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Hunt clubs destroying Chickahominy WMA

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Hunt clubs destroying Chickahominy WMA

Old 01-01-2022, 06:55 AM
  #1  
Rmp
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Default Hunt clubs destroying Chickahominy WMA

Hi. 1st post. Been a lurker for a long time.

I've been hunting east of Richmond since the mid 70s. Particularly in Charles City and New Kent Counties. Dealing with hunt clubs and their dogs, and lack of respect for other hunters and private property rights, is nothing new. I've hunted Chickahominy WMA since the 80s and have had modest success with deer and turkey. It's a great place for small game, particularly before and after deer season. Even during deer season, on WEEKDAYS, it's easy to be one of only 2 or 3 people on the whole WMA. But weekends and holidays it can get busy, with mulytiple vehicle in many of the parking areas.

I made the mistake of hunting there yesterday. New Years Eve. I guess far too many business were closed because the place was crowded like I've never seen it before. And it was almost all hunt clubs.

I got into the woods an hour before daylight and set up my blind on a hill overlooking a ravine. 2 other hunters appeared on the other side of the ravine and set up right across from me, together. One of their cell phones kept ringing. They were talking in normal tones, peppered with F bombs about every other word. All that while they were using a bleat call. I think they may have been with one of the several hunt clubs on the WMA. They were approached a little later by two other hunters and they appeared to start arguing with one yelling "I'll kill you" to one of the others. Then the two new comers left leaving the other two guys, neither of whom could sit still, speak softly, or resist repeatedly tipping over a bleat call. After an hour I had a enough and decided to leave. But not before one of these guys decided to chop down a tree about 8 inches in diameter, for reasons unknown.

As I was leaving, there were hounds running all over. I got out to the parking area and a hunt club truck was blocking vehicles properly parked. I asked the driver to move and I got the eye like he owned the place. There was a gut pile laying beside the kiosk. Driving out, there were hunt clubbers lining the roads. I saw two shoot from the road (not from a vehicle) at something, but didn't appear to be anything.

In 40+ years of hunting Charles City County, and 30+ years of hunting Chickahominy, I've never seen the disgusting spectacle I saw yesterday.

In years past, I never really minded the dogs, as on more than one occassion they would push deer past me. But I am now firmly against hound hunting for deer, and organized drives on public land. These hunt clubs are filled with slob hunters with zero respect for anyone else. They've destroyed hunt quality on public lands.

I'm not sure what laws were actually broken, but the chopping of the tree was a crime so when I started driving out I called DWR to report it and was told a wildlife officer would call me. I got that call two hours later and was told he was the only DWR officer between Hampton and Charles City County.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:09 AM
  #2  
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I hope to get down south and hunt with dogs before it disappears. Always been something I've wanted to do.

-Jake
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Old 01-03-2022, 07:34 AM
  #3  
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I hate to hear that. Nothing worse than having a planned hunt ruined by slobs. You got set up plenty early and had to listen to that during your hunt. Iíd stick to weekdays and non holidays.
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Old 01-03-2022, 05:21 PM
  #4  
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Sounds like your complaints are primarily against slobs in the woods hunting. You even state "I THINK they MAY have been with one of the several hunt clubs on the WMA." As far as I know the WMA's are open to all residents and there are few "hunt clubs" on WMA's. Yes you have a bad experience on the WMA but it sounds more like just slob huntets.
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Old 01-05-2022, 04:01 PM
  #5  
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Sure, I can't be sure if the guys arguing and acting loudly in the wood were with hunt clubs. I suspect they were, but I didn't stop and ask them. But the other idiots I saw undoubtedly were. The guy who blocked parking with his truck had a dog box and a "XXXX Kennels" decal on his back window. The guys hunting along the road and even shooting from the road were also clubbers.

Yes, WMAs are public. They are not the private playgrounds of the hunt clubs. I've seen it in Virginia for many years - they sweep into an area and run their dogs without regard to hunters who are already there. They shoot anything their dogs drive out of the woods, whether its bucks, does or fawns. I can't tell you how many dead does over the years I've seen in the back of hunt club trucks on WMAs where its illegal to harvest anterless deer. They tramp past your stand knowing you're there looking for their dogs. And if you happen to shoot a deer as a result of their drive, they think it belongs to them. They don't care that their right to hunt doesn't trump mine.

Rest assured, there is a movement in Virginia to ban hound hunting for deer. I haven't supportred that movement before, but I do now. And the sheer rudeness of the clubs I see on a regular basis is why. That ban hasn't passed yet, but the complete disregard for other hunters and private property rights is working against them. All they need to do is keep it up. They will eventually find themselves against a majoirty of hunters and land owners who wants the practice abolished. It's only a matter of time. And they will have brought it on themselves.
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Old 01-09-2022, 07:30 PM
  #6  
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Yes there is a movement to ban hound hunting. It has been around for20-30 years but hound hunting is still here. Yes there are slob clubs just like there ate slob hunters. Fortunately there are way more respectful hound clubs like there are many ethical hunters. As in any sport you have to take the bad with the good.
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