy Hunt from South Boston, Virginia, an avid sportsman and member of Ducks Unlimited, and for Dr. Patrick Scanlon, a Wildlife and Fisheries Professor at Virginia Tech.  

MINUTES OF MEETING:  The minutes of the October 24, 2002 Board meeting were distributed to members with the briefing materials.  The Chairman called for additions or corrections to the minutes.  As there was none, Mr. Railey moved, seconded by Ms. Crumley, passed unanimously, that the minutes be approved as written. 

WILDLIFE REGULATION PROPOSALS:  Using power point, Bob Duncan presented the following staff recommendations for wildlife regulation proposals to be approved by the Board for statewide advertisement for public comment.  Board members were reminded that any private comments received on the regulation proposals must be declared at the May Board meeting in order to comply with Freedom of Information Act requirements.  

TURKEY:  Amend 4 VAC 15-240-31 to increase the fall turkey hunting season by six hunting days in the counties of Charles City, Gloucester, James City, King George, Lancaster, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, and York (except on Camp Peary) and include Mathews County which was previously closed.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-240-50 to remove Mathews County from the counties that are closed to fall turkey hunting.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-240-40 to add youth hunting opportunities with a special youth spring gobbler season day on the first Saturday in April and to allow the hunting of turkeys from ½ hour before sunrise to 6:00 p.m. on the last 12 days of the spring season.  

DEER:  Amend 4 VAC 15-90-10 to change the opening day of the general firearms deer season from the third Monday in November to the Saturday prior to the third Monday in November.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-20 to (i) establish the opening date for general firearms deer season as the Saturday prior to the third Monday in November and add one more hunting day at the end of the season, (ii) add towns as localities that will have the firearms deer season and, (iii) remove the counties of Franklin, Henry, Pittsylvania (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad) and the Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Area, Fairystone State Park and Philpott Reservoir from the two-week general firearms deer season.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-21 to (i) establish the opening date of the general firearms deer season as the Saturday prior to the third Monday in November and add one more hunting day at the end of the season, (ii) add towns as localities that will have the firearms deer season, and (iii) add the counties of Franklin, Henry, and Pittsylvania (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad) to the four-week general firearms deer season.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-70 to (i) end the early archery season on the Friday prior to the third Monday in November, (ii) add towns as localities that will have the archery seasons, (iii) establish a late special archery season on the Chester F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area, (iv) extend the time frame for the special urban archery season to include the Monday following the first Saturday in January through the last Saturday in March, both dates inclusive, to those cities, towns and counties participating in the urban archery program, (v) allow for a one-time notification of intent to participate or not to participate in the urban deer archery season, and (vi) remove the sunrise clause since the season is now in effect.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-80 to (i) establish the opening date of the early muzzleloading gun season as the Saturday prior to the first Monday in November and the ending date as the Friday prior to the third Monday in November east of the Blue Ridge Mountains except on national forest lands in Amherst, Bedford and Nelson counties and in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line) and Virginia Beach, (ii) add towns as localities that will have the muzzleloading seasons, (iii) allow deer of either sex to be taken during the entire early special muzzleloading season on Occoneechee State Park in Mecklenburg County, (iv) establish the opening date of the early muzzleloading gun season as the Saturday prior to the second Monday in November and the ending date as the Friday prior to the third Monday in November west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on national forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties, (v) add the City of Virginia Beach to the last special muzzleloading season, (vi) establish full season either-sex deer hunting during the early and late special muzzleloading seasons in Floyd County and on private lands in Roanoke County, (vii) re-establish an either-sex deer hunting day on national forest lands in Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren counties during the early special muzzleloading season, and (viii) establish full season either sex muzzleloading deer seasons within the incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth that allows deer hunting except in the cities and towns in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties and the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-90 to (i) increase the bag limit on deer east of the Blue Ridge Mountains effective July 1, 2004 from four a license year to six and increase the number of antlerless only tags from one to three, (ii) increase the bag limit on deer west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on national forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties effective July 1, 2004 from three to five a license year and increase the number of antlerless tags from one to three, (iii) clarify that all youth hunters 15 years of age and under, whether exempt or non-exempt from license requirements, resident or non-resident, can take one antlerless deer per license year on days other than designated either sex deer hunting days and further removes the reference to the use of a specific tag.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-100 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from this section, (ii) remove Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Carroll, Craig, Giles, Highland, Pulaski, Rockbridge, and Wythe counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-190, which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private lands in these counties from three days to seven days, (iii) add Lee, Russell, Smyth, Tazewell, and Washington counties to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private lands in these counties from two days to three days, and (iv) add national forest and department-owned lands in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Giles, Highland, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, and Wythe counties to this section which will increase either-sex deer hunting days on these public lands from one or two days to three days.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-110 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from the section, (ii) remove Lee, Russell, Smyth, Tazewell, and Washington counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-100, which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private lands in these counties from two days to three days, (iii) remove Scott County from this section and add it to 4 VAC 15-90-190 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private lands in the county from two days to seven days, (iv) remove national forest lands and department-owned lands in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Carroll, Giles, Highland, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, and Wythe counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-100, which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on these public lands in these counties from two days to three days, (v) add national forest lands in Frederick, Grayson, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Warren counties and the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Hidden Valley Wildlife Manage Area and portions of Grayson-Highlands State Park open to hunting to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on these public lands from one day to two days.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-120 to remove the City of Suffolk east of the Dismal Swamp line (except on the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge) from this section and add it to a new section 4 VAC 15-90-121 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days from six days to eight days.  It will not affect the either-sex deer hunting days on the Dismal Swamp NWR.  

