Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
Outdoor Report

Managing and Conserving Our Wildlife and Natural Resources

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

VDGIF is an agency of the Virginia Secretariat of Natural Resources
In this edition:
  • A New Way to Get Involved in Hunting!
  • Bear, Deer and Turkey Harvests All Increased in 2007-08
  • General Assembly Legislation of Interest to You
  • People and Partners in the News
    • Steve Reeser Named Fisheries Professional of the Year
    • Outdoor Writers Annual Meeting Features New VDGIF Director March 19
    • Cedar Mountain Youths to Hold Turkey Hunting Workshop March 22 in Culpeper
    • JAKES Event in Prince George Provides Simulated Hunting Training March 29
    • Page County Sportsmen Team-up to Train Young Turkey Hunters March 29
    • Kids Heritage Trout Day Moved to Rose River in Madison April 5
    • Men Shouldn't Have All the Fun! Becoming an Outdoors Woman April 4-6
    • Regenerative Design Workshop Features Habitat Restoration April 4
    • Jack Randolph River Fest April 5 in Hopewell
    • Little Switzerland Strutters Chapter Hosts JAKES Youth Fishing Event April 20
    • Virginia Wildlife Special Photography Issue Now Available
    • Wild Game Recipe Columnist Joan Cone Passes
    • Need a Warm Sweatshirt for Cool Spring Weather?
  • Be Safe... Have Fun!
    • Make Your Spring Gobbler Hunt a Safe One!
  • Habitat Improvement Tips
    • Springtime Brings Vernal Pools and Salamanders
    • Forestry Department Offers Specialty Seedlings
  • Hunters - Did You Remember To...
    • Start Planning Now for Special Youth Spring Gobbler Hunt
    • Beagle Wins "Top Dog" Award
  • Fishin' Report
    • New Regulations for Anadromous Fish in Southern Tidewater
    • WANTED - American Eels from the Roanoke River Basin
    • Crappie Week Features Kid's Rodeo and Crappie Techniques School
    • March Madness is Trout Madness
    • Sarah White's Notebook - have "expert" check your equipment; new lake and river reports added
  • Virginia Conservation Police Notebook
    • Field Reports From Officers Protecting Natural Resources and People Pursuing Outdoor Recreation
  • In Case You Missed It...
    • Links to Recent Articles of Ongoing Interest

A New Way to Get Involved in Hunting!

Virginia establishes a new apprentice hunting license that will let people "test drive" hunting

Virginians interested in learning how to hunt, and Virginia hunters eager to share their sport with friends and family, now have a program that will make it easier for people new to hunting to give the sport a "test drive." The General Assembly has passed and Governor Tim Kaine has signed into law the companion bills that establish an apprentice hunting license. This new license will benefit people, regardless of age, who have not hunted before, but are interested in learning about hunting.

The license would be issued in lieu of the current state resident or nonresident basic hunting license. Individuals who have previously held a hunting license will not be eligible to purchase the apprentice license. The fee for the license will be $10 for residents and $20 for nonresidents; the one-time, nonrenewable license will be valid for two years from the date of purchase, thus affording the apprentice hunter two full years of opportunity to go afield with a mentor hunter to learn about the sport before having to complete the requirement for hunter education.

An important safety feature of the new license is that the apprentice hunter must be accompanied and directly supervised by a hunter possessing a valid Virginia hunting license who is an adult over age 18 (the mentor hunter). "Directly supervised" is defined in the new legislation as "when a person over 18 maintains a close visual and verbal contact with, provides adequate direction to, and can immediately assume control of the firearm from the apprentice hunter." This "direct supervision" requirement is in place because the apprentice hunter will not have had to meet the hunter education requirement as a condition of purchasing the apprentice license.

While the apprentice license can be purchased by a new hunter without having to successfully complete the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' hunter education course, apprentice hunters are reminded that they will still have to comply with the hunter education requirement before they can legally purchase a state resident or nonresident basic hunting license. Completion of that requirement can be done at any time so that once the apprentice hunter has finished their hunting "test drive" and decided that hunting is something they will continue to participate in, they will be able to provide the necessary proof of passing the course in order to purchase the basic resident or nonresident hunting license.

Since the apprentice license serves only in lieu of a basic hunting license, apprentice hunters will still need to purchase the special licenses to hunt deer, bear and turkeys or to use muzzleloader firearms, archery equipment and crossbows or to trap.

Senator Kenneth W. Stolle introduced the Senate version of the bill and Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter introduced the House version. The bills moved through the legislative process of the General Assembly with unanimous approval.

Said Bob Duncan, Director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, "The apprentice hunting license will be a great tool in our efforts to recruit new hunters and we're really pleased that folks will have a chance to try the sport and become more involved in our hunting heritage. Hunting is a critical wildlife management tool and we need hunters to help us effectively manage our wildlife resources. And we must not forget that we have programs, such as Hunters for the Hungry, which rely on hunters to provide hundreds of thousands of pounds of meat to food banks, shelters, and other feeding programs for needy Virginians."

Game Department Board Chairman Jimmy Hazel commented, "You used to learn to hunt from your father or grandfather, but as Virginia has become more urban and suburban, the tradition has been slipping away. Many young people, men and women, have missed the opportunity to learn to hunt. This program will allow hunters to pass that heritage on, not only to their own children and grandchildren, but also to their adult friends, their neighbors, and others who want to experience hunting."

A number of national organizations, including the National Wild Turkey Federation, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the National Rifle Association and the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, expressed support for the apprentice hunting license as a positive step in the recruitment of new hunters.

The legislation establishing the apprentice hunting license has an effective date of July 1, 2008 and the Department will have the new license available for purchase as of that date. Virginia hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased online at www.dgif.virginia.gov/licenses; purchased by telephone Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except holidays by calling toll free 1-866-721-6911; or purchased in person by visiting any of the more than 500 license agents located around the Commonwealth, typically anywhere that hunting and fishing equipment is sold.

Bear, Deer and Turkey Harvests All Increased in 2007-08

Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) have compiled preliminary figures for bear, deer, and turkey harvests for the 2007-2008 fall seasons. Several notable results of the 2007-2008 hunting season stand out. Deer harvests reached a record high this past season but even more importantly the doe harvest was greater than the buck kill for the first time since the check station system was initiated in 1947. The bear harvest was the second highest kill documented in Virginia and continues to show an increasing trend over the past decade. The fall turkey kill also increased over last year, an encouraging change considering turkey production has been poor in recent years.

