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Proposed Regulation

4VAC15-90-91. Game: Deer. General firearms season either-sex deer hunting days.

Summary

The proposal is to change the general firearms season either-sex deer hunting days as follows: View Table (PDF)

Text of Regulation

  • 4VAC15-90-91 (PDF)
    Note: this file contains language for all proposals under regulation 4VAC15-90. It may be necessary to scroll down the document to locate the desired regulation section.

Rationale

Appomattox-Buckingham, Cumberland, and Prince Edward State Forests

Department of Forestry staff requested additional either-sex deer hunting opportunities on state forest lands. DGIF deer harvest data on public lands in the counties within which these state forests reside generally indicate a low to moderate antlerless harvest level. Additional either-sex deer hunting opportunities should provide additional harvest opportunities with limited impact on deer populations within the state forests.

Public lands in Alleghany, Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Frederick, Highland, Nelson, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Warren, and on private lands in Rockingham County west of Routes 613 and 731

The past decade has seen a significant decline in the deer kill on national forest and department-owned lands in western Virginia. A number of factors are involved in this decline including, but not limited to: declining deer habitat quality on the national forest lands, declining public land hunter numbers/pressure, and liberal either-sex deer hunting day regulations enacted on adjacent private lands over the past decade. An additional issue identified by concerned public land deer hunters is a potential overharvest of antlerless deer on these public lands.

The objective of this proposal is to reduce the female deer kill on these public lands by 50% or more. Concern regarding the public land deer kill decline has been an important deer management issue in the Shenandoah Valley and counties adjacent to the valley for nearly two decades. In recent years, these concerns and public comments have increased significantly.

Public lands in Grayson, Russell, Smyth, Tazewell, and Washington Counties

Over the past decade, the deer harvest has declined significantly on public land in Grayson, Smyth, Tazewell, and Washington counties. Reducing the number of either-sex hunting days will lower the antlerless deer harvest rate, stimulating population growth. Russell County is included to keep a consistent regulation between adjacent counties and overlapping WMA's.

Private lands in Smyth and Washington counties

The deer population objective for Smyth and Grayson counties outlined within Virginia's Deer Management Plan calls for stabilizing the deer population on private lands in these areas. DGIF deer harvest data indicated growing deer populations in these counties. Additional either-sex deer hunting days will increase the antlerless deer harvest rate, helping to stabilize population growth.

Turkeycock Mountain WMA

There is public interest in increasing the either-sex deer hunting days on Turkeycock Mountain Wildlife Management Area. DGIF deer harvest data and staff observations indicate additional either-sex deer hunting opportunities can be increased with limited impacts on deer population levels on the area.

Private land in Craig, Giles, Pulaski, and Wythe counties

The deer population objective for these counties outlined within Virginia's Deer Management Plan call for reducing deer herds on private lands in these counties. DGIF deer harvest data indicate deer population levels are stable in these counties. Additional either-sex deer hunting days will increase the antlerless deer harvest rate to promote population reduction.

Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Fluvanna, Goochland (west of 522), Louisa, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward counties

The deer population objective for these counties outlined within Virginia's Deer Management Plan calls for stabilizing the deer population in these areas. DGIF deer harvest data indicated growing deer populations in these counties. Additional either-sex deer hunting days will increase the antlerless deer harvest rate, helping to stabilize population growth.

Amelia, Briery Creek, Dick Cross, and Horsepen Lake Wildlife Management Areas

These Wildlife Management Area's currently have the same conservative either-sex deer hunting regulations as the counties in which they reside. However, staff has recommended liberalizing the number of either-sex deer hunting days within these counties to help stabilize the growing deer population on private lands surrounding these management areas. Because public hunting lands generally receive greater hunter pressure and effort than surrounding private lands, DGIF staff recommends maintaining the current number of either-sex hunting on these WMA's.

Appomattox County

Either-sex deer hunting days are being increased to maintain consistency with adjoining counties (i.e., Buckingham, Charlotte, and Prince Edward). These counties have maintained the same number of either-sex deer hunting days for many years. This change will maintain the simplicity of either-sex hunting regulations and eliminate any confusion that might otherwise arise among hunters in this area.

