Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Complementary Work Force Program

Mission Forward; Mission Minded

News and Updates

Volume 8, December 2008

In This Edition:

State Coordinators Report

By Susan Alger, CWF Program State Coordinator

Hello All,

Did you miss us? You may recall that this edition marks the beginning of our new quarterly schedule for the CWF News and Updates. (I still need suggestions for that catchy name!). We have had many new additions to our ranks in the last quarter, and so for many of you, this may be your first exposure to the newsletter. Welcome!

Here's an interesting statistic. In the first four months of this fiscal year, our CWF volunteers provided 1,555 hours of service to DGIF! Way to go folks!

FY 2009 # Volunteers Assisting Hours Donated
July 23 266
August 34 401
September 26 479
October 22 409

Our call in the last newsletter for office assistance has reaped some wonderful results. We now have some very productive and enthusiastic volunteers who assist regularly in the Region 4 and Region 5 offices, and we have a couple tentatively lined up to assist in the Richmond headquarters offices. We do still have priority needs in the Richmond headquarters, just waiting for you to sign up!

Volunteers serving in the offices get noticed by many staff members, which helps staff realize the valuable potential of the CWF Program. The good example our volunteers provide makes staff more willing to include volunteers in future work plans - a win/win for everyone!

This fall, I had the chance to escape from my home office briefly to work and visit with some of you in the field. That's what gives my day-to-day work its real purpose, the chance to meet and work with so many wonderful folks who give so selflessly to assist DGIF. It's very uplifting.

  • I enjoyed the chance to see everyone at the Region 4 potluck luncheon. It also gave us the opportunity to honor volunteer Robert Wayland, who passed away this summer, and meet his family. (See the article by Tom Wilcox below)
  • I shared one of my favorite community events with our volunteers at the annual NatureFest at Runnymede Park in the town of Herndon. You all should be proud to hear that we got rave reviews for our participation in the event. The Fish Shocking demonstrations, Animals of the Forest, with mounts and information, Wildlife Track Making, and the Meadow Adventure stations all received kudos from participants and organizers as THE most popular attractions there. Several of our volunteers didn't let any grass grow under their feet that day, as they rotated among our stations to cross-train in the various topics.
  • It was feast or famine at the State Fair in Richmond this year, as volunteers were either swamped with school children and other fairgoers, or braved a long and lonely shift during the infamous State Fair rains. Either way, the fair offered volunteers a great chance to get acquainted with DGIF programs and staff, and better prepare to assist at exhibits and programs in the future.
  • I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to get out and visit with two CWF volunteers and agency staff at the Chronic Wasting Disease data collection points in Frederick County this month. (See the article by Jason Hallacher below.) The weather wasn't cooperating with the opening of general firearms deer season, but that didn't dampen the spirits of our volunteers and staff. They all enjoyed a great day of collecting samples as they came, swapping stories and forging new friendships.

Your CWF staff has been BUSY planning ahead for the next few months. We have several training opportunities and events (bullet these items - easier to read) on the front burners, including another round of wildlife damage inspection training, classes tailored to CWF and Master Naturalists volunteers on nuisance wildlife information presentations, some enhanced skills training in CPR and AED, classroom driving safety tips for the outdoorsman and state vehicle operator, chainsaw use and safety, and DGIF 101 and orientation.

How this year has flown! Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas holiday is fast approaching. I would like to take this time to thank all of you for your contributions of time and talent in 2008. As volunteers, you carry the spirit of giving in your hearts the whole year through. We are blessed to have so many fine people who share our mission. On behalf of the CWF staff, I just want to wish you and yours a safe and wonderful holiday season, and all the best in the coming year.

- Susan

It's Lunchtime for CWF Volunteers

By Tom Wilcox, CWF Program Manager

On August 29, 2008, CWF volunteers and DGIF staff (see below) gathered at the Region 4 office in Verona, Virginia to discuss the upcoming trout stocking season and to honor Mr. Bob Wayland, a CWF volunteer.

Jason Hallacher (pictured below), CWF Volunteer Assistant and Senior Fisheries Technician in Region 4, presented changes to the upcoming 08/09 trout stocking season due to renovations underway at the Coursey Springs Fish Cultural Station, the highest trout-producing hatchery in Virginia. CWF volunteers were urged to be patient as both routes and personnel are changing. As usual, the CWF volunteers are ready to adapt and be mission focused. Many thanks go out to the volunteers and DGIF staff for their preparation and cooking skills. Lunch was delicious! Where did that meat come from???? Has anyone seen Frank Showalter?