Bear

According to VDGIF Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki, Virginia's black bear harvest trend has been increasing at an average annual rate of 7.4% per year over the past decade. In Virginia, 1,517 bears were harvested during the 2007-08 season .The 2007-08 regular firearms harvest of 1,032 bears was slightly down from the harvest of 1,118 bears in the 2006-07 season. Hunters who hunt with dogs accounted for 52% of the regular firearms harvest and 35% of the total bear kill.

Deer

According to VDGIF Deer Project Leader Matt Knox, a record number of 240,423 deer were reported killed by hunters in Virginia this past season. This total included 108,670 antlered bucks, 22,735 button bucks, and 109,018 does (representing 45.3% of the overall harvest). This represents a >7% increase from the 223,775 deer reported killed last year. It is also 13% higher than the last 10 year average of 212,550. Nearly 138,000 deer (>57%) were checked using VDGIF's telephone checking system. This was up from 44% in 2004, 51% in 2005, and 55% in 2006. Approximately 6,300 (<3%) deer were checked by internet. Further questions on the 2007-2008 deer harvest can be directed to Matt Knox at Matt.Knox@dgif.virginia.gov or at (434) 525-7654.

Fall Turkey

Wild Turkey Project Supervisor Gary Norman reported fall turkey hunters harvested 4,759 birds in the 2007-08 season. This harvest was 15% percent above last year's reported kill of 4,143 birds. The harvest increased 24% in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains (2,077 vs. 1,673). Norman was encouraged with the increased fall harvest. "Production has been poor in recent years and our turkey population growth has slowed," he noted. "So, this year's increase in fall harvest is good news for our turkey hunters." As fewer hunters are choosing the challenging fall season, the Board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries recently passed a special fall youth hunt that will take place on October 18, 2008. The hunt will provide young people with an opportunity to experience the thrills and excitement that fall turkey hunting offers. Further questions on the fall turkey harvest can be directed to Gary Norman at Gary.Norman@dgif.virginia.gov or (540) 248-9389.

More Information

A detailed summary of the preliminary harvest numbers for bear, deer and turkey by county can be found on the Department's Web site. In addition, information on trends, harvest of male/ female data, details on archery, crossbow, muzzleloading and many other statistics and trend analysis is available online.

General Assembly Legislation of Interest to You

There was a lot of legislative action this year on issues that may have affected you as an outdoor enthusiast, landowner or concerned citizen. For the status of bills at the end of the session, visit the VDGIF Web site to view bills related to the Department's mission that may be of interest to you.

People and Partners in the News

Steve Reeser Named Fisheries Professional of the Year

VDGIF Region IV Fisheries Biologist, Stephen J. Reeser, was honored with the Eugene W. Surber Professional Service Award at the 2008 meeting of the Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS). This annual award is given by the Chapter in recognition of outstanding contributions to the management of Virginia's aquatic resources.

Steve served as president of the Virginia Chapter AFS in 2005. He was instrumental in coordinating a very successful 13th Spring Meeting of the Southern Division AFS in Virginia Beach. The Virginia Chapter benefited in many ways due to his leadership. He also provided leadership for the 4th East Coast Trout Management and Culture Workshop in Loch Haven, PA. Since 2005, the Shenandoah River watersheds have experienced massive fish kills. Steve and Don Kain from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) were charged with forming a task force of representatives from industry, agriculture, recreation, government, education, and citizen monitoring groups. With Steve's leadership he has communicated effectively with the media, formulated monitoring plans, assembled funding, and has represented VDGIF on this issue.

Other major projects include: design and oversee a creel survey of South Fork Shenandoah River, radio tag and track bass on the depletion studies, work with local agencies on a blueway for the South Fork Shenandoah River, contribute to the mercury investigations on the South River Science Team, serve as a member of the Pure Water Forum (Shenandoah Roundtable), attend the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, and be a Virginia representative to the Southern Division's Trout Committee. He is a valuable asset to the Fisheries Division of VDGIF and is an emerging leader in his field.

Outdoor Writers Association Annual Meeting Features New VDGIF Director March 19

The new Executive Director of VDGIF, Bob Duncan, will be the feature speaker at the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association (VOWA) Annual Meeting, March 19, 2008 in Charlottesville. Mr. Duncan will discuss his plans to provide additional outreach and communications on agency programs to benefit wildlife resources, sportsmen and other agency constituents. Recent legislation affecting sportsmen will also be reviewed by VDGIF Board Member, Sherry Crumley. The event will recognize the top three winners of the 15th Annual Youth Writing Contest and Excellence in Craft Awards for members. The organization represents professional writers, editors, photographers, videographers, agency and conservation organization communicators and outdoor related businesses. Information on membership qualifications can be found on the VOWA Web site at www.vowa.org. The event is open to members, prospective members and guests with registration required. Register by March 17 by contacting President, David Coffman at (804) 367-0720 or email: david.coffman@dgif.virginia.gov.

Cedar Mountain Youths to Hold Turkey Hunting Workshop March 22 in Culpeper

The Cedar Mountain Youths, Inc., in partnership with VDGIF is sponsoring an educational wild turkey hunting workshop for participants of all ages to learn hunting techniques, tactics and safety. Learn successful hunting tips from the pros! The event is being held at the Cedar Mountain Youth Shooting Club in Culpeper Saturday, March 22, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided at no charge. Call John W. Dodson at (540) 543-2070 to register and for directions to the workshop. A Special Youth Wild Turkey Hunt will be offered for youth 10 to 15 years of age who attend the educational workshop. The special youth turkey hunt is scheduled for April 5, 2008 from 6 am - 12 pm. participants must meet current Virginia license requirements. More details on the special youth spring gobbler hunt date are available on the VDGIF Web site.

JAKES Event in Prince George Provides Simulated Hunt Training March 29

The Torsten-Peterson Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is hosting a JAKES event
in cooperation with VDGIF at the Tarbay Gun Club, near Parkers Grocery in Prince George County. The event is Saturday, March 29, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is open to any youth age 16 or younger. Parents or mentors are encouraged to attend with their child. Activities include a simulated hunt with safety, logistics, calling and tactics training. Hands-on demonstrations of turkey calls and target shooting to pattern shotguns will be available. Lunch will be provided, so registration is requested by calling Roy Cox at (804) 768-0441. This is a great opportunity to train a young hunter for participation in the special youth spring gobbler hunt Saturday April 5, 2008. More details on the special youth spring gobbler hunt date are available on the VDGIF Web site.

