Proposed Regulation Amendment

4VAC15-90-85. Game: Deer. Elk Hunting.

Summary

The proposal is to (i) establish a continuous closed season for elk hunting in Lee, Russell, Scott and Tazewell counties, (ii) remove references to open deer season sections as these are being combined in one deer regulation section, and (ii) remove the telephone number that a hunter must call upon checking elk, while retaining the requirement to notify the Department on checking an elk.

Text of Regulation

Rationale

There is public interest in closing elk hunting in the counties of Lee, Scott, Russell, and Tazewell that border the elk restoration counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise. The Board proposed establishing this closure to gain additional public input on the issue. Public comment received last fall and at the March 21, 2013 board meeting identified elk hunting as a risk to translocated elk and proposed closing additional areas to elk hunting, including the entire state. The hunting prohibition proposed would aid protection of both translocated and immigrant elk that may move outside of the elk restoration area. The Department has means other than public hunting to manage elk that wander away from the elk restoration area. These techniques include trapping and relocation, hazing, exclusion, and lethal removal. Lethal removal could include public hunting by special permit to address persistent elk damage problems.

The proposed amendment also includes removing the current telephone number listed in the regulation. Due to a change in the number a new number must be established. The Department must obtain tissue samples from hunter-killed elk for disease testing and successful hunters are required to notify the Department upon check-in of the elk to schedule an inspection of the carcass and site of kill by Department staff. This proposed amendment removes the number from the regulation while continuing to require prompt notification to the Department. The appropriate telephone number will be published in the annual hunting digest.

The proposal also removes remove references to regulation sections that no longer exist.

Comment on this proposal:

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