Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Outdoor Report

Managing and Conserving Our Wildlife and Natural Resources

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

VDGIF is an agency of the Virginia Secretariat of Natural Resources
In this issue:
  • Back by Popular Demand!
  • Results of VDGIF's Hunters' Survey on Sunday Hunting Released
  • New Extended "Antlerless-Only" Deer Season in Northern Virginia
  • Governor Kaine Opens Historic Virginia Capital Trail
  • Task Force Investigates Fish Kills in Shenandoah River
  • Youth Outdoor Writing Contest Deadline Nears
  • Hunter Education Instructors Wanted
  • Wild Turkey Federation Provides Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
  • Ward Burton Off To the Races
  • Cold Weather Boating Tips

Back by Popular Demand!

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 and colleagues. Simply visit the Department's Web site and click on the Outdoor Report link to subscribe. New editions are sent directly to your email address every two weeks. Enjoy!

Results of VDGIF's Hunters' Survey on Sunday Hunting Released

The Summary of Virginia Hunters' Opinions of Sunday Hunting contains the initial results from the Department's recent hunter survey on the topic of Sunday hunting. The results from the 2006 survey, when compared with the results from a survey conducted in 1996, indicate a significant difference in hunters' opinions about Sunday hunting has occurred in the last ten years.

New Extended "Antlerless-Only" Deer Season in Northern Virginia

Hunters are reminded of the new extended deer hunting season from January 8 to February 3, 2007 in the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William. During this season only antlerless deer may be taken. Note: to hunt deer with a firearm on private lands in Fairfax County a special landowner permit is required. For that permit contact the Division of Animal Control, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Governor Kaine Opens Historic Virginia Capital Trail

Virginia Capital Trail Ribbon Cutting

Governor Timothy M. Kaine participated in a ceremony to mark the opening of the Greensprings Phase of the Virginia Capital Trail, the first phase to open to public use. When complete, the Virginia Capital Trail - a facility for pedestrians, cyclists, and other recreational users - will connect the Canal Walk in downtown Richmond with Jamestown and Williamsburg along the James River/Route 5 corridor and Colonial Parkway.

Governor Kaine joined local elected officials in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Green Springs section of the trail in Williamsburg.

VDGIF played a significant role in the establishment of this Trail by working cooperatively with the Secretary of Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Williamsburg Land Conservancy, James City County, and the residents of the Fieldcrest subdivision to establish relationships and working agreements regarding the Trail and management of a 40+-acre wetland. VDOT will transfer ownership of this parcel to VDGIF to be managed as an urban wildlife management area. The Trail provides excellent access for wildlife viewing, and provides an exceptional opportunity for use by surrounding subdivisions and nearby schools.

Task Force Investigates Fish Kills in Shenandoah River

The Shenandoah River Fish Kill Task Force, with the assistance of river enthusiasts from throughout the watershed, is investigating reports of fish kills on the North and South Fork Shenandoah, as well as a recent December fish kill on the mainstem. VDGIF biologists identified that most of the fish killed recently were northern hogsuckers centered on the mainstem Shenandoah, downstream of Morgan's Ford. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) urges anyone observing dead fish or unusual water quality conditions to contact DEQ immediately at (540) 574-7800.

People and Partners Making a Difference...

VOWA Youth Writing Contest Entries Due

The submission deadline of January 31, is fast approaching for the Virginia Outdoor Writer's Association (VOWA) 14th Annual Youth Writing Competition. The goal of the contest is to recognize students in grades 9 through 12 for excellence in communicating their personal experiences in the outdoors. The theme of this year's contest, "My Most Memorable Outdoor Experience," may include an experience by the writer with hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, hiking, birding or other outdoor activity. Contest information was provided to the State Department of Education early in October and distributed to various schools early on in the school year. Submissions can be made by private, public or home schooled students.

For contest rules, guidelines and information visit www.vowa.org.


Hunter Education

Advanced Training for Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors is scheduled by the VDGIF Law Enforcement Division in April. These volunteers teach about 14,000 students annually to be safer, more responsible hunters. If you are interested in becoming a Hunter Education volunteer, please email Sgt. David Dodson at david.dodson@dgif.virginia.gov.


The Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (VANWTF), with over 7000 members, is a significant partner with VDGIF, providing over $50,000 in conservation grants raised by Chapter members. These contributions support VDGIF cooperative programs and projects including research, hunter recruitment, skills development and law enforcement.

