Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day September 27
Be proud to be a hunter or angler! It is YOU, America's sportsmen that have funded and lead the fight for conservation, restoration and management of our precious wildlife and natural resources. For the past 37 years, National Hunting and Fishing Day has served as a public reminder that hunters and anglers are America's premier conservation supporters. The President, Congress and state Governors annually proclaim this event to recognize the vital role of sportsmen in conservation. Through licenses and excise taxes, sportsmen now generate $100,000 every 30 minutes for fish, wildlife and habitat programs -- benefiting all citizens who appreciate wild things and wild places.
Top five ways to observe National Hunting and Fishing Day this Saturday, September 27:
- Introduce a newcomer to the outdoors- purchase an Apprentice Hunting License.
- Visit your sporting goods retailer, treat yourself to a new piece of hunting, fishing or shooting gear, then get outside and enjoy it.
- Organize, volunteer or attend a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration in your area. Many events are listed in the Outdoor Report and also posted at www.nhfday.org.
- Remember those whose service to our country and communities will prevent them from joining us afield this fall. Appreciate the freedoms that make hunting, fishing, shooting and conservation possible.
- Log on to www.nhfday.org to learn more about the historic conservation leadership of hunters and anglers. Share the story with non-hunters!
National Hunting and Fishing Day sponsors include Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, The Sportsman Channel, National Wild Turkey Federation, Realtree, Cabela's, Woolrich, GunBroker.com, Outdoor Channel, Safari Club International, Hunting Heritage Trust, Smith & Wesson, Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, and Yamaha.
We received this note recently from Martin B. Johnson in Beaverdam, and thought it was a great testimonial of how hunting enriches our lives...
This year when I prepared to get my hunting
license prior to dove season I noticed the fee
for the lifetime license was at an affordable
level for me. I went to the main VDGIF office,
filled out the form and made my purchase. When
the card came in the mail I was pleased with the
results and told my wife "this is the last
license I'll ever buy."
A few days later I remembered a box of
mementos that my late mother had prepared for me
prior to her death. She had saved all the little
things accumulated over my lifetime and given it
to me. Among all the old school report cards,
boy scout badges, and homemade drawings I found
what I was looking for - my first hunting
license. There it was, issued in September 1964
by W. M. Carter in Charlottesville. The fee was
$3.50 plus $1.00 for the deer tag. What an
Here I sat with my first and last hunting
license. The memories of 44 years of hunting
flooded my thoughts. If I live to be a hundred,
I can enjoy another 44 years. It's a long shot
but who knows, I might just make it. Thanks
VDGIF for a lifetime of memories.
Martin: thank you for your continued support of our programs and efforts to manage our fish and wildlife resources to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.
Wild Events You Don't Want to Miss
Join in the celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Day... Numerous sportsman's groups are hosting family oriented events to provide training and skill development for youth and novice hunters and anglers throughout September and October. Find one near you and participate, appreciate and celebrate our rich hunting and fishing heritage.
Quail Unlimited Hosts Youth Appreciation Day September 27 in Bumpass
The Central Virginia Chapter of Quail Unlimited and the Dove Sportsman's Society are hosting the 2nd Annual Youth Appreciation Day at
"Breezewood" near Bumpass in celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Day. From 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. guided activities will be available including: fishing, sporting clays, archery, tree climbing, ATV safety and pointer dog demos. Live quail and dove hunting are available on a first come/first served basis with pre-registration required. For information contact Lanny Woolfolk by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Outdoor Festival in Farmville September 27
VDGIF in partnership with the Riverside Community Church and area Hunter Education Instructors is sponsoring a Family Outdoor Festival at the Five County Fairgrounds in Farmville September 27 from 10:00 a.m.
- 7:00 p.m. Come participate in lots of outdoor skill activities including sporting clays, 3-D archery, VDGIF Hunting simulator and fishing pond. For more information call (434) 547-6770 or visit www.riversidec2.org.
Youth Fishing Day on Lake Orange September 27
Come join in the 10th annual Youth Fishing Day on Saturday, September 27 for a day of fun and friendship! This is a FREE event open to the public and sponsored by the Gordonsville Lions Club. Event is open to any child who can hold a pole up to age 16. Fishing is permitted from the shoreline, from your boat, or from one of the rental boats available at Lake Orange. Recognition for: Largest fish caught, Largest Largemouth Bass, Largest Catfish, Largest Crappie and many other categories too. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. with fishing slated from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. For more info call (540) 672-3997.
Rockbridge JAKES Event September 26-28
The Rockbridge Chapter of the National Wild turkey Federation (NWTF) is hosting their annual JAKES event September 26-28 at the Zollman Pavillion near Lexington. This event has been awarded Best JAKES Event in the Nation by the NWTF twice in previous years. For details on activities and registration visit the VA NWTF Web site. Billy Hall, event
organizer and NWTF Regional Director, reminds participants that, "Adults must be accompanied by a child!"
Bass Pro Conservation Organization Appreciation Night October 1
To recognize the vital role conservation and sportsmen's organizations play in wildlife management, the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Hanover will host exhibits by more than a dozen organizations and agencies, including VDGIF, during their Grand Opening on Wednesday, October 1. Come visit this new facility which boasts many educational exhibits and information for
outdoor enthusiasts. For information, visit the Bass Pro Web site.