Page County Sportsmen Team-up to Train Young Turkey Hunters March 29

The Page Valley Sportsmen's Club, Inc. and the Skyline Strutters Chapter of NWTF are sponsoring a turkey hunting training opportunity for new and novice youth hunters. The event is scheduled March 29, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Luray. Adults are welcome to attend with their children. This event will cover turkey hunting techniques and offer a live-fire patterning session in the afternoon. Participants are encouraged to bring their shotguns and provide ammunition. There is no charge for the event and lunch will be provided to participants. This event is limited to 35 registered participants. For more information and to register contact Art Kasson at (540) 622-6103 or email artkasson@yahoo.com. More details on the special youth spring gobbler hunt date are available on the VDGIF Web site.

Kid's Fishing Day Events Provide Family Fun

Each spring, numerous local angling groups partner with VDGIF to host KID'S FISHING DAYS events. Details on events coming in April and May will be posted in the March 26 edition of the Outdoor Report and listed on our Web site!

Kid's Trout Fishing Event in Fredericksburg March 15

VDGIF will host a Kid's Trout Fishing Event at Old Cossey Pond in the City of Fredericksburg March 15, 2008 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The event is open to youth ages 1-15, free. Rods and reels are available to borrow, registration is on-site beginning at 8:00 a.m. For details contact VDGIF Regional Office (540) 899-4169.

Kids Heritage Trout Day Moved to Rose River in Madison April 5

The Rapidan Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Graves Mountain Lodge and VDGIF will sponsor a Kids Fishing Day on the Rose River on April 5, 2008 for kids 12 and under, starting at 9:00 a.m. This popular annual event has been changed this year from the third Saturday in March to the first Saturday in April to have a chance at warmer weather and the location has been changed from the Robinson River to the Rose River. This is the longest running Kids' event in the state and is anticipated as a larger event due to more planned activities. In addition to fishing, eighteen groups will have exhibits and demonstrations available ranging from fly casting, insect monitoring on streams to ATV safety demonstrations. All children participating will be eligible for prizes which will be given out every hour. Virginia Wildlife magazine will feature an article in the April issue describing the history of this long running event. For a map, directions and a complete schedule of activities, visit the Graves Mountain Web site. Additional information is available from Graves Mountain lodge at (540) 923-4231 or Trout Unlimited Marcia Woolman at (540) 253-5545 or email marcia@woolmancane.com.

Men Shouldn't Have All the Fun! Becoming an Outdoors Woman Event April 4-6

Backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and shooting are just some of the courses available for women at our Becoming an Outdoors Woman weekend! Courses range from outdoor cooking to wilderness survival. According to VDGIF Outdoor Education Supervisor Karen Holson, "BOW workshops are designed for women who are beginners, so no experience is necessary! Equipment and instruction are provided and our professional instructors work hard to create a comfortable and supportive atmosphere." The workshop takes place April 4-6, 2008, at the Holiday Lake 4-H Center in Appomattox. Participants to the BOW workshop must be at least 18 years of age. Gather your friends and register today! (PDF)

Regenerative Design Workshop Features Habitat Restoration April 4

The Virginia Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects is sponsoring a day-long workshop featuring presentations on Regenerative Design at their Spring Conference, April 4, 2008 in Richmond. VDGIF Habitat Education Coordinator, Carol Heiser, will present the plenary session on Restoring Wildlife Habitat and Connecting Children to Nature Through Conservation-based Landscape Design. The talk will provide an overview of critical issues facing Virginia's children, communities and natural resources that can be reversed through thoughtful, sustainable, ecological design. Carol's current focus is on providing technical assistance and education outreach to landscape architects, designers, builders and land use planners about conservation landscaping practices that improve wildlife habitat and connect people with nature. In addition to other presentations the event will also tour Maymont Gardens and the James River historic Canal Development Trail. For information and required registration visit the VA-ASLA Web site at www.vaasla.org or call (757) 685-4580.

Jack Randolph River Fest April 5 in Hopewell

The Jack Randolph River Fest and Big Cat Quest will be held in Hopewell Saturday, April 5, 2008, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the City Marina. There will be fishing and boating related displays by numerous vendors and organizations till 4:00 p.m. The Displays then come down at 4:00 p.m. so that the Cat Quest weigh-in and the band music and fish fry (pay event) can be started. This event is named for Jack Randolph, who was a previous Director for VDGIF and had encouraged Hopewell to do this event to promote the fishing potential in the State. Jack was also well known for his articles on fishing and the outdoors and weekly fishing reports in regional publications. For more information, contact Deborah Randolph at drandolph@cffc.com.

Little Switzerland Strutters Chapter Hosts JAKES Youth Fishing Event April 20

The NWTF Little Switzerland Strutters Chapter in Highland County is hosting a JAKES Youth Fishing event designed for youth 15 years of age and younger on Saturday April 20, 2008. This event will offer opportunities for youth to participate in fishing, archery, hunting safety, basic survival and a BB gun live fire range. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. on the McCray Farm. For more information, contact Michael Hillbert at (540) 468-3884.

The Virginia Wildlife Special Photography Contest Issue Now Available

There's an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that's true, then the March issue of Virginia Wildlife may be just one of the most informative and entertaining issues of the magazine ever published. Nationally-renowned wildlife photographer Lynda Richardson, who was selected to oversee the judging of the contest, helped to narrow down the more than 3,000 photographs that were submitted by hundreds of talented photographers. The final award winning selections will offer you an incredible visual journey across the Commonwealth, from the Eastern Shore to the Blue Ridge Mountains, including some of the most awesome wildlife photographs ever published in the magazine.

Wild Game Recipe Columnist Joan Cone Passes

Noted wild game recipe columnist, Joan Cone passed away in January. Joan was the author of numerous cookbooks and had a feature page in Virginia Wildlife magazine for many years with full meal recipes for all seasons and occasions. We will miss Joan's delicious offerings and her humor and ability to take the mystery out of wild game cooking and create practical, simple and tasty dishes from the sportsmen's harvest.