Add 4 VAC 15-90-121 to increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the City of Suffolk east of the Dismal swamp line (except on the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge) from the last six days either-sex to the first two Saturdays and last six days by creating this new section.  It will not affect the either-sex deer hunting days on the Dismal Swamp NWR.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-141 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from the section, and (ii) remove Chesterfield County from this section and add it to 4 VAC 15-90-195 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the county from four days to eight days.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-160 to (i) add Botetourt and Grayson counties to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private land in these counties from seven days to full season, (ii) add Clarke County, and private land in Frederick County to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in these counties from 27 days to full season, (iii) add Fauquier County to this section which will increase the number of either sex deer hunting days on private land in the county from 14 days to full season, (iv) remove Greensville and Southampton counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-200 which will decrease the number of either-sex days in these counties from full season to 27 days, (v) add Montgomery County to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private land from seven days to full season, (vi) add Northampton County to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the county from 27 days to full season, (vii) establish full season either-sex deer hunting in the City of Richmond, and (viii) establish a full season, either-sex general firearms deer season within all incorporated cities and town in the Commonwealth, where deer hunting is allowed.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-170 to (i) remove national forest land in Frederick, Grayson, Page, Shenandoah, Smyth, Rockingham, Tazewell, Washington, and Warren counties and the Clinch Mountain and Hidden Valley WMA’s and portions of Grayson-Highlands State Park open to hunting from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-110 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on these public lands from one day to two days, and (ii) remove national forest land in Craig County from this section and add it to 4 VAC 15-90-100 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on public land in the county from one day to three days.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-190 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from the section; (ii) remove Botetourt and Grayson counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-160 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private land in these counties from seven days to full season, (iii) remove Mathews and Middlesex counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-195, which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in these counties from seven days to eight days, (iv) add Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Carroll, Craig, Giles, Highland, Pulaski, Rockbridge, and Wythe counties to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private lands in these counties from three days to seven days, and (v) add Scott County to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private land in these counties from two days to seven days.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-195 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from the section, (ii) add Chesterfield County to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in these counties from four days to eight days, (iii) remove Essex and Richmond counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-210 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in these counties from eight days to 14 days, and (iv) add Mathews and Middlesex counties to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in these counties from seven days to eight days.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-200 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from the section, (ii) remove Clarke and Frederick counties from this section and add them to 4 VAC 15-90-160 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days from 27 to full season, (iii) add Albemarle County to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the county from 14 days to 27 days, (iv) add Greensville and Southampton counties to this section which will decrease the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the counties from full season to 27 days, (v) remove Northampton County from this section and add it to 4 VAC 15-90-160 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the county from 27 to full season either sex.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-210 to (i) strike the wording “including cities within” from the section, (ii) remove Albemarle County from this section and add it to 4 VAC 15-90-200 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the county from 14 days to 27 days, (iii) remove Fauquier County from this section and add it to 4 VAC 15-90-160 which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the county from 14 days to full season, and (iv) add Essex and Richmond counties to this section which will increase the number of either-sex deer hunting days in these counties from eight days to 14 days.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-220 to add towns as localities within the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise that will have a buck only firearms deer season.  

