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New hunting regulations in Virginia

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New hunting regulations in Virginia

Old 07-14-2015, 07:26 AM
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Typical Buck
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Default New hunting regulations in Virginia

I just looked at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and found two new laws that just don't make sense to me. I figured I would post it on Huntingnet, so that hunters are aware of the changes and also to get other hunters' takes on the new laws.

The first one especially affects Bowhunters, since we need to get closer to the deer. It is now illegal in Virginia to use any attractant that uses deer urine or any other bodily fluid when hunting or scouting for deer. The reason is to prevent the spread of CWD in Virginia, which is a good end, I suppose, but this new law is massive overkill. Apparently, the CWD can exist in bodily fluids from deer for a long time, and some doe pee, etc. is harvested in areas that have CWD. OK, I guess that makes some sense, but...

The problem is that this prohibition includes using urine tarsal glands from deer harvested in Virginia (including deer harvested by the hunter using the attractant), which has only had 10 cases of CWD and that from a VERY limited geographic area. It's kind of like quarantining the entire state of Virginia because two towns had 10 cases of AIDS.

The second change with which I disagree is that bear licenses are now separate from other big game. Up until this year, Virginia had one license that a hunter had to purchase that authorized him or her to hunt deer, wild turkey and bear. Now, if you want to hunt bear, whose season overlaps the other two big game seasons, you have to buy a separate license. There are two problems with this, as I see it. The first is that, if the license no longer authorizes a hunter to hunt one species, then the price should be reduced, which it wasn't, and the bear license is almost as much as the other big game license was (and still is). The other major issue is that bear have become more and more of a nuisance species here in Virginia. Bears have been spotted this year in Vienna, McLean and here in the Lansdowne area of Leesburg! Not to mention that my friend's Australian Shepard was mauled by a bear last year. And the annual bear harvest has been climbing significantly for more than a decade. I started hunting bears last year because they are nuisance species (not so much for the meat, which I don't care much for, but can find a good "home" for). We need to incentivize people to reduce the population, not make it more expensive!

Any feedback on these?
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:26 PM
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The deer scent thing I'd heard of, but since I don't use much in the way of attractants I really don't have a dog in that fight. Totally agree with you on the price of the license should come down if it allows you to take less species. I don't hunt bear but pack a glock 10mm in bow season because we are running across them more and more.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:20 AM
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As far as the scent part of your post is concerned, IMHO if the reason you stated is why they put it into effect they have overreacted and it won't do a thing. As far as making a separate bear license apart from the way it used to be, I see no problem with that since that's the way most all of the states do their big game licenses. What are the new fees and have your fees been raised recently? If they haven't been, IMHO you have to pay to play and costs go up just due to inflation alone and have to be accounted for. MI just had a major license restructuring a year ago with a number of substantial fee increases and it was very well received because the fees had been static for quite a few years.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:02 AM
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I recall those license in VA as I grew up there. I was looking at hunting Georgia this year and their license has went up as well. A 3 day hunting license was $20 now it's $90. That's just the hunting license it doesn't include deer tags. I used to hunt there for a week cheap as compared to other states. Like Top Gun said if you wanna play you got to pay . Enjoy the hunt I'm still going
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MountainHunter View Post
I just looked at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and found two new laws that just don't make sense to me. I figured I would post it on Huntingnet, so that hunters are aware of the changes and also to get other hunters' takes on the new laws.

The first one especially affects Bowhunters, since we need to get closer to the deer. It is now illegal in Virginia to use any attractant that uses deer urine or any other bodily fluid when hunting or scouting for deer. The reason is to prevent the spread of CWD in Virginia, which is a good end, I suppose, but this new law is massive overkill. Apparently, the CWD can exist in bodily fluids from deer for a long time, and some doe pee, etc. is harvested in areas that have CWD. OK, I guess that makes some sense, but...

The problem is that this prohibition includes using urine tarsal glands from deer harvested in Virginia (including deer harvested by the hunter using the attractant), which has only had 10 cases of CWD and that from a VERY limited geographic area. It's kind of like quarantining the entire state of Virginia because two towns had 10 cases of AIDS.

The second change with which I disagree is that bear licenses are now separate from other big game. Up until this year, Virginia had one license that a hunter had to purchase that authorized him or her to hunt deer, wild turkey and bear. Now, if you want to hunt bear, whose season overlaps the other two big game seasons, you have to buy a separate license. There are two problems with this, as I see it. The first is that, if the license no longer authorizes a hunter to hunt one species, then the price should be reduced, which it wasn't, and the bear license is almost as much as the other big game license was (and still is). The other major issue is that bear have become more and more of a nuisance species here in Virginia. Bears have been spotted this year in Vienna, McLean and here in the Lansdowne area of Leesburg! Not to mention that my friend's Australian Shepard was mauled by a bear last year. And the annual bear harvest has been climbing significantly for more than a decade. I started hunting bears last year because they are nuisance species (not so much for the meat, which I don't care much for, but can find a good "home" for). We need to incentivize people to reduce the population, not make it more expensive!

Any feedback on these?
Well, I can pretty much bet that you answered your own question there. The HARVESTS have been on the rise so the state saw an opportunity to make some money seeing as you all were seeing many more Bear now (thanks to the conservation efforts that our hunting dollars pay for) so why not make a separate license. Va's licenses have been pretty cheap for a long time. They have kept them low while the cost of managing wildlife and property has been rising. How do you think all that land gets paid for? You don't think the tree huggers and PETA are paying for it do you? Nope, it's hunters dollars that pay for it. Va has some of the cheapest licenses in the country.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:03 PM
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The licenses here in VA were raised a couple of years back, but not dramatically. They are pretty reasonably priced for state residents, and you can take a lot of deer with a license (5 or 6, depending on where you harvest them), but the reason for that is that deer are a really significant nuisance species in much of the state. But the VDGIF doesn't really do much management, so I think that is why fees are so low. I suppose that could be turned around and someone could say they don't do much managing because licenses are so low. But if the bear are becoming much more of a significant nuisance species (which they definitely are), I don't think it makes much sense to dis-incentivize people to harvest them by requiring a separate license. I, for one, hunt in a place where bears are a real nuisance, and was planning to shoot one if I saw one, just to help out with the problem and get some meat for some friends. But I'm not going to pay for a separate license to harvest one. And the urine/gland thing is just ridiculous, IMHO.
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