At the luncheon, the DGIF Staff and CWF volunteers honored Mr. Bob Wayland for his service as an office assistant at the Verona Office. Bob taught us about a strong work ethic and reminded us that learning is fun at any age. He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Wayland Family. The picture below includes Brian Wayland, son; Tom Wilcox, CWF Program Manager; Mrs. Janet Wayland, Bob's wife; and Captain Bobby Mawyer. To learn more about the Wayland Family and their love of the outdoors, please read the December 2008 issue of Virginia Wildlife (pages 16, 17).

CWF Region I Event Highlight

By Jim Battle, CWF Region I Coordinator

Ragged Island Clean-up

Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area is located in Isle of Wight County immediately at the southern end of the James River Bridge. This WMA, on the east side of highway 17/58, is a popular area for bank fishing along the river. Because of the high volume of persons fishing this area during the fishing season, litter accumulation is a constant source of aggravation for DGIF WMA staff. Adding to the problem is the fact that there are no trash cans or bins in the area. This is because of the problems with wildlife becoming conditioned to overturning trash bins and scattering litter looking for food.

CWF became aware of this situation and decided to organize a clean-up event. Several dates were sent out to the cadre of CWF volunteers in the near vicinity in an attempt to solicit as many volunteers as possible. Seemingly, no date was perfect so we decided to go ahead and plan for November 1st. November 1st coincided with the opening of Muzzle Loader season so we lost some participants there. However, we did get enough CWF volunteers to go ahead with the project. Teresa Crocker, who lives in Smithfield, contacted the Department of Recreation and Parks in Isle of Wight and they were generous enough to donate trash bags. We met in the parking lot at 9:00 a.m. Donald Tingle, who lives in VA. Beach, arrived around 7:30 a.m. and was already working.

We picked up litter around the parking lot and the road leading to the river and along the river east of the bridge. The main stays were beer bottles and cans. The weather was super nice, the river clear and quiet. We were treated to a couple walking a pair of Labs and throwing tennis balls into the river that the Labs were more than happy to retrieve. The project was completed by 12:00 noon. We collected 10 bags of litter and have received positive comments of appreciation from DGIF staff. Thanks to all who contributed to this project.

CWF Region 4 Current Event

By Jason Hallacher, Senior Fisheries Technician and CWF Region 4 Volunteer Assistant

Complementary Work Force Teams Up Against Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer and elk. Although you may have heard a lot about this disease in the news lately, it is not a new disease by any means. CWD was first documented in mule deer populations 30 years ago.

In 2002 CWD was first discovered east of the Mississippi River in free ranging White-tailed deer herds in Wisconsin. This discovery set off a chain reaction of CWD monitoring throughout the states along the east coast including Virginia. In the fall of 2002 VDGIF initiatedits Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Program. This program included testing deer using three different surveillance approaches. These consisted of (a) active random sampling of hunter-killed deer, (b) targeted surveillance of clinical suspect and high-risk animals, and (c) testing of all captive mortalities.

In 2005 the disease was discovered in wild and wonderful West Virginia. West Virginia DNR, while working on its own surveillance program, discovered four deer that tested positive for CWD in Hampshire County. Due to the discovery of CWD within 50 miles of Virginia's border, the CWD Response Plan (PDF) was partially activated. This resulted in the establishment of an Active Surveillance Area that consisted of approximately 1,000 square miles of the western and northern portions of Shenandoah, Frederick, Clarke, and Loudoun counties. Active surveillance of road-killed and hunter-harvested deer was performed in this area and resulted in the collection of 559 samples. Furthermore, CWD testing of elk and captive deer was continued. This resulted in the collection of 749 samples during 2005. Since then, VDGIF continued to use the same surveillance strategies in 2006 and 2007 resulting in a grand total of 4,151 samples to date. So far all samples have been negative.