Caroline and Prince George Counties

The deer population objective for Caroline and Prince George counties outlined within Virginia's Deer Management Plan calls for stabilizing the deer population in these areas. DGIF deer harvest data indicated growing deer populations in these counties. Additional either-sex deer hunting days will increase the antlerless deer harvest rate, helping to stabilize population growth.

Chesterfield, King William, Mathews, Middlesex, and Powhatan counties

The deer population objective for these counties outlined within Virginia's Deer Management Plan calls for stabilizing the deer population in these areas. DGIF deer harvest data indicated growing deer populations in these counties. Additional either-sex deer hunting days will increase the antlerless deer harvest rate, helping to stabilize population growth.

King George

Human population growth and development in King George have been increasing. Virginia's Deer Management Plan directs staff to anticipate future social demands in managing deer populations. In situations where staff can reasonably anticipate growth in human population density and development with a concurrent decrease in the deer cultural carrying capacity, then it is appropriate to recommend either-sex deer hunting days that are proactive.

Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of Dismal Swamp Line), and Virginia Beach

Human population growth and development in these areas have been increasing. Virginia's Deer Management Plan directs staff to anticipate future social demands in managing deer populations. In situations where staff can reasonably anticipate growth in human population density and development with a concurrent decrease in the deer cultural carrying capacity, then it is appropriate to recommend either-sex deer hunting days that are proactive.

Charles City and James City counties

Human population growth and development in these areas have been increasing. Virginia's Deer Management Plan directs staff to anticipate future social demands in managing deer populations. In situations where staff can reasonably anticipate growth in human population density and development with a concurrent decrease in the deer cultural carrying capacity, then it is appropriate to recommend either-sex deer hunting days that are proactive.

Pittsylvania County

Staff has recommended the firearms deer season in Pittsylvania County be made a uniform seven weeks in length. Currently, the western portion of the county has a four week long season which is full season either-sex deer hunting (i.e., 25 either-sex hunting days). The eastern portion of the county has a seven week deer season with 27 either-sex hunting days. Increasing the number of either-sex deer hunting days in the western portion of Pittsylvania County to 27 either-sex hunting days provide a uniform firearms season within the county.

Rapidan Wildlife Management Area

The Rapidan Wildlife Management Area currently has the same either-sex deer hunting regulation as the county in which it resides. However, staff has recommended liberalizing the number of either-sex hunting days within the county to help stabilize the growing deer population on private lands surrounding this management area. Because public hunting lands generally receive greater hunter pressure and effort than surrounding private lands, DGIF staff recommends maintaining the current number of either-sex deer hunting on this WMA.

Culpeper, Essex, Gloucester, Greene, King and Queen, Lancaster, Madison, New Kent, Northumberland, Orange, Richmond, Suffolk (west of the Dismal Swamp Line), and Westmoreland counties (i)

The deer population objective for these counties outlined within Virginia's Deer Management Plan calls for stabilizing the deer population in these areas. DGIF deer harvest data indicated growing deer populations in these counties. Additional either-sex deer hunting days will increase the antlerless deer harvest rate, helping to stabilize population growth.

Rappahannock County

Either-sex hunting days are being increased to maintain consistency with adjoining counties. These counties have maintained the same number of either-sex deer hunting days for many years. This change will maintain the simplicity of either-sex deer hunting regulations and eliminate any confusion that might otherwise arise among hunters in this area.

Comment on this proposed regulation:

You are invited to comment on this proposed regulation. To do so, please provide this identifying information.

