|In this issue:
- If You Find a Fawn, Leave It Alone!
- Fishin' Report Returns
- Free Fishing Days: June 1-3, 2007
- Spring Snowstorm Surprises Young
- Report Dead Fish in Shenandoah
- People and Partners in the News
- "Golden Chase" Seeks Eagle Nesting
- Lance Hanger is Grand National
Turkey Calling Championship
- Town of Shenandoah Youth Fishing
Festival, May 26
- Float Fishing the James Workshop,
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- What's In Your Boat Tank?
- Wildlife Habitat Improvement Tip
- Hummingbirds Returning Soon
- In Case You Missed It...
- Kids Fishing Days Scheduled
- "Learn to Fly Fish" Workshop
May 12 in Harrisonburg
- Great Dismal Swamp Birding
Festival, May 11-13
- Regulation Process
- Virginia Waterfowl Stamp Grant
Application Period Open
- Hunting and Fishing
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
If You Find a Fawn,
Leave It Alone!
It's that time of year again when
white-tailed deer fawns are showing up in yards and fields and
concerned citizens want to know how to help. In almost all
cases, the best way to help is to simply give the fawn space and
leave it alone. By giving it a wide berth, you also reduce the
risk of inadvertently leading dogs and other predators to the
hidden fawn. The white-spotted coat camouflages a fawn as it
lies motionless in vegetation. Fawns, born from April through
July, are purposely left alone by their mothers. Female deer,
called does, stay away from the fawns to avoid leading predators
to their location. They will return several times each day to
move and/or feed their young. You probably will not see the doe
at all since she only stays to feed the fawn for just a very few
minutes before leaving it alone again.
Concerned people sometimes pick up animals that they think
are orphaned. Most such "orphans" that good-intentioned citizens
"rescue" every spring should have been left alone. Most wild
animals are dedicated parents and will not abandon their young,
but they do leave them alone for long periods of time while
looking for food. If a fawn or rabbit has been "rescued" when it
shouldn't have been, it can often be released at the same
location. Parents tend to remain in the area for at least a day,
looking for the lost youngster.
If a wild animal has been injured or truly orphaned, do not
take matters into your own hands. You may contact a licensed
rehabilitator by visiting the Virginia Department of Game and
Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Web site (see below).
Raising a wild animal in captivity is illegal unless you have a
state permit. Besides, each animal's nutritional, housing, and
handling requirements are very specific and must be met if they
have any chance of survival.
Fishin' Report Returns
How are the fish bitin'? Anglers across the state can get
answers to this and other fishing related questions for many of
their favorite rivers and lakes in upcoming issues of the
Outdoor Report. Back by popular demand, numerous license
agents, marinas, fishing guides and bait shops have volunteered
to serve as contacts for information on recent fishing
conditions for primary rivers and lakes throughout the state.
Sarah White, outdoor writer and regular contributor to
Virginia Wildlife magazine, will prepare the Fishin' Report
from interviews with contacts the week prior to publication of
the Outdoor Report. The Fishin' Report will only be
available as part of your free subscription to the Outdoor
Report beginning in May.
Free Fishing Days: June 1-3
June 1-3, 2007 have
been designated as Free Freshwater Fishing Days in Virginia. No
fishing license of any kind will be required for rod and reel
fishing in freshwater except in designated stocked trout waters
on these days.
Spring Snowstorm Surprises
Young Gobbler Hunters
A rare April snowstorm made the Youth Spring Gobbler Hunt on Saturday April 7 a unique adventure with many
parts of the Commonwealth experiencing snow on the ground and
colder than normal temperatures. This unusual weather had
minimal impact on youth being successful in harvesting a bird.
From the harvest reported on the Department's toll free GOT GAME
telephone checking system, there were 55 gobblers reported. Last
year 85 gobblers were reported through GOT GAME on the youth
day. GOT GAME statistics reflect only those turkeys reported by
phone. The majority of turkeys are checked in at check stations.
Counts from these locations will not be finalized until after
the season concludes May 19. The following Saturday, April 14,
when all ages of hunters were able to engage in the regular
spring season opening, cold temperatures and high winds again
challenged even the most experienced hunters.
Report Dead Fish in Shenandoah
Due to the recent fish kills that have occurred the past
three years in the Shenandoah River, anglers are encouraged to
report any dead fish or fish with lesions to the Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality Valley Region Office at
(540) 574-7800. For more information contact VDGIF Fisheries
Biologist, Steve Reeser, in the Verona Regional Office at
People and Partners in the News
"Golden Chase" Seeks Eagle Nesting Documentation
Would you like an opportunity
to help the Virginia Society of Ornithology, the Bath-Highland
Bird Club and Bear Mountain Farm and Wilderness Retreat document
the first golden eagle nest in Virginia? On May 19, 2007, they
will sponsor "The Golden Chase" in Bath and Highland Counties.
Each team will collect sponsors for their team and all money
will be used to pay for transmitters to be placed on golden
eagles in Highland County to track their seasonal movements.