Need a Warm Sweatshirt for Cool Spring Weather?

Visit the Virginia Wildlife Outdoor Catalog!

Virginia Wildlife sweatshirts clearance priced! Get yours today!

Be Safe... Have Fun!

Make Your Spring Gobbler Hunt a Safe One!

This edition features numerous workshop opportunities sponsored by sportsmen's groups in partnership with VDGIF, encouraging special training for youth and novice hunters to participate in the upcoming Spring Gobbler season. To ensure a safe and enjoyable day afield, VDGIF recommends reviewing the following guidelines for a safe Spring Gobbler hunting experience for young and old, novice and experienced alike:

  • Because a gobbler's head is distinguished by its bold white, blue and red colors, NEVER wear white, blue or red clothing - not even socks or undershirts - because a flash of white could be mistaken for a turkey. Even a red bandana or blue snack food wrapper could be misread in the woods during turkey season.
  • Never shoot at a sound or movement. Wait until you have a good, clean shot at a legal bird. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Instead, call out in a loud voice and remain hidden, until the other hunter acknowledges your presence.
  • When you harvest a gobbler, carry it out of the woods draped in blaze orange. Otherwise, another hunter might just see the bird and not you.

Get more tips on how to stay safe during your Spring Gobbler hunt! »

Habitat Improvement Tips

Each month we feature a habitat article by Donna Cottingham, a freelance writer for many years who is currently a Master Naturalist volunteer from the Riverine Chapter. The Master Naturalist program is a statewide volunteer network dedicated to providing education, outreach and service for the benefit of Virginia's natural resources. For more information, go to www.virginiamasternaturalist.org.

Springtime Brings Vernal Pools and Salamanders

March is a good time to look for salamanders during moist spring weather as they move out of dormancy to breed in vernal pools. What appears as a mud puddle to an untrained eye, is actually a small natural phenomenon – and an important ecosystem in the delicate balance of life for frogs, turtles and salamanders. See the mole salamander feature in this edition for more information on these interesting amphibians. For more information about vernal ponds and habitat protection, read the entire article on the VDGIF Web site.

Forestry Department Offers Specialty Seedlings

It's tree planting time! If you want to improve habitat on your property, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has a variety of native trees and shrubs for reforestation projects on cutover and idle land. Landowners may now purchase seed mixes, shrubs and quality bare root tree seedlings in specialty packets for wildlife habitat enhancement, water shed protection, fall and spring colors, and timber management. For product information, pricing and ordering go to VDOF's Web site.

Hunters - Did You Remember To...

The following notes are quick reminders of things you may have overlooked getting ready for hunting season, or reports from numerous calls we received recently at our information desk, or experienced afield.

Visit our Web site if you would like to learn more about skill building workshops for novice outdoorsmen, or hunter education instructor opportunities.

Planning to Take a Youngster on a Spring Gobbler Hunt? Schedule a Hunter Education Class Now!

Now is the time to enroll in a Hunter Education Class for spring gobbler season. Class schedules are available on the VDGIF Web site. Hunter Education is mandatory for all hunters age 12 and older.

Don't forget about the special Youth Spring Turkey Hunt that will take place on April 5, 2008 for youth age 15 and under. Youth hunters between the ages of 12-15 must have appropriate valid hunting licenses. Hunters under the age of 12 are not required to have a license, but must be accompanied by a licensed adult. See the Department's Web site or Hunting & Trapping in Virginia Regulations and Information digest for more information on Hunter Education requirements. The youth turkey hunt is a great way for an experienced hunter to introduce a youngster to the great outdoors.

Check the UPCOMING EVENTS calendar for numerous hunter training workshops around the state sponsored by youth oriented organizations like NWTF JAKES, 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs and others dedicated to continuing our rich hunting heritage to a new generation.

Beagle Wins "Top Dog" Award

"Uno", a beagle hound, won out over 2600 other dogs, representing 160 breeds to win the coveted and prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show Award. The nation's new top dog was clearly the fan favorite, and drew a roaring, standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden when he was picked. Uno is the first beagle hound to win in over 130 years of the national contest. With the current Hunting With Hounds Study, Uno ironically has possibly added a touch of class and different perspective to the debate. Of course beagle owners have known these lovable, hard hunting, faithful, family companions to be "just the best" for years! Way to go dawg! As Uno melodically howled "ah-oooh" to the delight of the crowd, could American Idol be next?!

Fishin' Report

Anglers throughout Virginia and neighboring states want to know "how are the fish bitin'?" To provide some answers, more than 25 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, prepares this Fishin' Report from interviews with these contacts the week prior to publication of the Outdoor Report.

The Fishin' Report is only available as part of your free subscription to the Outdoor Report.

The rivers and lakes featured in the Fishin' Report are listed by VDGIF Administrative Regions so you can quickly locate the area in which you are most interested. Consult the regional location map to find the major river or lake you want to know about.

Want more information on the lakes and rivers listed below? Visit the Lakes and Rivers pages on the Department's Web site!

For regulations and conditions on saltwater fishing, visit the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Web site.

New Regulations for Anadromous Fish in Southern Tidewater

New regulations went into effect January 1, 2008 for blueback herring and alewives on the North Carolina drainages in Virginia according to VDGIF Tidewater Region Fisheries Biologist, Eric Brittle. The new regulations are in effect on the North Landing, Northwest, Nottoway, Blackwater (Chowan Drainage), and Meherrin Rivers and Back and their tributaries. For more information call (757) 465-6829, or email eric.brittle@dgif.virginia.gov.

Species Creel Limit Minimum Length Limit
Striped bass 2 fish per day 18 inches
American shad & Hickory shad 10 fish in aggregate None
Alewife & Blueback herring No Possession --

WANTED - American Eels From The Roanoke River Basin

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is cooperating with Dominion (Virginia/North Carolina Power), the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and federal resource agencies in a study investigating the presence of American eels in the Roanoke River basin upstream of Roanoke Rapids Lake, North Carolina. The study is being conducted as part of a program to restore American eels to the Roanoke River basin by providing passage upstream of dams owned and operated by Dominion. Any eels caught by anglers from the Roanoke (Staunton) River or its tributary streams (including the Hyco, Pigg and Dan Rivers), or from Lake Gaston, Kerr Reservoir, Leesville Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake or Philpott Lake are of interest.