BEAR:  Rescind 4 VAC 15-50-30 to expand bear hunting in the Commonwealth.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-70 to expand the bear archery season to a statewide season from the first Saturday in October through the Friday prior to the third Monday in November.  

Add 4 VAC 15-50-New to (i) establish a muzzleloading gun season on black bear from the Tuesday prior to the third Monday in November and for three consecutive hunting days following, except in the counties of Amherst, Augusta (east of Interstate 81 and south of Interstate 64), Bedford, Bland, Botetourt (east of Interstate 81), Buchanan, Campbell (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Lee, Montgomery, Nelson, Patrick, Pittsylvania (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge (east of Interstate 81), Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe, (ii) prohibit the use of dogs during the bear muzzleloading gun season, (iii) define a muzzleloading gun for the purpose of this section, and (iv) prohibit the possession of other firearms during the muzzleloading gun season.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-10 to except out of the general firearms bear season the identified 55 counties and three cities.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-20 to establish an open hunting season on bear in 21 counties or portions of counties, as described, from the first Monday in December and for 11 consecutive hunting days following and to remove the unnecessary reference to the Clinch Mountain and Hidden Valley Wildlife Management Areas.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-25 to include the City of Virginia Beach in the open season for hunting bear as found in the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-110 to (i) remove Campbell and Pittsylvania counties from subsection A and add them to subsection C that makes it unlawful to use dogs for bear hunting at anytime in these counties, (ii) makes it unlawful to hunt bear with dogs at any time in the counties of Campbell (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Carroll, Floyd, Franklin, Grayson (east of Route 21), Henry, Montgomery (south of Interstate 81), Patrick, Pittsylvania (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Pulaski (south of Interstate 81), Roanoke (south of a continuous line formed by Route 785, Route 311 and Route 779), and Wythe (that part east of Route 21 which is south of Interstate 81).  

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-120 to delineate the counties and cities where bear hound training season (chase) is prohibited.  

TAGGING AND CHECKING:  Amend 4 VAC 15-50-80 to make this section not effective after June 30, 2004.  Section 4 VAC 15-50-81 is being recommended to govern tagging of bear commencing July 1, 2004.  

Add 4 VAC 15-50-81 to (i) establish a new validation system for tagging bear by notching the appropriate bear tag instead of detaching the tag, (ii) provide for the checking of a bear carcass using the validated notched tag, (iii) specify when check cards need to be attached to the harvested bear, (iv) allow hunters to dismember a bear carcass to pack it out from the place of kill after properly validating the kill, (v) provide for mistakenly validated tags, and (vi) delay the effective date of this new section until July 1, 2004.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-50-90 to make this section not effective after June 30, 2004.  Section 4 VAC 15-50-91 is being recommended to govern tagging of bear commencing July 1, 2004.  

Add 4 VAC 15-50-91 to (i) establish the procedures for checking bear by persons exempt from holding a license, (ii) prohibit the destruction of the sex identification and allow dismemberment of a bear carcass to pack it out from a place of kill, and (iii) delays the effective date of this section until July 1, 2004.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-230 to make this section not effective after June 30, 2004.  Section 4 VAC 15-50-231 is being recommended to govern tagging of deer commencing July 1, 2004.  