Caledon Site for JAKES Outdoor Day October 4
The Fredericksburg Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is hosting a JAKES Outdoor Day October 4 at Caledon Natural Area in King George County from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. A variety of activities are planned including turkey hunting tactics, calling, archery, air-rifle, photography, GPS and a demonstration by the King George Sheriff's K-9 unit. Admission is free and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is required by calling between the hours of 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. to Caledon State Park (540) 663-3861 or King George Parks & Rec (540) 775-4386. For information call Buddy Fines (540) 775-7294.
Appomattox River Canoe Race October 4
The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) are hosting the First Annual FOLAR 16K Canoe and Kayak Race and Open Paddle on Saturday October 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information
Apprentice License Promotion at Virginia Tech
Football Homecoming October 6
Are you ready for some football! Even the most
avid hunter, if a Hokie fan, will forgo a Saturday
afield to attend the Virginia Tech Homecoming
Football game. In a unique partnership with Virginia
Tech, staff from VDGIF will be passing out
information for the new Apprentice Hunting License
and Conservation Police Officer recruitment at the
Virginia Tech Homecoming Football game October 6.
VDGIF Manager for Information & Education Lee
Walker notes that many of the Hokie fans packing
Lane Stadium for the "big game" are hunters and
fishermen, or have family and friends who may be
interested in trying hunting through the new
Apprentice License. A number of VDGIF Conservation
Police Officers are also Tech alums, so this is a
great venue to recruit new officers and make the
fans from all over the state aware of these new
career opportunities. We hope to see you there! Go Hokies!!
Tracking Workshop at Holiday Lake October 10-12
A symposium for everyone interested in man or animal tracking is scheduled for October 10-12, at the Holiday Lake 4-H Education Center near Appomattox. This gathering of practicing trackers is an excellent tracking skills development opportunity sponsored by the International Society of Professional Trackers and hosted by The Wilderness Discovery School, directed by Roy Hutchinson. Roy is a VDGIF Hunter Education and Outdoor Education Volunteer Instructor with an extensive background in tracking, training military, police, emergency services personnel and the general public. The three day event has numerous presentations and field exercises for novice and experienced trackers. Registration is required by September 22. For program information visit the Holiday Lake 4-H Center Web site, or contact Roy Hutchinson, email: email@example.com
or call 1-877-614-5289.
Wheelin' Sportsmen To Host Numerous Deer Hunts November-December
The schedule for 16 Wheelin' Sportsmen-sponsored deer hunts from November 3 through December 29 has been set. Application deadline is October 1, 2008. For details on these and other events and hunt event applications visit: www.vanwtf.com. Interested in volunteering to assist with an event or have a friend that is interested? Visit the Virginia National Wild Turkey Federation Web site to find numerous links to opportunities and information.
Youth Waterfowl Workshop in Hampton October 17
The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Virginia Waterfowlers Association, VDGIF and other partners will be sponsoring a Youth Waterfowl Workshop at Bass Pro Shop in Hampton on October 17. The free event is open to 25 pre-registered youth, ages 15 and younger. The two-hour workshop will offer introductory information related to the safety, regulations and techniques of waterfowl hunting. Experts will offer their skills and insight in an effort to improve the participant's ability to identify species and follow guidelines for an ethical hunt. For registration information contact Cyrus Brame by email: Cyrus_Brame@fws.gov
Outdoor Beach Women Skills Event October 18
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation in conjunction with Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and VDGIF is hosting Outdoor Beach Women, an outdoor initiative to empower ladies with new adventure skills. This day for women to connect with the out-of-doors takes place Saturday, October 18, 2008 from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Munden Point Park in Virginia Beach. Participants must be women age 16 and up, as they get to learn the fundamentals of outdoor recreation and education from local experts in a fun, relaxed environment. Skill sessions include: Archery Basics, Fly Casting, Outdoor Cooking, Wilderness Survival, Wildlife Watching, Mountain Biking, Hiking & Backpacking, Intro to Shotgun, Kayak Quickstart and Backyard Habitat Cost for the program is $50 per participant, and the registration deadline is October 10, 2008. To register,
click here and use CLASS# 85462 or contact Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Outdoor Programs directly at (757) 385-4461 or email outdoors@VBgov.com.
Managed Hunts Scheduled at Conway-Robinson State Forest
The Virginia Department of Forestry is hosting four managed hunts on the Conway-Robinson State Forest in Prince William County. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2008. Hunters will be selected using a lottery system using the VDGIF website. Eleven hunters and twenty alternates will be selected. The selected hunters will be used for all four hunting days. Each alternate hunter will have two designated days resulting in 10 alternates for each day. All hunters must acquire all necessary licenses and permits as regulated by State law including a State Forest Hunting Permit. Hunting will consist of four days only: November 17, December 8, January 12 and February 2. No dogs are permitted and all hunting must be conducted using a portable tree stand provided by the hunter. All participants must qualify in order to hunt. Qualification cards for 2008 are valid for this years hunt. For further details and application information
Fishing Workshop at Bear Creek Lake State Park October 18
VDGIF Angler Education Program is hosting a Fishing Workshop October 18 at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland. This is a great workshop for the whole family and a great opportunity to learn the basics of fishing and enjoy the crisp fall air while fishing in Bear Creek Lake, noted Chris Dunnavant, VDGIF Angling Education Coordinator. The fishing action will be great for this event. Crappie, bluegill, bass and catfish will be jumping on our lines!