If you catch an American eel from the Roanoke River basin, it would benefit the study if anglers kept the eel and contacted Bob Graham of Dominion at (804) 271-5377, or bob.graham@dom.com. Bob will make arrangements with you to collect the eel for scientific study. As soon as possible after catching the eel it should be bagged and frozen. If facilities are not available to freeze the eel, it should be kept on ice. Cooperation in the study will be greatly appreciated, and will benefit efforts to restore American eels to their historic range.

Crappie Week Features Kid's Rodeo and Crappie Techniques School

Kerr Reservoir at Clarksville will be the host site of Crappie Week, a week long festival sponsored by fishing organizations and area attractions scheduled for March 24-30, 2008. A tournament will be held in conjunction with the Crappie Techniques School March 27-28 presented by Fish Harder Co. March 26 will include an "Outdoors Media Tournament" in the morning, followed by lunch and awards. The tournament on March 29th is open to all crappie anglers with the weigh-in at the Occoneechee State Park, Main Boat Ramp. A free kid's fishing rodeo will be held at the weigh-in site during the morning on March 29th. Kids should bring their own pole and baits. Prizes will be awarded and all participating kids will get a prize. For additional information on the Crappie Tech School and times for other events contact Larry Thornhill at (919) 603-5681 or e-mail: lthornhill@msn.com, or visit the event Web site.

March Madness is Trout Madness

Last summer and fall brought some of the worst drought the Commonwealth has ever experienced. Virginia's trout hatcheries were challenged by lower spring flows and warmer water than they typically experience…to the point where fish could not be fed on a regular basis, resulting in slower growth and some trout mortality. Anglers did experience smaller fish and fewer numbers than they were used to last fall, and some waters were too dry to stock as scheduled.

Water flows have recovered somewhat (although they are still below normal), and with cooler water temperatures, fish are feeding more aggressively and growing in the hatcheries. While total trout numbers are slightly lower than in past years, anglers should experience good sized, healthy, vigorous trout this spring. Streams that were too dry to stock last fall now have adequate flow to support stocked trout.

In addition to the regular stocking sized trout, hatcheries will include several broodfish, which include two to three and four pound brook trout, and two to six, and seven pound brown trout in many of the waters.

For the current trout stocking schedule (updated daily), see the Department's Web site.

Reporter's Notes... Sarah White

While daylight savings time leaves most of us grumbling about having to get up earlier to go to the salt mines, for the angler there is a positive side - it marks the beginning of fishing season. Expert fishers know what to do to prepare, but for the novice, I called Mickey Hopkins at Green Top Sporting Goods and asked him for advice. Mickey told me that there is a difference in preparing to fish in lakes or ponds and preparing to fish in rivers. For the lake or pond angler, the best attractant is live bait. Crappie and ring perch go for small minnows; while bass require large or jumbo. Every angler should check his or her rod and reel, replacing the line with new clean monofilament. In fact, the line should be replaced at least once a year, according to Mickey. As for the rod, make sure that the guides and tip are OK. Also check the reel seat. Then to, it wouldn't hurt to go get some spinners and swimbaits.

Now for you river anglers, the best lures are silver buddies blade baits, jigging spoons, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs. Due to the current, a lure in a river needs more weight on it. Check your tackle box wherever you fish.

The most emphatic point that Mickey made is to take your kit to the local bait and tackle store and let an expert check it out and advise you. He guarantees that they will be happy to give you their time and expertise. So to all anglers – don't groan so much when the alarm goes off - cause it's "time" to go fishin!

We welcome nine new reporters for Chickahominy Lake, Briery Creek Lake, Occoquan River, Occoquan Reservoir, Burke Lake, Lake Anna, Nottoway River, Blackwater River, and the Potomac River that met Sarah at the Richmond Fishing Expo and signed up to send us these reports. They are highlighted for your convenience.

Region 1 - Tidewater

Chickahominy Lake: Guide Jason Burkholder told me that Capt. Art Conway of Conway's River Rat Guide Service reported that schools of baitfish are attracting crappie, bass, small blue cats and pickerel. Live minnows, blade baits and crappie tubes are your best bet. The water is clear and in the 50s.

Beaverdam Swamp: Chuck Hyde tells us that fishing has been "hit or miss for the last few weeks". Crappie and bass have been cooperating occasionally. Micah Toups from Wicomico reported landing four big bass. There will be a Big Bash tournament on March 15th, with the weigh-in at 3PM. There will also be a crappie tournament on April 12th there is limited space for this one, so it is suggested that you register early. The lake is 44 degrees and clear.

Blackwater/Nottoway Rivers: Jeff Turner with the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeepers reports he was on the Nottoway below the VDGIF ramp at Route 671 on both March 1 and 2. Water temps were 47 degrees and the water was low and fast. He caught nine stripers to 19 inches. One on a shad rig, four on a Silver Buddy blade bait jigged off the bottom and the other four on a stick type crank bait. He also fished for shad both days but never got a hit. Jeff talked to one person that said they had caught a few on that Saturday below the narrows. Note the new regulations for anadromous fish for this river system featured above.

Norfolk Lakes: Drew Dixon from Dashell's Show Room reports that folks have not been out angling a lot in the past few weeks. The crappie have been "hit or miss" The brown or raccoon perch, however has been doing well. The bass are also doing well. There have been several bass tournaments, and the winning lures seem to have been jigs and crankbaits. The water is around 50 degrees and clear.

North Landing River and Back Bay: Dewey Mullins told me that not a lot of angling has been going on in his area. A few folks have landed some crappie using live bait. The white perch are going for both artificial and live attractants, with the artificials being small spinners. The bass are going for small crankbaits. The water is 50 degrees and clear. Note the new regulations for anadromous fish for this river system featured above.

Region 2 - Southside

Briery Creek Lake: Guide Jason Burkholder reports that he heard from Jesse at Worsham's Grocery that fishing remains good. A 25 inch, 8.5 lb largemouth was landed on March 2nd. Crappie are going vigorously after small minnows. The water is clear and warming.

James at Lynchburg: Tom Reisdorf of Angler's Lane reports that the recent rains have left the water too high and muddy to be a good fishing spot. The folks on Kerr Reservoir have been landing crappie with jigs, but they are the only lucky anglers in the area. The waters are muddy and warming.

Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Whitlow Jr. of Bob Cat's Lake Country Store says that fishing has been fairly good. The bass are attacking jigs and jerkbait. Trolling rigs are also a good bet. Catfish are hitting cut bait. A few stripers have been brought to boat. The water is stained and in the 50's.

Philpott Lake: Shawn Perdue of Franklin Outdoors tells us that crappie are doing well with minnows and small tube jigs. There are also a lot of white perch there for the taking. The lake is clear and in the 50's.

Smith Mountain Lake: Mike Snead says that crappie are gathering around submerged trees and other submerged structures about 8-16 feet down. It's best to go for them with number 4 and 6 hooks with minnows or small jigheads with plastic curl tail grubs. The stripers have been cooperating, look for where the gulls are gathered, the birds are going for the same fish the stripers eat. Bucktails or Flukes attached to a weighted jig head. Should be effective, as are popping surface baits and jerk baits. Largemouth bass are coming for the jigging spoons and drop shot rigs. The water is clear and 45 degrees.

Region 3 - Southwest

Claytor Lake: Wyatt Blevins of Rock House Marina reports that there has been a lot of large mouth action on the lake. They are going for either live shad or crankbaits that look like shad. The crappie seem to be in hiding, as have the perch. The bass are hitting jerkbait or jig and pigs. The water is clear and in the 40's.

Lower New River: John Zienius of Big Z's told me that due to the recent rains the river is too full to fish well. Anglers should wait a few days for the water to get lower and the temperatures to rise. Currently the river is clear and warming.

New River and Claytor Lake: Victor Billings of Sportsman's Supply says that largemouth bass are dong well, going for spot remover jigs. A few crappie have been brought in on minnows. Walleyes have been coming in big. Wayne Padgett landed one over 15 lbs, bellow the Fries Dam. The water is murky and in the 40's.

Region 4 - Mountain and Valley

Lake Moomaw: Larry Andrews at The Bait Place tells us that fishing has been slow. A few trout have been brought in on jigs or minnows. Some yellow perch have responded to the same baits. The water is 41 degrees and stained.

The North Fork of the Shenandoah: Harry Murray reports that the bass streams in the North and South fork of the river are starting to show some small and largemouth bass and some fallfish. The temperatures there are from 45 to 48 degrees and the water is clear. Trout streams in the valley such as Mill Creek and Stoney Creek Passage are producing some good rainbows. The best flies to use are Murray's stonefly nymph and Murray's pearl marauder, both at size 12. The waters there are clear and 40 to 45 degrees. Mountain streams are still too cold to fish. For angers who want to know more, Harry has a Web site which has a report on angling in the area that comes out on Tuesdays and Fridays. It can be found at www.murraysflyshop.com.

Region 5 - Northern Piedmont

Potomac River: Guide Charlie Taylor has divided the river into three sections for angling purposes and I will follow his lead. The river in the D.C. area is showing some action with white perch that seem to like nightcrawlers or bloodworms. The channel cats are going for smelt or cut bait. The bass are in the pre-spawn stage and are 10 – 15 feet down and are going for jig and pigs, small grubs and spinnerbaits. Crappie are schooling and moving to shallow water where they can be caught with minnows and tiny jigs. Carp are going for 3 inch smoke metal flake grubs brought back slowly, "with a swimming motion".  The river below the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is giving up bass on its main points, jig and pig and plastic grubs being the lure of choice. Crappie are attacking minnows and plastic grubs, and blue cats love cut shad.  The upper region of the river shows smallmouth going for small hair jig and pigs and plastic grubs. Walleye in the area are hitting minnows and nightcrawlers.

Occoquan River: Charlie Taylor reports that yellow perch are attacking minnows and vertical jigs like Silver buddies; however commercial fishing is starting, which limits angler's chances. Crappie are to be found around boat docks and will go for minnows. Bass are near the bottom of the rock walls on the North side of the river and they are interested in small grubs and jig and pigs. The water is clear and warming

Occoquan Reservoir: Charlie Taylor says that bass are going for jig and pigs and large spinnerbaits. Crappie like minnows and are hanging out near submerged brush. The water is clear and warming.

Burke Lake: Charlie Taylor tells us that bass in the lake are going for crankbaits and spinnerbaits retrieved slowly. The water is clear and around 40 degrees.

Lake Anna: Guide Jason Burkholder reports that Jim Hemby of Lake Anna Striper Guide Service told him that largemouth are going for jerkbaits and can be found on primary and secondary points. In the upper part of the lake bass favor clay banks and backs of pockets and go for shallow diving and lipless crankbaits. The water is clear and warming.

Get your kids hooked on fishing!

Got Tips?
Got Tricks?
Adventure Stories?
The one that got away?
The one that didn't?

email your material to
fishing_report@hotmail.com
and it might get used in the Fishin' Report!

Virginia Conservation Police Notebook

To increase awareness of the activities of our dedicated Conservation Police Officers, previously called game wardens, the "Virginia Conservation Police Notebook" provides an overview of the variety of activities encountered by our officers who protect natural resources and people pursuing outdoor recreation in the fields, woods and waters of Virginia.

Region 4 - Mountain and Shenandoah Valley

Officers recognized for teamwork in rescuing injured hunter... Virginia Conservation Police Sgt. Steve Bullman and Senior Officer Neil Kester were recognized on February 4 at a special ceremony by the Fraternal Order of Police, Central Shenandoah Lodge #24 as "Cops of the Quarter" for their successful rescue of a critically injured hunter from a remote area of Augusta County during the past deer season. This is a quarterly award given by Lodge 24 to recognize outstanding efforts by local law enforcement officers. The award was presented by Lodge #24 Secretary Phil Lynch who is a retired New York City Police Lieutenant.

Original story from December 12 Edition...

