Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Outdoor Report

Managing and Conserving Our Wildlife and Natural Resources

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

VDGIF is an agency of the Virginia Secretariat of Natural Resources
In this issue:
  • Great News!
  • Welcome to Our New Director
  • More Hunting & Fishing Opportunities for the Handicapped
  • Monitoring for Wildlife Diseases Keep Biologists Busy
  • Looking for a Place to Hunt?
  • Take a Kid Hunting
  • Cold Weather Boating Tips

Great News!

It's back! Even after four years of being out of print, people still remember the Outdoor Report. The original Outdoor Report was produced by Spike Knuth, renowned wildlife artist. We decided to bring it back in a new electronic format and recruited Spike to help us with the new version. You'll notice his original artwork and information about a featured animal in each issue. We hope you enjoy the new, electronic Outdoor Report and invite you to share this information with your friends. Enjoy!

Welcome to Our New Director

J. Carlton Courter, III Welcome to Carlton Courter, new director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries! He comes to us from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and is an avid outdoorsman in his own right. Welcome!


More Hunting and Fishing Opportunities for the Handicapped

On December 21-23 and 26-30, a special archery hunt for disabled hunters is scheduled at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville. The event is sponsored by Wheelin' Sportsmen. For more information contact Robin Clark at 434-979-6154, or via email at

  • A calendar of hunts designed for disabled participants can be found on the Department's online events calendar.


The Department has had a long-standing partnership with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). PVA's ongoing efforts continue to help raise needed funds to support new accessible fishing piers. And as a result of this partnership, VDGIF maintains 46 unique, accessible fishing facilities across the Commonwealth.

Monitoring for Wildlife Diseases Keeps Biologists Busy

Department biologists continue to monitor for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the active surveillance area that includes parts of Clarke, Frederick, Loudoun and Shenandoah counties. VDGIF has been testing samples of white-tailed deer since 2002 looking for any evidence of the disease. No CWD has been detected after testing more than 2,000 animals.

Deer hunters who hunt in that area can assist in the surveillance effort.

Our biologists are also busy participating in a national Avian Influenza monitoring program. The highly pathogenic strain that has been reported to be the cause of human deaths in Asia, Europe and Africa has not been detected in North America. Waterfowl hunters have been asked to assist with the monitoring effort and can learn more at the Department's Web site.

Looking For a Place to Hunt?

Visit Find Game, the Department's award-winning online public hunting lands locator!

Take a Kid Hunting

For less than the cost of a tank of gas you can fill up your kid with a lifetime of memories by taking him or her hunting. The Department offers special low-cost youth licenses and unique hunting opportunities for young people!


The Department offers numerous hunting, fishing and outdoor education programs designed for families, women, beginners and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Cold Weather Boating Tips

Whether you're on the water this winter hunting waterfowl or striper fishing, or just taking advantage of a warm winter day, it just makes sense to take some precautions to ensure a safe boating experience. A sudden tumble into cold water can dangerously lower your body temperature leading to hypothermia. Here are some tips to keep you safe:

  • Let someone know your destination and expected return time
  • Check water and weather conditions and heed them
  • Take more clothing that you think you'll need to add layers or change if you get wet
  • Make sure your boat's motor is in good running condition and you have the proper safety equipment and it's in good working order.
  • Regardless of weather conditions, always wear your life jacket.

In upcoming issues of the new Outdoor Report, look for:

  • Information on winter trout stockings
  • Winter bird feeding
  • Extended anterless deer season
  • ... and more!
White-throated sparrow. Artwork copyright Spike Knuth.

White-throated Sparrow
by Spike Knuth

Winter brings to Virginia those first really frosty mornings and waves of birds from the north. The white-throated sparrow is one of those birds that spends the winter with us from as early as late-October through late April.

With the cooling temperatures we begin to hear the lisping "szweet" or metallic "chirk" calls from low in the shrubs where these little birds scratch in the mulch or forest humus for seeds, worms, or insects.

An adult white throat shows a black and white striped head, a white throat patch, and a yellow spot in front of its eyes.

White throats spend most of their time on the ground under dense growths of shrubs or other vegetation, but they will come readily to backyard feeders, usually feeding on the ground under them but occasionally will go up on the feeder.


This section of each issue of the Outdoor Report features one of the 925 animals that have been identified in Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan whose existence is at risk.

December 2006
12 Board of Game & Inland Fisheries Meeting
21-23, 26-30 Archery Hunt For Disabled at Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center Fishersville
30 Youth Waterfowl Hunting Workshop, Essex
January 2007
5 Virginia Wildlife Action Plan "Perspectives Program" WCVE Channel 23 (PBS, Richmond) 9:00 pm
7 Perspectives Program repeated at noon (30 minutes)
27 Educational Pheasant Hunting Workshop, Remington
February 2007
16-18 20th Annual Western Virginia Sports Show, Waynesboro
22-25 National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Sports Show, Nashville, TN  (visit the VDGIF exhibit and many Virginia-based outdoor gear vendors)
23 Fly Fishing Workshop, Richmond
For a quick reference to the season dates for hunting and trapping for all game species visit our online quick reference or refer to page 77 of the 2006-07 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Digest.
January 2007
6 General firearms deer season CLOSES east
8 Special Late Antlerless-Only Firearms season opens in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties (closes February 3)
31 Squirrel and quail seasons close
To report a wildlife violation, call 1-800-237-5712, or email

IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, contact the local Game Warden immediately through the local sheriff's office or police department.
Don't allow the actions of a few outlaws to tarnish the reputation of Virginia's sportsmen and sportswomen!

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Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230
(804) 367-1000 -