Stay the weekend in Bear Creek Lake State Park's brand new cabins - they really are nice - no roughing it here (hardwood floors, stone fireplace). The only disadvantage is that you may never want to leave the cabin! Campsites are also available if you prefer. Click here for park reservations.
Learn more about upcoming workshops and find a registration form at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
People and Partners in the News
Go Wild at the State Fair Opening September 25
The Virginia Natural Resource Agencies will be together this year at the Virginia State Fair in the Antique Village area. VDGIF Wildlife Education Coordinator Suzie Gilley, who has developed the State Fair exhibits for many years, notes that,
"Visitors will be able to crawl through a soils tunnel, hold snakes, and learn about forests, historic resources, state parks and more all in the same location. The Antique Village is located on the Laburnum Avenue side of RIR
near the main gate. Come see us. For more information about the
state fair visit www.statefairva.org. The fair runs from September 25 to October 5, 2008.
Hunters for the Hungry Fundraising Event in Salem September 27
One of the most beneficial programs that hunters and non-hunters alike can support is Hunters for the Hungry (H4H). This is a win-win program where an abundant, nutritional natural resource-venison, is harvested by caring sportsmen and donated to local food banks to help neighbors who need assistance with feeding their families. The benefits to wildlife management are also well noted. The one area that limits the full potential benefit of the program is the funding to pay the $30 processing for each donated harvested deer. The program remains cost-effective, averaging a cost of 80 cents per pound for processing. Thus, they are able to package 5 servings of venison for every dollar donated. In 2007 the program set a record by processing and distributing 363,484 pounds of venison.
If you want a great way to celebrate National Hunting & Fishing Day and the bountiful blessings you have, join fellow sportsmen on September 27, when WSLS -TV 10, Dave Sarmadi Mitsubishi and the Sportsman's Warehouse host and sponsor a fundraising event for H4H. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Dave Sarmadi Mitsubishi 1830 West Main Street in Salem Come enjoy an evening of food, fun, and fellowship while helping to make a difference in the lives of many less fortunate in our community and our state. Event includes dinner, dessert, and beverages, a variety of raffles as well as live and silent auctions of donated merchandise. The cost is $20 single;
$35.00 per couple. For tickets or additional information contact: Jeff Fletcher (540) 985 – 6523, or Fred & Phyllis Wells (540) 992-3874. Visit the Hunters for the Hungry Web site for additional information.
Conservation Officer Collector's Knife Available
The Virginia Conservation Police Officer Association (formally the Virginia Game Warden Association) is offering this year's Special 2008 Edition of the Conservation Police Officer knife. This is the first
"Conservation Police Officer" knife in the series. The Case 4 ½" inch knife has a bone handle and is enclosed in the traditional laser engraved black walnut box. All members may order up to two knives for $75 each. Additional knives are available
to collectors for $85. Traditionally there are 350 knives made each year, serialized from 1 to 350. For ordering information contact Jerry Barwick at (757) 650-8124.
Basic Trapper Training Courses Offered in October
The Virginia Trappers Association is sponsoring two Basic Trapper Training Courses in October. These hands-on classes are free, but pre-registration is required. All youths under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- Saturday, October 4 from 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at 175 Waldrop Road Gordonsville
Hamburger and hotdog lunch is provided or bring your own. To register contact Charlaine Crebbs at 540-832-2708, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Saturday, October 18 from 7:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Good Farm in Monterey. Bring your own lunch or take your chances with whatever the instructors may provide. For information, contact Scott Painter (540) 289-9427, or email: email@example.com.
For information on the many services of the Virginia Trappers Association visit their Web site: www.virginiatrappers.org.
Forest Landowners' Retreat at Holiday Lake October 24-26
Join fellow forest landowners, the Virginia Department of Forestry and Virginia Cooperative Extension for an interactive weekend learning about actively managing your woodlands. The Forest Landowners' Retreat: Discovering Value in Your Forest workshop is scheduled for October 24-26 at the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center near Appomattox.
"This first-of-its-kind retreat for forest landowners in Virginia will be an outstanding opportunity for people to learn the real value of their woodlands," said Neil Clark of the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE).
"With the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest as our ‘classroom,' participants will be fully engaged in this interactive learning experience that will help them deal with the many issues they confront on a daily basis." Topics for the retreat include: pine and hardwood management; timber appraisals and sales; wildlife habitat improvement; soil and water resource protection; land conservation strategies; alternative forestry crops, and more. Of Virginia's 15.8 million forested acres, more than 12 million acres are the property of nearly 400,000 private landowners. For details and registration, contact Neil Clark at (757) 657-6450 x 406 during business hours of 8:00 a.m.- 4:30p.m. Registration is due by September 22. Cost is $35/person; $50/couple for lodgers, $25/person; $35/couple for commuters.