Radios, Cell Phones and CPO's determination save hunters life. On Friday morning November 23, 2007 at approximately 8:00 a.m., Conservation Police Sgt. Steve Bullman was notified by Augusta County EOC dispatchers of a reported hunting accident on Shenandoah Mountain in Augusta County. A hunter had shot himself in his arm and needed immediate medical care. The victim was reported to be behind a locked National Forest gate several miles in. Sgt. Bullman responded to the area and drove in behind the gate encountering a downed 12 inch diameter tree top blocking the road. He radioed for a chain saw to be brought to the area. While waiting, Sgt. Bullman began to cut the tree using a 'Pulaski Tool' that he carries in his patrol vehicle. Sgt. Bullman had the tree cut in two as help arrived to clear the road with the chain saws. Conservation Police Senior Officer Neil Kester, Hunter Education Specialist Kris Dougherty, and EMTs arrived to assist in the rescue. The victim was located off an old logging road over two miles from the gate. Chain saws were used to clear this trail to facilitate getting an emergency equipped 'Gator' to the scene. Officer Kester found the victim outside of a ground blind and being helped by a hunting companion who had placed a tourniquet on the victim's right arm. The victim's .30-06 rifle had discharged in the blind, striking him in the back of the right triceps area and causing massive tissue damage.

The victim had called for help using his FRS radio and had tried to administer a tourniquet on his own arm. When his hunting companion arrived he effectively applied the tourniquet, then called for help on his FRS radio. His plea for help was heard by another hunter in the Jennings Gap Area of Augusta County approximately 9 air miles away. This hunter then used his cell phone to call Augusta EOC and dispatch help to the victim. The victim was transported out of the mountain on the 'Gator' while being attended too by an Air flight Nurse. The victim was then transported by Churchville Rescue Squad to a waiting Med Flight helicopter at West Augusta and flown to UVA Hospital in Charlottesville. Surgeons attempted to save the victim's arm, but were unable to due to extensive tissue damage and bone loss. The right arm was amputated just above the elbow.

The victim reported to Sgt. Bullman during an interview at the hospital that he had heard a deer behind him and had turned around in the blind and knelt down. He had his rifle propped on the seat and another branch used to make the blind. When he reached into his backpack he slid the rifle with his arm and it discharged. He does not know how the safety was pushed to the fire position or what caused the rifle to fire. The victim is very grateful to all the people that came to his rescue. For more information contact, Lt. Kevin Clarke (540) 248-9360.

Hunters are reminded to double check to be sure the safety is ON and not to prop a gun where it may be knocked over.

Region 2 - Southside

Meeting with sportsmen: an important component for law enforcement officers... CPOs took time from field work to help staff the VDGIF exhibit at the Roanoke Sportsmen's Classic from February 22 - 24. During this period, officers spent time interacting and being available to answer general public and sportsmen's questions. Community Policing is a valuable law enforcement education, crime prevention and educational tool for these officers. For more information on becoming an officer, contact Lt. Tony Fisher (434) 525-7522.

Region 3 - Southwest

Justice served to wildlife violators with heavy fines, jail time and loss of license privileges... Officers Dan Hall and Jamie Davis had a very busy day in Smyth County General District Court on February 15. The officers had over 145 game and game related cases uncovered during the course of the hunting season in November and December 2007. The cases were in relation to violations uncovered during patrol activities and investigations conducted during this period. A total of 114 cases were adjudicated with a total of $ 11,737 in fines/costs and replacement fees levied in the cases. The cases included 15 charges for Taking/Attempting to take deer with lights (spotlighting), 9 charges for Taking Deer/Turkey during closed season, and 2 charges for Hunting Deer after obtaining the seasonal limit. Replacement fees for 7 deer were also levied as well as charges for the costs of required licenses for those individuals found hunting without the required licenses. Five persons received 30 day jail sentences for taking deer with the use of lights. The jail sentences will be suspended upon successful completion of 12 month supervised probation terms for each. Four individuals also lost their privilege to hunt until July 1, 2009. Of the one-hundred fourteen cases adjudicated, 4 cases related to motor vehicle violations and drug violations uncovered during the course of patrols for hunting related activity and investigations. Thirty-one cases involving spotlighting and closed season violations related to deer were continued to another court date pending plea agreements through the Smyth County Commonwealth's Attorneys Office. Officer Davis recently completed a Felony firearms possession case which involved a spotlighting incident in Washington County. The Washington County Circuit Court accepted a plea agreement in which the defendant received a five year sentence with three years suspended. The defendant also received a three year active probation sentence and was ordered to pay $1150.00 in court costs. For more information contact Lt. Rex Hill (276) 783-4860.

Region 5 – Northern Piedmont

Goose hunters break all the rules... On February 2 at approximately 9:00 a.m., while patrolling in Prince William County, Officer Mark Sanitra observed several individuals field hunting geese on a farm off Kettle Run road. To get a better vantage point Officer Mark Sanitra entered the back of the farm and once in position observed two hunters walking on top of the ridge and 3 hunters dragging a sled with decoys walking across the field. When the first 2 individuals returned to the truck, Officer Sanitra identified himself and made contact. Once the other hunters returned to the vehicles Officer Sanitra conducted field interviews. After conducting the field interviews the following charges were made: 3 summons for missing Virginia Waterfowl Stamps, 3 federal charges for missing Federal Waterfowl Stamps, and several written warnings for various other violations. For more information, contact Lt. John Cobb (540) 899-4169.

If you suspect or witness a violation, report it to the Wildlife Crimeline at 1-800-237-5712.

Don't let the actions of a few outlaws tarnish the reputation of Virginia's sportsmen!

In Case You Missed It...

Editor's note: With numerous new subscribers each issue, we realize that some of the seasonal features are important and timely enough to bear repeating. So readers can easily review these seasonal items, we have retained the headlines and information links in this section "In case you missed it..."

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 the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Stay informed on issues and opportunities about Virginia's outdoors!

In upcoming editions of the Outdoor Report, look for:

  • VOWA Youth Writing Contest Award Winners
  • Kid's Fishing Day Events
  • Spring Gobbler Forecast
  • CWD Update - No Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Virginia
Mole salamander. Artwork copyright Spike Knuth.
 
BE WILD, VIRGINIA!

Mole salamander
(Ambystoma talpoideum)
by Spike Knuth

The mole salamander is one of the least known of Virginia's amphibians. Its scientific name, talpoideum, means "mole-like." Like its namesake, it lives underground for most of its life. It inhabits burrows in hardwood forests, bottomland forests, swamps, and pine flatwoods that contain small ponds or wet low spots. Sometimes it will be found under logs or rocks in low, damp places.

