Proposed Regulation Amendment

4VAC15-90-80. Game: Deer. Muzzleloading gun hunting.

Summary

This proposal is to (i) modify the description of the area affected by the regulation in Amherst County, (ii) remove Campbell County (west of the Norfolk Southern Railroad) from the late muzzleloader deer season, (iii) make both early and late muzzleloading deer seasons full season either-sex on private lands in Shenandoah County, and (iv) reduce the number of either-sex deer hunting days on private lands in Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties from 6 days to 1 day during the late muzzleloading deer season.

Text of Regulation

Rationale

Amending language regarding US 29 in Amherst County

Text in numerous Department regulations regarding Amherst County (east or west of Route 29) date back to at least the mid-1940's. During fall 2005, a new Route 29 bypass was completed in Amherst County around Lynchburg and Madison Heights, effectively moving the regulation line. The proposed wording change will return the regulation line to its intended location prior to construction of the new road.

Campbell County

There is public interest in creating a uniform countywide seven week, full season either-sex, firearms deer hunting season in Campbell County. The Board proposed establishing this opportunity to gain additional public input on the issue. As part of this change, the late archery and late muzzleloading deer seasons that previously existed in western Campbell County are being deleted.

Conformity with Chronic Wasting Disease management actions

Making both early and late muzzleloading deer seasons full season either-sex on private lands in Shenandoah County will conform this regulation to the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management actions that have been in effect since April 2010 under the Director's authority per 4VAC-15-20-220. These management actions did not require regulation changes, and changes have not been sought so that management flexibility could be maintained during the first few years following CWD detection in Virginia. However, the absence of regulations related to specific management actions has hindered prosecution of some violations of requirements. Given that the agency's disease management approach is not likely to change in the near future, current management actions can now be established in regulation. If necessary, modifications to management actions can be made under Director's authority between regulation cycles.

Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties late muzzleloading season either-sex deer hunting days

Changing private lands in Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties from 6 days to 1 day either-sex deer hunting during the late muzzleloading deer season will create a uniform public land and private land either-sex late muzzleloading deer hunting season. Deer herds on private lands in both Alleghany and Bath counties have demonstrated a significant decline (>=25%) over the past decade. Additionally, the Bath County Board of Supervisors and the Alleghany Highlands Chapter of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association has requested a reduction in the female deer kill on private land.

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