Proposed Regulation Amendment

4VAC15-90-90. Game: Deer. Bag limit, bonus deer permits and special antlerless provision for youth hunters.

Summary

The proposal is to (i) include Arlington County and the cities and towns located within Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties in the unlimited daily bag limit, (ii) establish the daily bag limit for deer on private lands in the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren and the City of Winchester as two deer per day, (iii) increase the daily bag limit on private lands in Roanoke County from one to two deer per day, (iv) add Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge counties to the Antler Point Restriction in subsection B, and (v) move subsection F related to Earn A Buck to a separate regulation section.

Text of Regulation

Rationale

Daily bag limit - cities and towns within Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties

This is a housekeeping change that will include the cities and towns located within the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William within the unlimited number of deer per day bag limit.

In response to a request by a Board Member, Arlington County is being added to the unlimited daily deer bag limit in Northern Virginia. Prior to this change, Arlington County had a two deer per day bag limit. Over the past eight deer seasons, the reported deer kill in Arlington County has ranged from 3-9 deer annually and averaged 5 deer.

Conformity with Chronic Wasting Disease management actions - two deer per day daily bag limit in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the City of Winchester

Making the daily bag limit two deer per day in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the City of Winchester 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.

Two deer per day bag limit on private lands in Roanoke County

The Department's Deer Management Plan calls for a deer population reduction on private lands in Roanoke County. Current data indicates that the deer population is high and stable. Over the past decade or more numerous management changes have been initiated to increase the antlerless deer kill including full season either-sex deer hunting during all deer seasons, Earn a Buck in fall 2008, and an urban archery season in fall 2011. Comments from several Roanoke County private land deer hunters indicate they would take additional antlerless deer if the daily bag limit were raised to two deer per day. Additionally, Roanoke County is the only county west of the Blue Ridge Mountains that has a one deer per day bag limit, Earn a Buck program, and qualifies for the urban archery season (i.e., has a human population density greater than 300 people per square mile).

Antler Point Restriction - Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge counties

In fall 2006 an antler point restriction (APR) was initiated in Shenandoah County at the request of local deer hunters. In fall 2011 this regulation was expanded to include Rockingham County; again at the request of local deer hunters. During this regulation cycle, several entities including the Bath County Board of Supervisors and the Alleghany Highland Chapter of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association have requested that staff expand the current APR to include Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties. Staff suggests that Augusta and Rockbridge also be included at this time.

Earn a Buck

Due to complexity and length, the Earn a Buck subsection is proposed to be moved into a separate regulation section.

Comment on this proposal:

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