This rare salamander is 3¼ to 4¾ inches long with a chunky body, short, thick tail, and comparatively large head and limbs. Its snout is wide and rounded and it has small black eyes. Its base coloration is dark brown or grayish-brown with specks of white or light blue all over its body. Some specks are close together and appear as large irregular spots. The belly is a pale bluish-gray.

It is known to inhabit an area from Charlotte to Campbell counties. The single known breeding site in Virginia is in an abandoned, small ice pond in the flood plain of a small stream that is surrounded by a mixed hardwood forest. Otherwise, it is common in most of its range, which includes the lower Mississippi River Valley as far north as Illinois, eastern Texas and Oklahoma, and east to the Coastal Plain of southeastern United States, where it is found in scattered locations in the Carolinas and Georgia.

·    ·    ·

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!

The artwork used to enhance this publication is produced by award-winning Virginia artist Carl "Spike" Knuth. He is currently retired from VDGIF and continues to be active in numerous activities contributing to wildlife conservation, information and education through his artwork and writing. We appreciate his continued service and support through his exceptional talent for both illustrations and writing. Spike's artwork can be seen at the Jager Gallery, 6939 Lakeside Avenue, in Richmond.

UPCOMING EVENTS
March 2008
15 Mid-Atlantic Kayak Fishing Symposium, Virginia Beach
16 Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro.
18 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Conservation Meetings for Landowners, Warsaw. Contact Mike Budd, Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist at mbudd@ducks.org or telephone (804) 557-3513.
19 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Conservation Meetings for Landowners, Hanover. Contact Mike Budd, Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist at mbudd@ducks.org or telephone (804) 557-3513.
19 Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Annual Meeting, Charlottesville. Contact David Coffman.
22 JAKES Firearms Training, Augusta County. Contact Lenny Tolley at (540) 248-4564.
22 Cedar Mountain Youths Turkey Hunting Workshop, Culpeper. Contact John Dodson at (540) 543-2070.
24-30 Crappie Week, Kerr Reservoir.
29 Youth Turkey Hunting Seminar, Luray. Contact Art Kasson at (540) 622-6103 or artkasson@yahoo.com.
29 JAKES event, Torsten-Peterson Chapter Hunter Training, Tarbay Gun Club, Prince George, contact Roy Cox (804) 768-0441.
29-30 Trout Unlimited National Capital Angling Show, Frederick, MD.
30 Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro.
April 2008
4-6 Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Holiday Lake 4-H Center, Appomattox. Contact  jimmy.mootz@dgif.virginia.gov.
5 Jack Randolph River Fest, Hopewell. Contact drandolph@cffc.com.
5 Heritage Trout Day, Graves Mountain Lodge, Madison County.
5 Special Youth Spring Turkey Hunt
5 Turkey Hunting Workshop for Youth, Cedar Mountain Youths, Culpeper. Contact John Dodson at (540) 543-2070.
13 Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro.
19-20 Lake Country Wildlife Art Festival and Decoy Competition, Marine Corps League, South Hill. Contact Ron Seward at (434) 636-3138 or trseward@buggs.net.
20 JAKES Event, NWTF Little Switzerland Strutters Chapter, Highland County. Contact Michael Hillbert at (540) 468-3884.
27 Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro.
May 2008
3 Canoe Fishing Workshop, Gloucester.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
We have opportunities for the public to join us as volunteers in our Complementary Work Force Program. If you are interested in devoting your time and talents, apply here.

Opportunities will be posted regularly providing descriptions of available volunteer positions.

MAKE IT A FAMILY ADVENTURE!
The Department offers numerous hunting, fishing, and outdoor education programs designed for families, women, beginners and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HUNT OR FISH?
Visit Find Game, the Department's award-winning online public hunting lands locator!

For persons with disabilities: a calendar of hunting, fishing, and skill-building events, as well as areas designed for access to persons with disabilities can be found on the Department's online events calendar, accessible fishing areas page, as well as the VANWTF site.

Find out where to fish, fishing access, and much more at the Department's Web site.

QUICK GLANCE
AT HUNTING SEASONS

The following is a partial list of upcoming seasons starting in September and October for the more popular species. For a complete list and regulations consult the 2007-08 Hunting & Trapping Regulations and Information.

Beginning in September 2007
Crow: through March 15 Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday only.
Coyote, groundhog, and skunk: Sept. 1 to Mar. 10 on public land, continuous open season on private land.
Beginning in January 2008
Archery
Deer: Urban Archery - January 7 to March 29 in certain incorporated cities, towns, and counties. Go to the Department's Web site for local restrictions and other urban archery information.
Beginning in April 2008
Turkey: Spring Gobbler (bearded turkeys only)

April 5: Special Youth Spring Turkey Hunt

April 12 to May 3: 1/2 hour before sunrise until 12 noon each day statewide.

May 5 to May 17: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset statewide.

Please contribute to Hunters for the Hungry through the $2 check-off when purchasing a license, 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.

FOR AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, contact the local conservation police officer immediately through the local sheriff's office or police department.

Don't allow the actions of a few to tarnish the reputation of Virginia's sportsmen and sportswomen!

SUBSCRIBE TO VIRGINIA WILDLIFE MAGAZINE!
  • If you would like to become a regular subscriber to Virginia Wildlife magazine, visit the Department's Web site, call 1-800-710-9369, or mail a check payable to "Treasurer of Virginia" and send it to Virginia Wildlife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, VA 23230-1104. 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.
VIRGINIA WILDLIFE CATALOG

Security Reminder: VDGIF will never ask for personal information through unsolicited e-mail.

OUTDOOR REPORT
EDITORIAL TEAM

Editor: David Coffman

Web Production: David Murr, Tim Tassitano

Contributing Editors:
Julia Dixon, Carol Kushlak, Ron Messina, Sally Mills, Lee Walker

Special Feature Contributors:
Rick Busch, Donna Cottingham, Carol Heiser, Fred Leckie, Spike Knuth, Steve Pike, Vance Shearin, Jeff Trollinger, Sarah White

The electronic Outdoor Report is sent free via e-mail to more than 14,000 subscribers the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.

Privacy Policy | {UNSUBSCRIBEHYPERLINK}

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shall afford to all persons an equal access to Department Programs and facilities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex or age. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility, please write to: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 4010 West Broad Street, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, VA 23230-1104.

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