Comments Submitted

SubjectAuthorDate
Pulaski Co National Forest.........S from Radford, VA3/11/2009 5:32:50 PM
Limit The Doe DaysJ from Williamsburg, VA3/11/2009 10:55:18 PM
Either Sex Days For Prince George CountyB from Prince George County, VA3/12/2009 1:57:14 AM
Shenandoah Valley Counties NfM from Cross Junction, VA3/12/2009 9:53:22 AM
Keep It SimpleJ from Locust Grove, VA3/12/2009 1:42:28 PM
IAgree...D from Dayton, VA3/12/2009 4:45:08 PM
Dickenson CountyJ from Telford, TN3/12/2009 8:32:41 PM
Help Nat Forrest NumbersJ from Hampton, VA3/13/2009 10:24:49 AM
In FavorC from Front Royal, VA3/13/2009 9:25:11 PM
Reducing Doe Days In Rockingham And AugustaR from Mount Solon, VA3/14/2009 8:39:58 AM
Yes On AugustaB from Stuarts Draft, VA3/14/2009 10:26:37 AM
Increase Doe Days In Wythe CountyV from Wytheville, VA3/14/2009 9:46:50 PM
Late Extended Firearms Season In Fauquier CountyT from Fairfax, VA3/15/2009 9:50:02 PM
Either-sex DaysJ from Bridgewater, VA3/16/2009 1:05:08 PM
AgreeP from Virginia Beach, VA3/16/2009 2:07:13 PM
Increasing Either-sex Deer Harvest Days "i Agree"D from Hanover, VA3/16/2009 4:26:01 PM
No To Maintaining Number Of Either-sex Days On RwmaR from Powhatan, VA3/16/2009 6:00:45 PM
IAgree Too...C from Richmond, VA3/16/2009 7:45:23 PM
Doe DaysM from Mt Jackson /shenandoah, VA3/16/2009 10:51:32 PM
Great Idea For SuffolkS from Suffolk, VA3/17/2009 1:12:36 PM
YesD from Kng George, VA3/17/2009 2:46:01 PM
Anterless Hunting In Smyth CountyJ from Sugar Grove, VA3/17/2009 8:15:30 PM
No-to Increase In Doe DaysJ from Richmond, VA3/18/2009 2:44:17 PM
Alleghany County Needs A Longer Season And More Doe DaysA from Annandale, VA3/18/2009 4:46:58 PM
Need More Doe Days On Nat. ForestR from Buchanan, VA3/18/2009 10:19:02 PM
Doe Days In Lunenburg CountyW from Dundas, VA3/18/2009 10:21:09 PM
In Shen Valley, Habitat Is The IssueD from Broadway, VA3/18/2009 11:20:51 PM
Season RulesJ from Montgomery, VA3/19/2009 3:32:32 PM
Either Sex DaysG from Warm Springs, VA3/20/2009 4:24:20 PM
Reducing Deer Population In GilesJ from Giles, VA3/20/2009 5:01:09 PM
Public Land-shenandoah Cnty.W from Edinburg, VA3/20/2009 8:45:14 PM
Yes To DoesD from Stuarts Draft, VA3/21/2009 5:18:15 AM
DFrom BroadwayR from Mount Solon, VA3/21/2009 9:33:09 AM
Either Sex DaysR from Augusta County, VA.3/21/2009 7:41:01 PM
Get Rid Of Doe DaysK from Clintwood, VA3/22/2009 12:40:21 AM
RFrom Augusta CountyR from Mount Solon, VA3/22/2009 8:40:18 AM
Deer Damage To ForestsH from Hiwassee, VA3/23/2009 8:13:44 AM
Extending Either Sex Deer Hunting In RappahannockT from Flint Hill, VA3/25/2009 10:38:32 AM
Doe SeasonK from Harrisonburg, VA3/26/2009 10:58:53 AM
No To Reducing Doe DaysE from Buchanan, VA.3/26/2009 11:04:24 AM
Excellent PlanL from Fulks Run, VA3/26/2009 4:53:25 PM
Deer NumbersB from Gloucester, VA3/27/2009 4:50:34 PM
4vac15-90-91. Game: Deer. General Firearms Season Either-sex Deer Hunting Days.G from Galax, VA3/28/2009 10:56:02 AM
Good IdeaR from Dayton, VA3/28/2009 3:50:57 PM
Good Idea For Rockingham And AugustaR from Broadway, VA3/29/2009 6:28:45 PM