Add 4 VAC 15-90-231 to (i) establish a new validation system for tagging deer by notching the appropriate deer tag instead of detaching the tag, (ii) establish a telecheck system to report the harvest of deer and describes the procedures for properly checking the deer through the telecheck system, (iii) specify when check cards or other written documentation need to be attached to the harvested deer, (iv) allow hunters to dismember a deer carcass to pack it out from the place of kill after properly validating the kill, (v) provide for mistakenly validated tags, and (vi) delay the effective date of this new section until July 1, 2004.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-90-240 to make this section not effective after June 30, 2004.  Section 4 VAC 15-50-241 is being recommended to govern tagging of deer commencing July 1, 2004.  

Add 4 VAC 15-90-241 to (i) establish the provisions for a person exempt from a hunting license or holding a license authorization number issued by telephone to report a harvested deer through the department’s telecheck system or at a check system, (ii) prohibit the destruction of the sex identification and allows dismemberment of a deer carcass to pack it out from the place of kill, and (iii) delay the effective date of this new section until July 1, 2004.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-240-80 to make this section not effective after June 30, 2004.  Section 4 VAC 15-240-81 is being recommended to govern tagging of bear commencing July 1, 2004.  

Add 4 VAC 15-240-81 to (i) establish a new validation system for tagging turkey by notching the appropriate turkey tag instead of detaching the tag on the bear, deer, turkey license, (ii) establish a telecheck system to report the harvesting of a spring turkey and describes the procedures for properly checking a spring turkey through the telecheck system, (iii) specify when check cards or other written documentation need to be attached to the harvested turkey, (iv) provide for mistakenly validated tags, and (v) delay the effective date of this new section until July 1, 2004.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-240-90 to make this section not effective after June 30, 2004.  Section 4 VAC 15-240-91 is being recommended to govern tagging of turkey commencing July 1, 2004.  

Add 4 VAC 15-240-91 to (i) establish the provisions for a person exempt from a hunting license or holding a license authorization number issued by telephone to report a harvested spring turkey through the department’s telecheck system, (ii) describe the proper processing of a turkey carcass via telecheck or at a check station, (iii) prohibit destruction of the turkey sex identification prior to checking for these license-exempt hunters, and (iv) delay the effective date of this new section until July 1, 2004.  

RACCOON and OPOSSUM:  Amend 4 VAC 15-210-30 to provide for a uniform hunting season for raccoon by rescinding the reference to east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

Rescind 4 VAC 15-210-40 to provide for a uniform hunting season for raccoon by rescinding the open season west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on national forest lands east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.   

Amend 4 VAC 15-160-10 to provide for a uniform statewide hunting season of opossum by rescinding the reference to east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

Rescind 4 VAC 15-160-20 to provide for a uniform statewide hunting season for opossum by rescinding the open season west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on national forest lands east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

TRAPPING SEASONS and METHODS:  Amend 4 VAC 15-60-20 to establish a continuous open trapping season for beaver within incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-140-20 to establish a continuous open trapping season for muskrat within incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-160-31 to establish a continuous open trapping season for opossum within incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-210-51 to establish a continuous open trapping season for raccoon within incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-40-230 to clarify the ending date when traps may be set in the waters of the Commonwealth and establishes a year-round time period for setting traps in waters within the incorporated limits of cities and towns in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke, and York, unless prohibited by local ordinances.  

Rescind 4 VAC 15-140-40 to rescind the regulation restricting the setting of traps on a stob, float or floating device for capturing muskrat.  

SMALL GAME:  Amend 4 VAC 15-230-20 to make the opening date of squirrel season uniform statewide by changing the opening date from the second Saturday in October to the first Saturday in September.  

Rescind 4 VAC 15-230-30 since it is unnecessary with the establishment of a statewide season opening date for squirrel season in 4 VAC 15-230-20.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-230-60 to (i) add the counties of Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Highland, Loudoun, Page, Rappahannock, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren to this section which will change the opening date of the fox squirrel hunting season in these counties to the first Saturday in September, (ii) establish a fox squirrel hunting season in Culpeper, Madison and Orange counties that were previously closed, and (iii) to close fox squirrel hunting in Fairfax County.  