Congratulations to Ronnie Lambrich from Madison, elected as the new State President for 2007-09 and Robin Clark from Charlottesville, the new Vice-President and Volunteer Coordinator for Wheelin' Sportsmen. Both have been instrumental in supporting VDGIF programs benefiting all sportsmen.

During the past year in cooperation with VDGIF, the Wheelin' Sportsmen program sponsored 20 events, providing 208 persons with disabilities opportunities to experience memorable outdoor experiences. This effort also involved 406 volunteers and the hospitality of numerous landowners, State Forests and Department wildlife management area facilities.


VDGIF Board member Ward Burton from South Boston is returning to the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup series as the new driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet for Morgan-McClure. Burton competed in three NASCAR races for McClure at the end of the 2006 season, with an average start of 32nd and an average finish of 26.3. Off the track, Mr. Burton is recognized as an avid sportsman and conservationist, establishing the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation to promote wildlife conservation, habitat enhancement, and proper stewardship of America's natural resources for future generations. He has established a 2,100 acre site in Halifax to demonstrate stewardship management of the land and provide outdoor experiences for youth to instill a conservation ethic in our future generations. Go Ward, Go!

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:

  • General Assembly legislation
  • Winter bird feeding tips
  • Wetland restoration projects benefit from new migratory waterfowl stamp funds
  • Trout stocking information
  • ... and more!
Tufted titmouse. Artwork copyright Spike Knuth.
BE WILD, VIRGINIA!

Tufted Titmouse
by Spike Knuth


A close relative of the chickadee is the tufted titmouse, the little grayish bird with the crest. Its upper parts are a light slate gray, with lighter gray under parts, sometimes with a rusty wash on its flanks. The titmouse has a dark eye that stands out on its light gray face and gives it a mousy appearance. It has a dark, almost black forehead, and measures about 6 inches long with a short black bill.

Its winter calls are chickadee-like noises; scratchy, scolding calls. As spring nears, you may hear its song from a high tree perch, often described as "peeta, peeta, peeta." In winter they acts very much the same as chickadees, flocking up with chickadees, downy woodpeckers, brown creepers, nuthatches, kinglets and other small birds.

Titmice seldom wander too far from woodlands and swamps during breeding but come fall they are common in the suburbs, and country residential areas, and park lands. In winter they feed on insect eggs, insects, insect larvae, small seeds, nuts, and hibernating insects. They will spend all winter with us and, like chickadees, they will commonly come to the feeder to sample sunflower seeds, and suet cakes especially earlier in the winter.

       

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.

Think you can't make a difference? You can! Be wild and work with your local officials and in your local communities to conserve Virginia's wildlife resources. Find out how you can help and join our team!

UPCOMING EVENTS
January 2007
27 Fifth Annual Landowner's Woods and Wildlife Conference (PDF), Manassas. Sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension.
27 Educational Pheasant Hunting Workshop, Remington
February 2007
9-11 Third Annual Fredericksburg Outdoor Show. Sponsored by Woods & Waters Magazine.
15-18 Richmond Boat Show at Richmond Raceway Complex.
16-18 20th Annual Western Virginia Sports Show, Waynesboro.
22-25 National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Sports Show, Nashville, Tennessee. (Visit the VDGIF exhibit and many Virginia-based vendors).
23 Fly Fishing Workshop, Richmond
MAKE IT A FAMILY ADVENTURE!
The Department offers numerous hunting, fishing, and outdoor education programs designed for families, women, beginners, and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
QUICK GLANCE
AT HUNTING SEASONS
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.

Looking for a place to hunt? Visit Find Game, the Department's award-winning online public hunting lands locator!
January 2007
8 Special Late Antlerless-Only Firearms season opens in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties (closes February 3)
31 Squirrel and quail seasons close
Please consider contributing to Hunters for the Hungry when purchasing a license through the $2 check-off, or at any time through our online Outdoor Catalog.
REPORT
WILDLIFE VIOLATIONS
To report a wildlife violation, call 1-800-237-5712, or email WildCrime@dgif.virginia.gov.

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!

NATURE TIPS:
DID YOU KNOW...
Now is time to clean bird houses; add a teaspoon of sulphur to kill mites!

Deer are shedding antlers.

Bald eagles and great-horned owls are starting nests.

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