This fall Complementary Work Force Volunteers from region 4 and 5 team up to assist our wildlife biologists with deer sampling throughout the hunting seasons. To prepare them for this task Jonathan Sleeman, our VDGIF Wildlife Veterinarian, conducted an intensive training course for staff and members of CWF. Now trained, the volunteers assist biologists at designated check stations throughout the active surveillance area in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Within this surveillance area, some hunters are required to bring the deer to check stations where testing is done. Other hunters who coincidentally bring deer to the stations are asked to volunteer their deer for testing. The volunteers assist the biologists with a variety of tasks including recording data, education, and surgically removing the lymph nodes from the deer's head. Samples of the lymph nodes are sent to a lab to be tested for CWD.

Although the future of Virginia's deer herd is uncertain, it is comforting to know that the Complementary Work Force Volunteers have joined our efforts to preserve and protect the Commonwealth's resources. I am also thankful that the Wildlife Division has found a home for these hardworking CWF members. Keep up the good work Region 4!

CWF Region 5 Profile of a CWF Volunteer

By Thomas Goldston, CWF Region 5 Coordinator

Bob Flanagan

How many retired Fairfax County Elementary Physical Education Teachers does it take to log 85 deer kills with archery equipment? The answer is one, if he is Robert Flanagan, aka, "Deerbob" not to be confused with "Dear Bob" the salutation.

Robert (Deerbob) Flanagan is a card-carrying, certified, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Complementary Work Force Program Volunteer. More notably he is a devoted husband, father of three, grandfather of four and, by all accounts, even if he says so himself, an eagle-eye archer. With over 100 deer kills, Bob is proudest of having downed 85% of those as an archer.

I dare say that Bob really enjoys the challenge, mastering the stealth of hunting with archery equipment as opposed to use of a more contemporary hunt using a firearm. Bob's deer hunting interest began along the river bottoms of North West Iowa where he grew up. His first bow was a right handed stick bow (Bob is left handed) that he bought from a high school classmate for $10. He actually got a shot off at a deer with that bow.

Bob took a hiatus from deer hunting during four years at the University of Iowa at Iowa City and again during a two year stint in the U.S. Army. Luckily a great portion of that "Army time" was spent at Fort Belvoir, in Northern Virginia, where Bob really began to hone his deer hunting archery skills. After a year or so of scouting and hunting the remote areas of Fort Belvoir, he took his first archery buck on November 11, 1972. All hunting on Belvoir ceased in the fall of 1973 and Bob's attention was directed toward Quantico Marine Corp Base. Many hours of outdoor enjoyment were spent at Quantico, and again at Fort Belvoir when it reopened for hunting in the early 1980's.

While employed with Fairfax County Public Schools, Bob found as much time as he could to hunt on weekends and days off. Now he often hunts as much as four days a week and never tires of the opportunity. As a retiree, and the current Fairfax County Coordinator for Suburban Whitetail Management of Northern Virginia, much of his hunting time is involved with removing nuisance deer from private properties throughout Fairfax County.

Looking at his volunteer activities it is easy to see just how committed this Fairfax County resident is to this particular skill and craft. With current memberships in the Belvoir Bow Hunters Association, Northern Virginia Archers Association, Isaac Walton League, Suburban Whitetail Management of Northern Virginia, and the National Wild Turkey Federation, Bob keeps himself busy year round, hunting, teaching, and learning more about his favorite outdoor activity.

Bob has logged 131 hours as a CWF volunteer since April of 2008, mainly issuing kill permits to landowners with deer damage problems. It should be noted that to avoid any conflict of interest, Bob does not take part in hunting on any property with an active permit that he has issued.

Bob encourages all hunting enthusiasts to consider looking at volunteer opportunities and activities involved with VDGIF's Complementary Work Force program.

So, what does Bob do with all those deer he takes? Some go to help his fellow Virginians in yet another way, through his donation of meat to Hunters for the Hungry. Others make their way to his table. Here's one of Bob's favorite savory recipes for preparing venison.

  • Sprinkle 1/3 to ½ package of dry onion soup mix on tin foil sheets.
  • Place roast on the sheet of tin foil.
  • Add salt and pepper as you like it...
  • Sprinkle more dry onion soup on top and around the roast.
  • Lay 2-3 strips of bacon over the roast.
  • Wrap the tin foil loosely around the roast.
  • Place in open Pyrex or similar dish and put in the oven...
  • Preheat to 350 degrees... no more... bake in oven for about 45-50 minutes per pound... check for desired taste... but don't overcook... venison is best a bit rare to medium

Mmmm... Good!