32nd Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tours Scheduled for October
Join fellow forest landowners and a host of natural resource professionals for a fun and exciting day in the woods learning about forest and wildlife management! On-site check-in for all tours begins at 8 a.m.; tours begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. All tours will finish no later than 5:00 p.m. Registration fee of $45 includes a tasty lunch, refreshments, materials and transportation. Please register at least one week prior to the tour date.
- October 2 - Fort Pickett/Nottoway County - for more information contact Jason Fisher - firstname.lastname@example.org (434) 476-2147
- October 10 - Montgomery/Giles Counties - for more information contact Jennifer Gagnon
- email@example.com (540) 231-6391
- October 15 - Rockbridge County- for more information contact Matt Yancey
- firstname.lastname@example.org (540) 564-3080
- October 16 - Essex County - for more information contact Helen Heck
- email@example.com (804) 443-1118
Tours will take place rain or shine. MeadWestvaco is providing a limited number of scholarships for K-12 teachers to cover registration. First come, first served. Contact Jennifer Gagnon firstname.lastname@example.org
at (540) 231-6391, or visit their Web site.
Waterfowlers Host Goose Hunt for Disabled Sportsmen
On Saturday September 20, the VDGIF Outdoor Education Program and US Fish & Wildlife Service personnel assisted the Virginia Waterfowler's Association (VAWFA) with a "Wheelin' Sportsmen" Resident Goose Hunting Workshop in the Varina area of Henrico County. Following a brief presentation on firearm safety, game laws, and the method of the hunt, eight handicapped participants were transported to field blinds specially constructed for wheelchair accessibility. Each pair of hunters were assigned a guide and callers, along with retrievers for ethically retrieving downed birds.
As the sun rose on the horizon, resident Canada geese began descending on the field and honing in on the dozens of full body decoys which had been strategically placed by volunteers. The callers, some of whom are award winning callers and pro-staff members for major call companies, got busy pleading with the birds to draw near. As the callers coaxed the birds within range, the hunters prepared for the harvest. In a seemingly choreographed move, the command "Take 'em!" was issued, the front of the blinds were dropped, and the handicapped hunters began to harvest their quarry. As the smoke cleared, retrievers (both human and canine!) rushed to the field to retrieve the beautiful game birds while the hunters anxiously awaited their return. During lulls in the morning flight of birds, stories were told, friendships were established, and laughter could be heard all around. Following the morning hunt, VAWFA president Todd Cocker provided a breakfast buffet fit to bust any dietary considerations. Sonya Horton was on hand from Bass Pro Shops to provide complimentary apparel and other items to the hunters.
At the day's end, VAWFA officials reported a total of 26 resident geese harvested. More importantly, a very memorable experience was provided to men and women who are physically handicapped. Several of the hunters were wounded veterans who have bravely served our country in the armed forces. The property owner (who wished to remain anonymous) addressed the group, and said that while he had many memorable days hunting this family property, that this was one of those special days that would be fondly remembered, and talked about for years to come. Beyond the harvesting of game, hunting remains intertwined in the social fabric of our society. American veterans, conservationists, state and federal wildlife workers, and a couple of school aged children all sharing a morning together in goose blinds. Friends, it just doesn't get too much better.
Thanks to Jimmy Mootz, VDGIF Outdoor Education Coordinator, for this report. Learn more about upcoming workshops and special hunts at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
Hunting News You Can Use!
The following notes are quick reminders of things you may have overlooked in getting ready for hunting season, or reports of interest compiled from numerous calls we received recently at our information desk.
Join in the celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Day... Numerous sportsman's groups are hosting family oriented events to provide training and skill development for youth and novice hunters and anglers throughout September and October. Find one near you and participate, appreciate and celebrate our rich hunting and fishing heritage. See the Wild Events You Don't Want to Miss section for an event near you.
Survey Shows YOU - America's Hunters and Anglers - Pay for Conservation
Virginia's 857,000 hunters and anglers have good reason to celebrate National Hunting & Fishing Day September 27. Sportsmen pay for conservation and support wildlife and natural resource management through license fees and self imposed excise taxes on outdoor gear. Sportsmen are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $1.3 billion a year on hunting and fishing in Virginia, according to a new report produced by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. The new report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A
Force As Big As All Outdoors," spotlights the immense impact hunters and anglers have on the economy at the national and state level.
We’re Listening… Moon Phases Added to
In talking with our Outdoor Report readers
at recent sportsman's shows, we have gotten numerous
requests to add the phases of the moon to aid
hunters and fishermen that follow these natural
signs. You will find the moon phases in the side bar
just above the "Quick Glance at Hunting Seasons"
section. Keep those suggestions coming for improving
the Outdoor Report.
"What's New" for 2008-09
Get your free copy of the new 2008-2009 Hunting and Trapping in Virginia - Regulations digest an see what's new this season. The booklet has a new look this year with color-coded page tabs for the different sections including: What's New, Licenses, Regulations, Hunting Lands, Bear, Deer Turkey, Small Game, Trapping and an Index. There is an entire page listing new regulations, expanded seasons and other hunter friendly changes this year entitled "What's New". We will be featuring details of these new opportunities in each of the next editions of the Outdoor Report through September. A PDF format is available on the VDGIF Web site along with feature articles on the topics listed in the digest.