Rescind 4 VAC 15-230-70 to provide for a uniform open season date on fox squirrels by rescinding this section and adding the identified counties, except Fairfax, to 4 VAC 15-230-60 which establishes an opening date of the first Saturday in September.  

Lt. Steve Pike and Sgt. Steve Shires were requested to provide a power point presentation on bear baiting.  The SLAP team conducted a special law enforcement operation that focused on illegal bear feeding sites on national forest lands.  They noted also that it is illegal to hunt over these sites.  This presentation focused on the methods and types of baiting stations used and provided information on electronic/telemetry equipment being used at these sites.  The sites were designed specifically for bear use.  Bait was found to be widely used by legal and illegal bear hunters.   

GENERAL REGULATIONS:  Add 4 VAC 15-40(new) to (i) statewide prohibit the unauthorized feeding of bear; (ii) to prohibit chasing with dogs, hunting with dogs, and the training of dogs on any wild animal from a baited place or to put out bait or salt for the purpose of chasing, hunting and training of dogs on any wild animal; (iii) prohibit the intentional crippling or harming of non-migratory game birds or game animals for the intent of continuing a hunt, chase or for the purpose of training dog; (iv)  make it unlawful to dislodge an animal from a tree to further a chase or to train dogs, and (v) to prohibit the use of telemetry equipment to aid in the chase, harvest or capture of wildlife and provide for the disposition of such equipment if used illegally.  

PERMITS:  Amend 4 VAC 15-30-50 to authorize persons operating under conditions of a commercial nuisance animal permit to capture, temporarily hold or possess, transport, release, and when necessary, humanely euthanize wildlife, under the provisions and conditions established by the department.  

Amend 4 VAC 15-290-115 to allow the department to authorize permitted foxhound field trials within foxhound training preserves at anytime.  

WATERFOWL:  Amend 4 VAC 15-260-120 to (i) remove the reference to old squaw ducks and replace it with long-tailed duck, (ii) open the Pocomoke Sound during the special sea duck season, and (iii) remove the prohibition on hunting waterfowl within 800 yards of any shore, island, or emergent vegetation during the special sea duck season, (iv) clarify and simplify the sea duck season area description.  

Chairman McDaniel announced a break at 10:50 a.m. and the meeting reconvened at 11:00 a.m.  

After the Board discussed staff recommendations for changes to wildlife regulations, Chairman McDaniel called for public input.  

BOB STICKLEY, representing the Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Bridgewater, VA, spoke in support of staff recommendations and for the youth turkey-hunting day and the last 12-day change (hunting from one-half hour before sunrise to 6:00 p.m.).  He felt the additional youth hunting opportunity would benefit their JAKES activities.  

GREG PATTON, Woodstock, VA spoke in support of most of the staff recommendations, and the proposed Saturday opening day.  He asked that either-sex deer hunting be allowed for a Saturday and Monday.  He also asked that the state move forward with Quality Deer Management plans outlined in the Deer Management Plan.  

DENNY QUAIFF, representing the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, Richmond, VA indicated that his Board supported the regulation package for the purpose of advertisement.  He supported the proposed Saturday opening day.  Mr. Quaiff also gave Board members a copy of the Deer Hunters survey and indicated that the Association will fund a Virginia Tech study on the movement and survival of free-ranging old-aged whitetail bucks.  

HAL WHITTINGTON, Strasburg, VA spoke in support of the proposed Saturday opening for muzzleloading and asked for either-sex deer hunting on Saturday and Monday and for a youth hunting day for deer the Saturday before the archery season.  

JOHN STRUM, Woodstock, VA asked that he be allowed to teach quality deer management in his outdoor education class.  He supported the proposed Saturday opening and asked for either-sex deer hunting days on Saturday and Monday.   

KEITH BULL, Accomack County Administrator, Accomac, VA presented the County’s Board of Supervisors’ request to make it unlawful to hunt deer with dogs during the first 10 days of the general firearms deer hunting season in Accomack County, and to add 10 days to the deer season at the beginning of the season to aid with crop damage from deer.  