This project will hopefully lead to determining why so many
golden eagles are seen in Highland County during summer months
and if nesting is taking place in this area. It will also
provide a more comprehensive view of the breeding and resident
birds in the two counties. For more information, go to their Web
site at mysite.verizon.net/vze7diu3
or call (540) 468-2700.
Lance Hanger is Grand National Turkey Calling Champion
Lance Hanger, a 16-year old sophomore at Buffalo Gap High
School in Augusta County was awarded First Place Champion- Best
in the Nation Intermediate Division, at the Grand National Wild Turkey
Calling Contest. The national competition was held at the 31st
National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Convention in Nashville,
Tennessee in February. Last year, at age 15, Lance also won the
Junior Division of the national contest. He is the first
competitor in the history of the national contest to win back to
back championships in two different divisions. Lance began
hunting and turkey calling at a young age with his father, Mark
Hanger, sponsor of the annual Western Virginia Sports Show in
Fishersville. Lance stays busy assisting other young and novice
hunters in learning turkey calling and hunting techniques. He
helps promote safety, ethics and enjoying the outdoors with
numerous sportsmen's groups and at events around the state. He
also promotes and assists in turkey hunting for persons with
disabilities and women's programs in cooperation with NWTF and
Shenandoah Fishing Festival Memorial Day Weekend
Several small fishing tournaments are scheduled during the
Memorial Day Festival in the Town of Shenandoah on May 25-26,
2007. On Friday May 25, a free Shenandoah Indians Fishing
Tournament for youth ages 13-18 will be held in Shenandoah River
The following day, Saturday May 26, a free tournament will
continue at Big Gem Park for ages 8 and under from 8:00 a.m. -
8:45 a.m., then for ages 9-12 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. All
fishing tournaments are bank fishing only - no boats allowed.
Participants must bring their own fishing pole and bait. For
more information contact Kirk Comer, Town of Shenandoah Parks
and Recreation, at
Float Fishing the James Workshop June 26
Enjoy a day on the Piedmont section of the beautiful James
River and receive instruction on the basics and techniques for
fishing these historic waters. This workshop is held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Lunch, rods, reels, tackle and canoes will be provided.
Workshop participants must be 9 years of age or older to attend.
Participants 15 years and under must be accompanied by a
registered adult. Participants 16 and above are required to have
a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license. Registration fee is
$15. There is an additional $5 charge for entry to the workshop
site at James River State Park. Please register by June 5, 2007.
For more information, contact Chris Dunnavant at (804) 367-6778 or
Be Safe... Have Fun
What's In Your Boat Tank?
If you own a boat and operate it with a gas motor you may
want to check your owner's manual and the kind of gas you use,
before you decide to top off your gas tank. You may have noticed
that E-10 fuel is now being distributed throughout the state and
in major metro markets, such as Richmond, Norfolk and
Chesapeake. E-10 fuel is gasoline that is 10 percent ethanol.
The new additive could cause some serious problems for local
boaters who do not check manufacturer's specifications to see if
the use of an alcohol additive is suitable for their particular
The most serious outcome of introducing E-10 fuel into your
boat engine is the potential for the corn-based alcohol additive
to act as a corrosive solvent, which may result in damaging
resins in fiberglass and plastic fuel tanks. Other concerns
include: contamination from rust or gunk, and water-alcohol
separation that can damage and shorten the life of your boat
motor. Gas stations using E-10 will alert you at the pump that
the ethanol additive is being used. To learn more about the
effects of ethanol gas read the May issue of Virginia
Wildlife magazine and the
On The Water column by Jim
If you would like to become a regular subscriber to Virginia
Wildlife magazine call 1-800-784-3359,
visit the Department's
Web site, or mail a check made out to "Treasurer of Virginia"
and send it to Virginia Wildlife Magazine, 4010 W. Broad St.,
Richmond, VA 23230. A one-year subscription or 12 issues is only
$12.95. Let Virginia Wildlife magazine be your guide to the best
in hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife information!
Wildlife Habitat Improvement Tip
Hummingbirds Returning Soon
Get ready to hang out your hummingbird feeder — the
ruby-throats are making their annual spring comeback. These
fast-flying acrobats of the air are steadily moving their way up
the East Coast and have already been documented in some
Tidewater areas and other parts of Virginia (you can view a map
of the 2007 migration route at
hummingbirds.net). Check the
VDGIF Web site's "Hummingbird
for some great pictures and tips about welcoming back these
charming nectar seekers...
In Case You Missed It...
As our subscriptions have grown to over 8,000 and
new readers continue to sign up, we realize that
some of our seasonal features are important and
timely enough to bear repeating. So you can easily
review these seasonal items, we have published them
in this section: "In case you missed it..."
Fishing Days Scheduled Statewide
More than 30
Kids Fishing Days (PDF) are being planned
statewide by various organizations in partnership
with VDGIF. These events are an enjoyable time for
the family and a great opportunity to introduce kids
to fishing in a fun atmosphere. Events are scheduled every weekend statewide through June 9,
2007. For detailed information on dates, locations,
times and contacts, see the
Kids Fishing Days schedule (PDF) to find one
near you! Catch the fun! Take a kid fishin'!