Apprentice Hunting License: A New Way To Get Involved In Hunting
Virginians interested in learning how to hunt and Virginia hunters eager to share their sport with friends and family now have a way to make it easier to pair up! An apprentice license can be purchased by a new hunter before successfully completing the Department's hunter education course. However, apprentice hunters are reminded they still have to comply with this education requirement before legally purchasing a state resident or nonresident basic hunting license.
Completion of the hunter education course can take place at any point during the two-year period. Doing so will provide the apprentice with necessary proof of course passage to purchase the basic hunting license and continue hunting once the "test drive" period is over.
What are you waiting for? Call toll-free 1-866-721-6911 for more information.
69th Western Regional and State Championship Big Game Contest September 27-28
More than 3000 sportsmen and families are expected to attend the official Big Game Contest at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds south of Harrisonburg , sponsored by the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Izaak Walton League. VDGIF's exhibit will feature information on new VDGIF programs and hunting opportunities and the the CWD surveillance plan for the northern Shenandoah Valley. Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors will teach safe gun handling and shooting with the laser shot range for youth attending the event. Exhibitors will be on hand with the latest in gear, supplies, artwork, taxidermy and more. This year the Western Regional is also the State Championship. Come see the truly awesome trophy bucks harvested in Virginia. For Contest rules and information
Take a Friend, Make a Hunter…Be sure and visit the VDGIF exhibits at numerous upcoming sportsmen's events this fall. These are excellent opportunities to bring a friend that is interested in the Apprentice Hunting License to talk with experienced sportsmen about the many opportunities for hunting and try out the latest gear to enhance your experience.
Turkey Hunting Opportunities Expanded For Youth
New this season is the Youth Fall Turkey Hunt Day established for youth 15 years of age and younger on October 18 and the Youth Spring Turkey Hunt Day hunting hours were extended to sunset during the youth spring hunt. Also note starting and ending dates for the late segment for fall turkey have changed in most counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For further information on harvest data and season changes contact Gary Norman at (540) 248-9389, or email email@example.com.
For Season Updates and New Regulations For Hunting Migratory Birds Click On:
Records Broken at Eastern Regional Big Game Contest
Some record breaking bucks are headed to the State contest September 27-28 in Harrisonburg form the Eastern Regional Big Game Contest held September 13-14 at the Southampton Co. Fairgrounds sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula Sportsmen's Association (VPSA) in partnership with VDGIF. For photos and information on the winning trophies visit the VPSA Web site.
VPSA President, Ken Pickin and VDGIF Executive Director Bob Duncan made special recognition of the many dedicated volunteers who provide thousands of hours each year to build the display panels and then take them down to store for the next year, score more than 300 trophy buck, bear and turkey entries, compute the results, prepare the citations and trophies, etc. VPSA long time member, Jane Phillips was recognized by VPSA with the Outstanding Volunteer Award for her many years of service in hosting the Contest. Also four VDGIF Complementary Work Force (CWF) volunteers staffed the VDGIF exhibit along with area Conservation Officers. The CWF Volunteers included Henry McBurney from Smithfield who also serves as a volunteer Hunter Education Instructor and has been a great recruiter for Outdoor Report subscriptions. Dean Miller from Colonial Heights is retired and
"just wanted to give back" to the sport he loves. A sentiment echoed by many of the volunteers at this event. Dean is also active in the VA Deer Hunters Association and volunteers as an Auxiliary Police Officer. Ben Riggs from Norfolk is an avid hunter and fisherman and began volunteering assisting with the managed hunts on Hog Island WMA. Mark Wenger from Williamsburg began volunteering with Dove Hunts at New Kent and clean-up projects at Chickahominy WMA. He has now helped with staffing exhibits at several large sportsman shows. Volunteers for VDGIF, or the many sportsmen organizations are vital to preserving and passing on our precious hunting and fishing heritage to both novice sportsmen and future generations. As these volunteers who are featured in this article will confirm- you will get so much more in return for your volunteer service and we all will be better for it. Get involved as a volunteer today, there are rewarding opportunities for everyone.
Bow Season for Deer, Turkey and Bobcat Begins October 4... REMEMBER: Always Harness Up - Before You Climb Up!
Be Safe... Have Fun!
In celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day, sportsmen are reminded that the best hunt is a SAFE hunt! Both novice and experienced sportsmen should continuously review basic safety practices. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation hunting remains one of the safest of outdoor sports. The role of mandatory Hunter Education Courses which focus on safety are credited with this exceptional safety record.
There are numerous Hunter Education Classes scheduled for this fall. The mandatory 10 hour course is offered free of charge in a variety of formats to accommodate student schedules. The classes are taught by trained volunteer instructors. If you would like to learn more about opportunities on how to become a Hunter Education Instructor, or sponsoring a Hunter Education Course for novice outdoorsmen, visit the Department's Web site. To find one near you visit the VDGIF web site or call 1-866-604-1122.
Remember: Safe Hunting is NO Accident!
Virginia Department of Health Updates Fish Consumption Advisories
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has modified several existing fish consumption advisories and added five new advisories due to mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contamination. Recent fish tissue sample results provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) show mercury and PCBs levels exceed the amount considered safe for long term human consumption.