JEFF ZIRKLE, New Market, VA supported the youth-oriented hunting opportunities proposal and asked that the Saturday opening for the muzzleloading season West of the Blue Ridge be an either-sex day.  Because of disease concerns, he suggested that it be illegal to feed deer.  

RUSSELL HOLLAND, Powhatan, VA supported the youth hunting proposals and the proposed Saturday opening.  

ALVIN ESTEP, representing the Western Virginia Deer Hunters Association, Fulks Run, VA supported the proposed youth initiatives and he expressed concern about the added hunting days on national forest lands in Rockingham County.  

LYNN CARROLL, Salem, VA asked that it be illegal to hunt bear with dogs in Roanoke County.  He indicated that Roanoke County residents are experiencing problems associated with bear dogs.   

HAROLD HANN, Salem, VA spoke in support of eliminating bear hunting with dogs in Roanoke County.  

DAVID SHELOR, Salem, VA supported staff recommendations to rescind bear hunting with dogs in Roanoke County.   

DAVID FISHER, Mt. Crawford, VA supported staff recommendations to make it illegal to bait bear on private lands, statewide.  He asked that it also be illegal to feed deer and turkey.  

DANNY THORN, representing the Virginia Bear Hunters Association, Blacksburg, VA stated that VBHA members are not involved in illegal bear hunting activities.  He asked for increased enforcement efforts to deter bear baiting and he supported the proposed bear archery season.  He was concerned about the recommendation for a statewide 4-day muzzleloading season.  He felt that two days might be more appropriate to provide an opportunity to evaluate kill harvest data.  He felt that the full archery season and the four-day muzzleloading season may be too liberal. Mr. Thorn also asked that the chase season be extended from the last Saturday in August to the last day in September.   

JAMES GRAVES, JR., Syria, VA asked that the dog-training season be extended into July and August to address bear damage to orchards.   

KEITH GRUBBS, representing the Troublesome Creek Hunt Club, Chesapeake, VA supported the proposed bear archery and muzzleloading seasons in Buckingham County.  

ROBERT BAKER, Midlothian, VA supported the proposed bear muzzleloading and archery seasons in Buckingham County.  

NICK NIXON, representing the Bucks Only Hunt Club, Louisa, VA supported the proposed archery season for bear in Buckingham County.  

RUSSELL BAKER, representing the Dead End Road Hunt Club, Keysville, VA supported the proposed muzzleloading and archery seasons for bear in Buckingham County.  

LARRY BAKER, representing the Coon Hill Hunt Club, Farmville, VA supported staff recommendations for the bear-hunting season. He expressed concern about state code allowing individuals to go into private property to retrieve dogs.  He opposed dog hunting.  

GEORGE HAGGERTY, representing the Rack-Em-Up Hunt Club, Dillwyn, VA supported staff recommendations for bear seasons.  He also suggested that the hunting laws digest contain information on enforcement activities.  

ED JONES, Elkton, MD supported staff recommendations for a bear season in Buckingham County.   

EARL HANNA, Lyndhurst, VA declined to comment.  

JAMES MASSIE, representing the United Eastern Virginia Coonhunters Association, Madison Heights, VA supported staff recommendations for a uniform statewide raccoon field trial season.  He asked the Board to allow a year-round chase season to allow for increased youth participation in field trials.  He was concerned about using the term “radio telemetry” in regulation proposals being prohibited during chase and hunting.  

DAVID SEXTON, representing the Southwest Virginia Coon Hunters Federation, Oakwood, VA requested the Board to allow a year-round field trial season for raccoon.  

WILLIAM LIPSCOMB, West Point, VA was not present when recognized.  

H. PRESTON DISCOLL, representing the Virginia Trappers Association, Roanoke, VA asked for an otter-trapping season West of the Blue Ridge.  He supported the proposed muskrat regulation change.   