(no subject)R from Pound/wise, VA3/30/2009 9:30:18 PM
Public Land Doe HarvestM from Stuarts Draft, VA3/30/2009 10:06:57 PM
Qdm Got Us Here, Will The Deer Recover?A from Edinburg, VA3/31/2009 5:25:19 PM
Increase Doe HuntingC from Richmond, VA4/2/2009 11:09:17 AM
Dmap/dcapB from Virginia Beach, VA4/2/2009 8:10:26 PM
Clarification Or Misprint?M from Glade Spring, VA4/3/2009 9:43:33 PM
Dickenson CountyB from Abingdon, VA4/7/2009 6:21:29 AM
Reduce The Doe Havest West Of The Blue RidgeB from Gainesville, VA4/7/2009 3:31:51 PM
Either Sex Hunting In Washington CountyT from Atkins, VA4/8/2009 5:39:32 AM
Yes To ChangesP from Harrisonburg, VA4/8/2009 10:25:06 AM
Yes, But This Doesn't Fix ProblemG from Bridgewater, VA4/8/2009 11:01:57 AM
Either Sex All Season In Va BeachM from Virginia Beach, VA4/8/2009 2:52:25 PM
No To This ProposalA from Fredericksburg, VA4/8/2009 6:13:21 PM
Vote For Either Sex Hunting On Public LandM from Winchester, VA4/8/2009 11:06:28 PM
Yes,this Is A Great Start More Is NeededE from Linville, VA4/9/2009 6:42:00 AM
Late Extended Season In FauguierM from Stafford, VA4/9/2009 12:56:48 PM
Either Sex Hunting Days In LouisaJ from Gordonsville, VA4/9/2009 11:38:31 PM
Doe SeasonR from Amelia, VA4/10/2009 8:38:09 PM
Either Sex Deer Hunting DaysA from Arlington, VA4/15/2009 11:17:24 AM
Either Sex. YesS from Chesapeake, VA4/18/2009 6:23:30 PM
Change The General Firearms Season Either-sex Deer Hunting DaysT from Rappahannock Acd, VA4/22/2009 9:59:23 PM
Increase Of Either Sex Days Fro 14 To 27 For MathewsS from North, VA4/23/2009 1:58:33 PM
Yes To Reduction In Doe Hunting Days West Of 613 & 731R from Timberville, VA4/24/2009 7:10:55 PM
Either Sex Days In General Firearms SeasonsB from Madison, VA4/25/2009 4:20:16 PM
Doe DaysC from Orange, VA4/26/2009 9:31:57 PM
Agree To Reducing Either Sex Days In Certain AreasJ from Ashburn, VA4/27/2009 11:41:11 AM
National Forest... Poor Hunting , AgainS from Radford, VA4/27/2009 5:41:03 PM
Needs MoreC from Clifton Forge, VA4/28/2009 1:15:41 AM
Do Even More For The Deer On The National ForestD from Fulks Run, VA4/28/2009 10:30:26 AM
Doe DaysM from Madison, VA4/30/2009 12:55:14 PM
No To Reducing Doe Days.J from Rockbridge, VA4/30/2009 1:58:22 PM
Incease Either - Sex Hunting DaysT from Dumfries, VA4/30/2009 3:50:31 PM
Either-sex Day IncreaseA from Culpeper, VA5/1/2009 11:06:50 AM
Much More Than This Is NeededC from Bridgewater, VA5/1/2009 2:31:38 PM
Bonus Tags For DeerT from Wytheville, VA5/3/2009 2:38:58 PM
Region 3D from Sugar Grove, VA5/4/2009 11:57:40 AM
Yes To West Of 613and731A from Fulks Run, VA5/5/2009 2:28:33 PM
Increasing Either Sex DaysW from Prince William, VA5/5/2009 5:14:40 PM
Antlerless Firearm HuntingJ from Sugar Grove, VA5/6/2009 4:32:58 PM
Changes To General Firearms Either Sex DaysR from Roanoke, VA5/7/2009 1:48:47 PM
IAgree (much More Than This Is Needed)C from Richmond, VA5/10/2009 2:19:42 AM
If We're Having A Significant Decline, Why Any Doe Days?S from Broadway, VA5/11/2009 7:38:01 PM