Mercury Advisories have been added or modified for the following water bodies:
Roanoke and Yadkin River Basins:
- Lovills Creek Lake (new)
- Dan River (modified)
Chowan and Dismal Swamp River Basin:
- Nottoway River (modified)
- Emporia Reservoir (new)
- Meherrin River (new)
Tennessee-Big Sandy River Basin:
- Big Cherry Reservoir (new)
- Lake Witten (new)
A PCB Advisory has been modified for the Dan River in the Roanoke and Yadkin River Basins.
For complete details on these new or expanded advisories, including affected water body boundaries and localities, type of contaminant and species advisories visit the VDH fish consumption advisory Web page.
Stay Safe on the Water - Boat Smart and Sober!
VDGIF reminds all boaters to
boat smart, boat sober, and boat safe
while out on our waterways. All boaters should:
Remember safety and courtesy are free, share
"Green Tips" For Outdoor Enthusiasts
This new section in the Outdoor Report provides tips and articles on ways you as an outdoor enthusiasts can join with others to do simple things in your outdoor pursuits that can make a big difference in keeping Virginia "green" and wildlife "wild" to benefit us all.
Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently reported that according to research conducted by Southwick Associates' HunterSurvey.com, "40 percent of hunters indicated that rising gas prices will cause them to reduce their outdoor activities or reduce their travel distance." For many hunters, that 300-mile drive to deer camp may be put on hold this year. Unwilling -- or unable -- to spend more on gasoline than licenses and lodging, many hunters are checking out their options closer to home. Realizing that gaining access to both public and private land can be one of a hunter's most daunting challenges, the VDGIF developed the
Find Game program two years ago.
Find Game is an interactive Web-based map viewer designed by VDGIF to provide information about hunting quality, land location, and access. Find Game allows you to map hunting areas by location and/or by game species on public hunting lands including: VDGIF Wildlife Management Areas, State Parks, State and National Forests, Military Installations, National Wildlife Refuges and other special hunting opportunities. Find Game features 3.5 million acres of public hunting land with land manager contact information, site description, facilities available, access information, and associated Web links for each of the 120 properties. While Find Game provides a wealth of information, VDGIF strongly recommends that hunters contact local land managers before traveling to a hunting destination. Hunting access and regulations change over time, so check Find Game often!
The Find Game program was made possible with significant grant funding from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Hunting Heritage Partnership Program. The NSSF helps sportsmen locate places to hunt at www.huntandshoot.org.
Point. Click. Map. Find Virginia's public hunting lands!
Habitat Improvement Tips
Effective September 1, Feeding Deer Is Prohibited in Virginia
Effective September 1, it will be illegal to feed deer statewide in Virginia. The prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January. The regulation designating the prohibition went into effect in 2006. This regulation does NOT restrict the planting of crops such as corn and soybeans, wildlife food plots, and backyard or schoolyard habitats. It is intended to curb the artificial feeding of deer that leads to negative consequences. Problems with feeding deer include: unnaturally increasing population numbers that damage natural habitats; disease transmission, including tuberculosis as well as many deer diseases; and human-deer conflicts such as deer/vehicle collisions and inappropriate semi-taming of wildlife. In addition, feeding deer has many law enforcement implications. Deer hunting over bait is illegal in Virginia. Prior to the deer feeding prohibition, distinguishing between who was feeding deer and who was hunting over bait often caused problems for law enforcement.
The negative consequences of feeding deer outweigh the benefits. If you are not feeding deer, you should not start. If you are currently feeding deer, you should now stop. Feeding deer is against the law between September 1 and the first Saturday in January, January 3, 2009. If anyone sees or suspects someone of illegally feeding deer during this time period, or observes any wildlife violations, please report it to the Department's Wildlife Crime Line at 1-800-237-5712. To learn more about Virginia wildlife regulations visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
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.
For regulations and conditions on saltwater fishing, visit the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Web
Trout Stockings to Begin in October
As leaves begin to change color and the air begins to cool, the VDGIF trout hatcheries are ready to resume trout stocking in October. Although it's been another hot, dry summer, hatcheries have a good supply of trout waiting to be transported to public waters.
Due to the closing of the Department's Coursey Springs Hatchery for renovations, the trout stocking program has been adjusted from this fall through spring of 2010. The renovation is scheduled to be completed in November 2009 and the hatchery will be out of production until that time. To address the shortfall in trout production, stockings on Category A waters statewide will be reduced from 8 to 6 between October and May, Category B waters will go from 5 to 4, Category C, Delayed Harvest and Urban waters will change from 3 to 2. Although the number of stockings will be reduced, there will still be good numbers of trout for the angling enthusiast. Trout stocking allocations have increased over the past 12 years, and now, even with the reduced stocking frequency, the allocated numbers for the 2008 – 2009 stocking season are only 6% less than the allocated number in 1994, the last year in which there was an opening day.
Anglers should remember that updated stocking information is available after October 1 by calling (434) 525-FISH (3474), or from the trout stocking page on the VDGIF website. These services are updated each week day after 4:00 pm.