STEVE D. BROWN, JR., Hopewell, VA requested a February rabbit-hunting season and suggested that a September rabbit season be allowed.  

JOHN PRICE, Hopewell, VA requested a February rabbit-hunting season.  He supported staff recommendations and suggested that the season not open until the third week in November to provide increased hunting opportunities.  

WILLIAM TEMPLE, Spring Grove, VA requested that the rabbit season opening be moved perhaps to December and that a February rabbit-hunting season be provided.  

COY HARVILLE, representing the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors presented petitions to the Board supporting a uniform seven-week deer-hunting season West of the Norfolk Southern Railroad in the county, to allow for better herd control.  

DAVID POLLOCK, representing Craig County Board of Supervisors, New Castle, VA presented a petition and a letter from the Craig County Board of Supervisors to the Board requesting a reduction of the deer herd in Craig County by allowing a full-season either sex deer hunting season.  

JOSEPH ALBERT, representing the Amherst County Board of Supervisors, Monroe, VA requested a uniform deer-hunting season for the county.   

JOHN BELLEMORE, representing the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Roanoke, VA on behalf of the forest rangers, spoke in opposition to expanded seasons and hunting opportunities on national forests lands due to concerns for the impact that it will cause due to the increased needs for road maintenance, enforcement and general maintenance, i.e., trash control, etc. at a time that less cooperative work was being performed by the two agencies.  He suggested that the Forest Service have an opportunity to discuss the issues with Department staff before final action is taken on the regulation proposals at the scheduled May 1, 2003 meeting.  

Chairman McDaniel recessed the meeting for lunch at 12:45 p.m. and it reconvened at 1:30 p.m.  

The Board discussed staff regulation proposal recommendations.  Based on comments heard, and its discussion, the Board elected to amend staff recommendations.  

Mr. Corrigan moved, seconded by Mr. McNeely, passed unanimously, that the Board authorize staff to draft for advertisement a liberal uniform full 7-week deer season in the counties of Amherst, Campbell, Pittsylvania and Nelson.   

Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. Railey, passed unanimously, that the proposed public input meeting scheduled be approved.  

Mr. Cunningham moved, seconded by Mr. Corrigan, passed unanimously, that the Board advertise for public input, a year-round raccoon field trail season.  Staff did not recommend a year-round field trial season.  

Mr. Railey moved, seconded by Mr. Hoffler, passed unanimously, that the Board advertise for public comment that the rabbit-hunting season be extended into February for two weeks.  

Staff was requested to include an exemption for food plots in 4 VAC 15-40- that will prohibit the feeding of bears.  

Mr. Shoosmith moved, seconded by Ms. Crumley, passed unanimously, that the Board advertise for public comment, the amended wildlife regulation proposals.   

REORGANIZATION OF THE WILDLIFE DIVISION:  A draft document was distributed to the Board regarding a proposed reorganization of the Wildlife Division.  Board members were requested to review the draft and to be prepared to discuss it at the May 1, 2003 Board meeting.  

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:  Charlie Sledd presented a brief overview of legislation that was introduced during the 2003 General Assembly Session that would impact the Department.  Fifteen of the 27 introduced bills passed.  

KENNY PARR was recognized. He stated that sportsmen are constantly being requested to defend the Department’s funding sources and he realized that a mechanism is needed to keep sportsmen better informed. Mr. Parr indicated that because of this need for sportsmen to be proactive, he was working to establish “the Virginia’s Sportsmen Alliance” to provide a website with a link to the General Assembly to keep sportsmen better informed about the Department and its revenue by using email. The NWTF Superfund has provided $15,000 for the development of this project.  The proposed project has received the support of other sportsmen organizations. He indicated they will meet to develop the program and progress updates will be provided periodically to the Board.  

Mr. Woodfin reported that the Department will receive $1.7 million from a new federal program, the Landowners Incentive Program.   This new revenue will go to landowners to be used for wildlife-related issues.   