The Shad Are
is upon us and the annual run of shad and herring is
in full swing as they make their way into our
freshwater rivers to spawn. In recent years, many
anglers have been rediscovering these silvery jewels
from the sea, as increasing numbers of hickory and
American shad are providing exciting spring angling
American shad and
hickory shad usually arrive in March in the
Rappahannock and James rivers and the Americans
usually hang around through May. Remember, it is
catch and release only for American shad (check
View the Shad
Cam Located at Bosher's Dam
The Shad Cam at the
Bosher's Dam fishway provides visitors a peek into
the incredible journey of anadromous fish as they
return to the James River to spawn in the spring.
The fishway, constructed in 1999, provides fish with
access to 137 miles of the James River and 168 miles
of its tributaries.
and Boating Regulation Review and Amendment Process
In 2007 the Board
of Game and Inland Fisheries is conducting its
Periodic Regulation Review and Amendment Process, in
which it addresses all regulations administered by
VDGIF. At the March 27 Board meeting, staff
presented its Preliminary Recommendations for
regulation amendments. The Preliminary
Recommendations Public Discussion Period opened
April 10 and runs through June 15.
Key dates in the process can be found at the
Department's Web site.
VDGIF solicits the
public's participation in the regulation review
process; channels for submitting comments are:
Online through the Department's Web site
sent to RegComments@dgif.virginia.gov
letters sent to: Dept. of Game and Inland
Fisheries, Attn: Policy Analyst and Regulatory
Coordinator, 4016 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA
comment at five Board meetings (March 27;
June 5; July 17; August 21; October 16; all are
9 AM at 4000 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA.).
- Meetings on
request. On request and subject to
availability, VDGIF staff will meet with
constituent groups, local government officials,
or other groups in local communities to address
specific regulatory issues of interest.
Swamp Birding Festival May 11-13
The Inaugural Great
Dismal Swamp Birding Festival is scheduled for May
11-13, 2007. This event will celebrate International
Migratory Bird day with guided walks, narrated bus
tours and family activities - all free! Huge
numbers of migrating songbirds move through the
swamp at this time of year - and you'll have a
chance to experience them! The Great Dismal Swamp
National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure trove of
wildlife and a great Virginia experience.
This event is
co-sponsored by VDGIF, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service, the City of Suffolk and the Great Dismal
Swamp Coalition. Visit the
Festival's Web site or call (757) 986-3705 for
information and reservations.
"Learn to Fly
Fish" Workshop May 12 in Harrisonburg
Chapter of Trout Unlimited is sponsoring the annual
"Learn to Fly Fish" Workshop on May 12, 2007, in
Harrisonburg, at River Rock Park beginning at 8:30
a.m. The event is for beginners or novice anglers
who need a tune up. Classes provide hands-on
instruction in selecting the right tackle, fly
casting, knots, stream techniques and more.
Participants must be at least 10 years of age and
accompanied by an adult if under age 15.
Participants 16 years or older must possess a valid
Freshwater Fishing License and Trout License. The
cost is $49 and lunch and fly fishing rods and
equipment will be provided. For more info visit the
Massanutten Chapter of Trout Unlimited's Web site
Youth Conservation Camp Sponsored by Soil and Water
Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
(VASWCD) has sponsored a week long summer
conservation camp for Virginia high school students
(grades 9-12) on the campus of Virginia Tech for the
years. The program brings together about 90
interested students for a week of learning about
Virginia's natural resources; classes are taught by conservation
professionals and faculty from Virginia Tech. Most
of the instruction is hands-on and outdoors. The
2007 Camp is July 8-14, 2007.
Applications (PDF) must be submitted to your
local soil and water conservation office by May 8,
2007. To determine local office (based on your
locality), see the
Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Grant
Application Period Open
VDGIF is soliciting
applications for the 2007 Migratory Waterfowl
Conservation Stamp grant cycle. This grant is open
to non-profit organizations for cooperative
waterfowl habitat improvement projects in Virginia.
Grant applications are due June 29, 2007, before
5:00 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified
within 30 days of the submission deadline.
Spring Hunting and Fishing Events Offered for
Persons with Disabilities
Sportsmen and VDGIF have seven hunting and fishing
outings for April and May for persons with
disabilities. Applications for these hunting or
fishing opportunities are available online at
All of the events are free and open to anyone with a
disability. Participants are responsible for having
all required Virginia hunting and fishing licenses.
See the Upcoming
Events section for dates and locations. The
application deadline is April 30, 2007. For more
information, or to get an application by mail,
please contact, Robin Clark at (434) 979-6154, or
via e-mail at
Help Spread the News!
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
subscribe. New editions are sent directly to your email
address every two weeks. Stay informed on issues and
opportunities about Virginia's outdoors!
upcoming issues of the
new Outdoor Report, look for:
- "Game Warden" Name
Changing to "Conservation Police Officer"
- Boating Safety Tips
- New Fishin' Report