Upcoming Training Opportunitiess

  • Kill Permit Training and Orientation, Charlottesville, Dec. 13, 2008 (Goldston)
  • Nuisance Wildlife Program Presenter Training, Richmond, Jan. 24, 2009 (Battle)
  • Nuisance Wildlife Program Presenter Training, Gainesville, Feb. 4, 2009 (Goldston)
  • Kill Permit Training and Orientation, Charles City, Mar. 2009 (Battle)
  • Enhancement Training-CPR and AED instruction, Driving Safety, Orientation, Richmond -Date to be determined (Goldston and Battle)
  • Chainsaw Use and Safety-Dates and location to be determined
  • Take a Boating Safety Course-in class or online

Please Take Note:

If you are interested in on the water activities, such as Waterway Marker Inspections or Fish Kill Monitoring, we encourage you to take the classroom or online boating safety course, and send a copy of your certification to your assigned Region Coordinator to add to your files.

If you are currently certified in First Aid, CPR and AED, First Responder, Boating Safety, Hunting Safety, Whitewater Rescue, or any other fields that you feel would be useful as part of the CWF program-either as a volunteer or as a potential instructor/trainer-please send those to your assigned Region Coordinator at the address below.

Available Assignments

Regular or Seasonal Needs

  • Range Attendants for Wildlife Management Area firearms ranges in Regions 1, 2 and 5. Chester Phelps WMA in Fauquier County (Goldston), Amelia WMA in Amelia County (Battle)
  • Conservation Police Officer Academy Office Assistant in Richmond Headquarters (Battle)
  • Wildlife Damage Inspectors are still a priority need in Albemarle County in Region 5 (Goldston), and on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck for Lancaster, King George, and Northumberland Counties (Battle).
  • Labor for Powhatan Lakes pier and walkway construction, trail building and more. (Battle)
  • Region Office Assistants for Region 1, Charles City Co. (Battle)
  • Boat and Vehicle Maintenance Volunteers in Charles City County and Chesapeake (Battle) and in Fredericksburg (Goldston)
  • Team Leader and Work Project volunteers on Merrimac Farms WMA, in Prince William County. (Goldston)
  • Chickahominy WMA, Attendants in Charles City County for upkeep and maintenance needs (Battle)
  • Hog Island Waterfowl Hunt Attendants-dates TBD w/ waterfowl seasons, Saturdays, from mid-Nov. through January. (Battle)

Short-term Needs and Upcoming Events

  • Richmond Fishing Expo, Richmond, Jan. 16-18, 2009 (Battle)
  • Nation's Outdoor Sportsmen's Show at Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Jan. 23-25, 2009 (Goldston)
  • Greater Virginia Sports & Big Game Show, Harrisonburg, Feb. 20-22, 2009 (Hallacher) (TENTATIVE PARTICIPATION)
  • Fredericksburg Outdoor Show, Fredericksburg, VA Feb.20-22, 2009 (Goldston)
  • Western Virginia Sports Show, Fishersville, Feb. 27-March 1, 2009 (Hallacher)

Forms, Forms, Forms

Many of you in the pilot regions applied but have not followed through by mailing in your required Reference Check (Word Document or PDF) and Record Check (Word Document or PDF) forms. Our staff cannot process your application until we have these two items! If you live in Regions 1 or 5, and have any doubt that your forms have been received, please don't hesitate to contact Susan Alger, State Coordinator, to check the status of your application. If it's been over 6 months since you applied, and you haven't heard from us, then chances are your forms were not received.

For your convenience, here are links to several of the current forms used by volunteers.

Contact Us

Susan Alger
State Coordinator
P.O. Box 481 ~ Herndon, VA 20172
(703) 481-2102

Jim Battle
Region I Coordinator
3801 John Tyler Memorial Hwy. ~ Charles City, VA 23030
(804) 829-6580

Thomas Goldston
Region 5 Coordinator
1320 Belman Rd. ~ Fredericksburg, VA 22401
(540) 899-4169

Jason Hallacher
Region 4 Senior Fisheries Technician & CWF Volunteer Assistant
P.O. Box 996 ~ Verona, VA 24482
(540) 248-9385