As of this writing, the biggest impediment to a banner early fall trout experience is the hot, dry weather that's dropped levels of many trout waters to record lows. Until we get good fall rains, some of the popular trout streams cannot be stocked. Once adequate water returns after October 1, our hatcheries will be out stocking for your fishing enjoyment.
New Web Page Offers Help for Private Pond Owners
"How do I get rid of the weeds in my pond?" This is by far the most common question asked by pond owners when they call DGIF for help managing their private fishing ponds and lakes. If you are one of those pond owners, you have to check this out: VDGIF Aquatic Plant Identification and Treatment.
VDGIF is proud to announce that there is a now a brand new page on our Web site that was specifically developed to help individuals identify aquatic plants, look at various options for treating problem aquatic plants (weeds), and decide on a treatment approach. This new page should save private pond owners a lot of time trying to decide where to begin and what to do, and make it much easier to make decisions on their own, without having to track down outside advice.
VDGIF hopes this is another positive example of the Agency's continuing efforts to reach out to our constituents.
Hungry Mother Lake Level Lowered for Dredging
The Department of Conservation and Recreation is lowering the lake level at Hungry Mother Lake (Hungry Mother State Park in Smyth County) about 12 feet to prepare for dredging. The dredging project will remove heavy deposits of sediment that have accumulated in certain areas of the reservoir over the years. The sedimentation in these areas has greatly reduced fish habitat and virtually eliminated access by boat. The dredging project will improve fish habitat and increase the lake area accessible to anglers and recreational boaters. Dredging is scheduled to start in October and should be complete by March 2009. The boat ramp will be out of the water during the drawdown, so boaters will only be able to launch boats that can be carried. The lower lake level should not adversely affect the fish populations in the lake. Biologists plan to construct fish attractors in shoreline areas exposed by the drawdown. For more information contact VDGIF Regional Fisheries Biologist Tom Hampton (276) 783-4860.
Sara White's Notebook
Special thanks to Mel White for handling the Fishin' Report this week while Sarah is out of town. Also, thanks to all the anglers contacting us with pictures, tips and great stories of their fishing adventures. Keep the stories coming!
Region 1 - Tidewater
Chickahominy River: Alton Williams says that it's windy and cooler today but there are lots of anglers out on the water. The past week has been only
"fair" with a few cats taking the bait, but they were mostly small. One excited angler did come in with a 30+ pound cat. Bass were also a little slow with mostly small fish being caught. Alton says the cooler weather we're having should help the fishing.
North Landing River and Back Bay: Last week lots of bass and cats. Northeast wind blowing now and the fishing has stopped. The water is at least four feet low; Dewey Mullins tells me that you can't even launch a boat. When the wind changes on Monday or Tuesday the crappie are expected to come roaring in.
Norfolk Lakes River: Drew Dixon at Dasheel's Show Room reports nice spot are coming up the river. Fishing on the lakes has been slow this week, but Drew expects it to pick up as the cool weather is lowering the water temperature. Looks like this entire region will be a good bet for anglers next week.
Little Creek Reservoir River: From Walter Elliott-The majority of fish continue to be suspended off points in fifteen plus feet of water. Swim baits, spinner baits and plastic worms have been the top producers over the past week for largemouth bass and chain pickerel.
Stripers have been hard to locate lately. The live bait anglers have been catching largemouth bass, catfish and chain pickerel off points in twenty feet or more of water. There have been some nice yellow perch measured up to 12" brought by the office for citation forms.
Here are some of the anglers and what they have caught:
- David Wiggly, James City County
- 1 Striper, 5 lbs. Bait: Live Herring.
- Kelly McKinney, Hunter McKinney and Chase McKinney of Seven Pines
- each caught 4 yellow perch up to 12" long.
Region 2 - Southside
Kerr Reservoir: Brandon Gray at Bob Cat's Lake Country Store says that bass fishing is as low as it can get. Those few successful anglers are using crank baits and spinners. Cats are also slow with a 20 pounder leading the pack. Crappie fishing is good over brush piles although some angers are having success trolling. Brandon expects things to pick in the next couple of weeks. Water is mostly clear and 75 degrees.
Region 3 - Southwest
Claytor Lake: Mike Burchett tells us that bass are a little slow but some are rising to top water bait early in the morning or around the docks tossing a 4 1/2 robo. Stripers are seen breaching, but not many are taking the hook. Apparently the water is just a little too warm yet for them. The real fishing is down by the dam using chatter bait between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Mike says you can really have a ball down there at night. Water is mostly clear and in the mid 70s.
Region 4 - Northwest
Lake Moomaw: Larry Andrews at the Bait Place reports things are slow with few people fishing. The anglers that are there are catching some bass and small trout. Trout fishing on the Jackson River is good as usual. The lake is down 18 feet, but boats can still be launched. Larry expects things to turn on in October.
North Fork of the Shenandoah: Harry Murray tells me that the water on the North and South forks of the Shenandoah is good for smallmouth, but the water is low and the big ones are wary. Fly anglers should try Murray's hellgrammite #6 and Shenks white streamer also in #6. The larger trout streams are doing well. Too good bets are Hidden Valley on the James and the Smith River at Bassett . Try a Pearl Marauder, 10 or 12. Mountain trout streams along the Blue Ridge are very low but a cautious approach can land you some trout. Try a Mr. Rapidan.