Mr. Woodfin reported that through the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia, a fund has been established, similar to that afforded college presidents, that does not involve public dollars for the Director to use, when justified, to provide public services that would not normally be charged to state funds, i.e., lunch for outdoors writers, take legislators into the field to better educate them about the Department, etc.  Mr. McDaniel made a $1,000 contribution to the funds, and he suggested that other Board members might wish to also contribute.  Other Board members enthusiastically supported this initiative.  They asked and were told that checks should be made out to the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia.  

Ray Davis was requested to provide a financial status report to the Board to reflect anticipated revenue for FY 04, based on the 2003 Budget Bill, new revenue sources, and the impact of the agency’s contributions to the state’s budget deficit.  Of note, the Department of Planning and Budget had projected the Department’s watercraft sales and use tax revenue to be $4.9 million. It reality, this fund will reach $5.9 to $6 million.  In the Budget Bill, DPB placed a cap on the Department’s return from this revenue of $4.9 million, which will result in an additional loss of $1 million to the Department.  Staff is working with DPB and the Secretary’s office staff to have this cap removed.  Based on its appropriations, the Department can only commit $2.7 million to capital projects, down from $5.7 million.  Approximately $1.8 million has been cut from HB 38 funds.  He also reported that the Budget Bill authorizes the Governor to withhold non-general fund earned interest in the fourth quarter, if needed to balance the state’s budget.  

Ray Davis presented two requests from the Clerks of the Court (Accomack and Alleghany Counties) to be relieved of license agent’s responsibilities.  Per Board policy, Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. Shoosmith, passed unanimously, that the Clerks of the Court for Accomack and Alleghany counties be permitted to resign as license agents for the Department.  

The Board authorized staff to administratively deal with the three requests received from license agent applicants to be relieved of the $2,000 required deposit or being in business for one-year requirement.  

NOMINATING COMMITTEE DISCUSSION:  The Board discussed whether it wanted to appoint a nominating committee or elect a Chairman at this meeting.  Chairman McDaniel recommended that the Board elect a chairman, since he is ineligible for reappointment, with his term expiring June 30.  He opened the floor to nominations for Board chairman, effective July 1, 2003.  Mr. Corrigan reminded that Board that at a spring 2002 meeting, the Board approved a motion that would require that a nominating committee be appointed, with the Chairman being elected at the June meeting.  The Chairman overruled the objection.  Mr. Corrigan appealed the Chairman’s decision, seconded by Mr. Cunningham, on the basis that the Board would have to rescind its previous action.  Legal counsel was consulted and the recording secretary was requested to retrieve the March 28, 2002 minutes for review.  Chairman McDaniel read the relevant language from the March 28, 2002 meeting.  He asked and legal counsel advised that the Board could elect a new Chairman at this meeting, if it rescinded its previous action. Mr. Corrigan asked and was informed that it would be proper for the Board to approve a motion to rescind its previous action.  Mr. Cunningham concurred with Mr. Corrigan’s objections.  The Chairman called for a motion from the Board.  After additional discussion and debate, Ms. Crumley noted for the record that she felt that it would be appropriate to appoint a new Chairman to provide a training opportunity for the chairman-elect, since the current Chairman has served two consecutive terms on the Board and is ineligible for reappointment.  Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. McCoy, passed with an 8:2 vote, that the March 28, 2002 action of the Board be rescinded, and that the Board elect a new Chairman at this meeting.  Ayes:  Crumley, McNeely, McCoy, Shoosmith, Railey, Dean, Hoffler and McDaniel.  Nays:  Cunningham and Corrigan.  

The floor was opened for the nomination of a Chairman, to be effective July 2003.   

Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. Shoosmith, passed with a 7:2 vote that Daniel Hoffler be elected Board Chairman, to become effective at the expiration of the current Chairman’s term, July 1, 2003.  Ayes:  Crumley, Shoosmith, Railey, McCoy, McNeely, McDaniel and Dean.  Abstained, based on an objection to the process employed, Corrigan and Cunningham.   Mr. Hoffler accepted the chairmanship.  

ADJOURNMENT: as there was no further business, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 2:55 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted, 

                                                                        Belle Harding
                                                                        Secretary to the Director

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