Region 5 - Northern Piedmont
Lake Anna: Report by C. C. McCotter-The first taste of fall-like weather has arrived on time here at Lake Anna and the crisp mornings are dropping the water temperature into ranges that spur fish into action. The lower end of the lake is at 81 and the upper end is approaching 70. Batifish are schooled and moving from the backs of creeks to the middle portions, yet ranging to the back on warm afternoons. Largemouth bass, striper and white perch are harassing these schools of baitfish, sometimes all day long. Crappie fishing is improving in the upper end of the lake where numbers are high. Here's what you can expect on your next visit.
Largemouth Bass - Generally good fishing throughout the lake with three-pound plus fish more easily found in the upper sections. There is currently good fishing in the upper end of the lake for those with the patience to flip a jig on shallow wood structure like docks and stumps. Target the extreme upper ends of the North Anna, Terry's Run and Pamunkey Branch. Don't expect to see fishing breaking here, you'll have to put the jig in front of them to get the bite. Soon, though, there will good fishing in these regions for anglers tossing spinnerbaits as the fish will become more aggressive and bite further from their hiding places. Good schools of one to two-pound largemouths can still be found in the downlake region near Dike III. Topwaters, swimbaits and spoons are good there.
Striped Bass - While the downlake region is still producing 20-40 fish days for us, there are bigger fish beginning to school and break in the regions around Jetts Island and Rose Valley. Expect these fish to move uplake soon where they will encounter the larger bait migrating downlake. Fish above the 522 bridge in the North Anna and the Hunter's Landing Bridge in the Pamunkey. Have a Super Spook tied on at all times as well as a 3" and 4" swimbait. The new ToothAche spoon is also handy when fish are 18-28' down. There are so many stripers in the lake now, you usually bump into a school as you start out from the marina each morning. The trick it to find the 20" keepers.
Crappie - Better fishing is on the way as the upper end of the lake cools and the bigger fish return to docks, rocks and brushpiles next to the channel. I recommend using a 1" tube jig on six-pound test monofilament to probe structure quickly. If you know where deep brushpiles are in the midlake region, the fish will also get on them very soon.
White Perch - Good fishing for these tasty fish in front of Dike III using the ToothAche spoon. Drop it in 16-20' and jig it with small hops near the bottom.
C. C. McCotter, www.woodsandwatersmagazine.com (540) 894-5960
Lake Orange: Darrell Kennedy, of Angler's Landing (540-672-3997), reports that the water is clear with temperature around 80 degrees. With daylight decreasing fish are on the move from their summer hangouts. Largemouth bass are schooling up, chasing bait fish on the upper end of the lake. Crank baits and top water baits are the baits of choice. Crappie are schooling also feeding on the smaller bait fish, hanging around fish attractors and the fishing pier in 8-10 ft. of water. Catfishing is good throughout the lake with chicken livers and night crawlers.
Come join in the 10th Annual Youth Fishing Day on Saturday, September 27 for a day of fun and friendship! This is a FREE event open to the public and sponsored by the Gordonsville Lions Club. Event is open to any child who can hold a pole up to age 16. Fishing is permitted from the shoreline, from your boat, or from one of the rental boats available at Lake Orange. Recognition for: Largest fish caught, Largest Largemouth Bass, Largest Catfish, Largest Crappie and many other categories too. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. with fishing slated from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. For more info call (540) 672-3997.
Rappahannock: Janet Cox from Fredericksburg sent in this report on good catfish success in the Rappahannock River. She reports,
"Every month it is stated in the Fishin' Report that the blue cats only reach 20 lbs, well my fiancé and I have caught 30 lbs, and I know there are a few out there that are bigger than this. Maybe not
'James size,' but the Rappahannock is coming back. We also sent out for our citations that we had recorded at Ken's Tackle in Fredericksburg. Just thought I would let you know!" Thanks for the pictures Janet and congratulations on the citations.
All anglers are reminded to acquaint
themselves with a good description of the northern
snakehead. If you should manage to catch one of
these exotic imports, please kill it immediately and
report the catch to either the Virginia Department of Game And Inland Fisheries or the Maryland
Department Of Natural Resources.
View video about the snakehead »
Get your kids hooked on fishing!
The one that got away?
The one that didn't?
email your material to
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.
VDGIF Task Force Dispatched to Louisiana for Hurricane Ike
Twenty-one VDGIF conservation police officers were deployed September 12 to Jennings, Louisiana, west of Baton Rouge, to provide maritime law enforcement support in response to Hurricane Ike. Governor Kaine activated the Emergency Management Assistance Compact and authorized the deployment. The officers (four from each region) towed 19 boats south. After ten days assisting the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in search and rescue missions, the officers returned home on September 22 as the waters receded within the parishes affected by Hurricane Ike's heavy rain and tidal surge.
VDGIF Executive Director Bob Duncan proudly noted, "The citizens of Virginia are very fortunate to have such dedicated and courageous officers to provide safety and security here and to our neighbors when the call is made. We are proud of their service and thankful for their safe return."
To learn more about Virginia conservation police officers visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
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
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:
- Fall Turkey Forecast
- New Muzzleloader Seasons
- New Conservation Police Officer Video