Several bills that would impact outdoor sportsmen have been making progress in the General Assembly. Here’s a look at five of them:
The much anticipated results of the 2014-15 deer, bear and turkey seasons were released by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries this week, and seldom have the figures had more radical swings.
It didn’t take long for the Virginia General Assembly to shoot down bills that would have gutted the right-to-retrieve law and liberalized regulations that govern the feeding of wildlife.
Virginia’s first Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt is scheduled for April 17 and 18, and there are four basic ways you can participate:
West Virginia’s 2014 deer kill of 104,223 represents a 31-percent drop from the previous season, and a 23-percent decline from the five-year average.
SNOWSHOE, W.Va. — Mike Miller was cold, but it was better than another alternative.
The Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary in Roanoke Friday through Sunday, with special guest George Thornton, CEO of the federation.
Of all the different kinds of hunters, those who pursue deer are the most numerous and least organized. The newly formed National Deer Alliance wants to change that. It wants to organize deer hunters and be their voice. It wants to be to deer hunters what the NRA is to gun owners.
A number of new fishing regulations arrived with the 2015 New Year. Here’s a quick look:
Almost two decades ago, Bob Fala, an avid grouse hunter, began keeping a diary of his days afield, most of them in the mountains of West Virginia.
In mid-December, Bill Chittenden caught a 30-inch striped bass, often called rockfish, in the salty water of the Chesapeake Bay. He had it for a meal and declared, “It was great.”
Patrick Coffey could tell the black bear was a big one as he watched it scrounge for acorns in the woods on a Virginia farm.
The worst thing about the social media, as far as outdoorsmen are concerned, is hunters attacking one another — as in hound hunters vs. still hunters, and muzzleloader hunters vs. modern-gun hunters.
West Virginia wildlife officials are blaming bad weather for a steep, 34-percent drop in the state’s deer kill during its two-week, buck’s-only season.
The phone has been ringing at Hunters for the Hungry headquarters in Big Island: “Where’s the venison?” is the cry coming from food banks, churches and rescue mission who feed the needy.
The deer kill in Virginia ran a stable course through the early muzzleloading season, then dropped significantly the two weeks of the general firearm’s season.
The deer kill in Virginia is down 16 percent, or 20,700 animals. The rut has been weak; the hunting pressure light; the acorn crop heavy; the quality of bucks so-so; the number of deer spotted disappointing.
A 12-point buck killed in West Virginia last week by bowhunter Chad Scyphers is a likely record for that state, although it still is too early to say for sure.
The first thing you notice about Robin Clark is his smile, next is his enthusiasm. Way down on the list is his wheelchair.
Move over L.L. Bean and Land’s End, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has its own e-store, www.shopdgif.com.
On opening day of the muzzleloading season, Cotton Witt watched an early morning parade of deer come down a hardwood ridge in Bedford County to stand near the base of the tree where he had positioned his elevated stand.
Voters in Maine upheld that state’s liberal bear hunting regulations by defeating a state referendum that would have made it illegal to bait, trap or use dogs in the pursuit of bears.
An early look at how Sunday hunting in Virginia is impacting the deer and turkey seasons has produced some muddled information.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries received nearly 500 comments from its constituents during an Aug. 1-Oct. 1 scoping period, when it requested recommendations for changes in hunting regulations. The input is scheduled to be considered by wildlife officials who will report back in March.
No doubt about it, this is a great time to be a black bear hunter in Virginia.
The next time you sprinkle deer urine onto the forest floor to mask your scent or attract a heavy racked buck, be aware you could be introducing a disease to the animals you love to hunt.
The mountains of Southwest Virginia, from the Roanoke Valley westward, will be a prime spot for turkey hunting when the season opens Saturday.
All fall, I have been receiving reports from hunters on how abundant the acorn crop is this year, which is highly important to the well-being of wildlife and dictates where hunters can expect to locate game.
This was Billy Leonard’s favorite time of the year, when nature begins to unfurl its palette of colors in brilliant streaks and splashes against the ridges and in the creek bottoms.
Youth/apprentice deer hunting day Saturday provides a glimpse of what kind of season hunters can expect this year. The estimated kill reported by phone and Internet was 1,804. That was down sharply from last season’s 2,682.
Matt Daniels won the 75th edition of the Virginia Big Game Show Sunday in Harrisonburg with an 18-point buck he killed on a Roanoke County farm on opening day of the bowhunting season last October.
Jacob Powroznik lives in the small village of Port Haywood overlooking the west side of the Chesapeake Bay in Matthews County, so when it comes to fishing you’d expect him to be involved in the saltwater kind — flounder, spot, bluefish.
Sherman Bailey works as a boiler maker in New Jersey, but come fall you are likely to find him hunting on family land in Virginia’s Surry County — and for good reason.
Hear that munching? It is the sound of deer chewing on acorns, something that wasn’t heard much last fall when the acorn crop was a failure across much of Virginia.
If you have a passion for deer hunting, then Jeff Phillips has designed a Web site just for you. He calls it Star City Whitetails www.starcitywhitetails.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a story referred to in this week's Bill Cochran column, which Bill wrote in October 1991, when he was the outdoors editor of The Roanoke Times. Here is a link to his current story on Hunters for the Hungry, which was printed in the Sept. 10, 2014 edition of The Roanoke Times.
More than two decades ago, I wrote a column about a new concept in Virginia called Hunters for the Hungry. The idea behind it was novel.
Some people might be surprised to know that many of Virginia’s State Parks offer opportunities for hunting. This practice doesn’t just provide recreation, but it is a major tool in keeping the deer herd in check.
Sunday hunting has been legal in Virginia for two months; yet, as the major seasons begin to appear many questions remain on how it works.
What does late August big lake angling have in common with a savory stew made up of harness leather, goat horn and chicken necks overcooked to perfection?
Through the years, I’ve told scores of people that black bears go out of their way to avoid a confrontation with humans. They are docile and shy and more afraid of you than you are of them. So it is perfectly safe to go into the woods for camping, hiking and hunting.
Look for a better than average duck hunting season in Virginia this fall and winter. The major breeding population is up 8-percent over last year and 43-percent above the 1955-2013 average.
The Virginia Big Game Trophy Show is celebrating its 75th anniversary next month. The event began when members of the newly organized Virginia Peninsula Sportsman’s Association (VPSA) decided to sponsor a trophy deer contest in 1939.
Bear ripping into garbage cans. Coyotes gobbling up pets. Deer colliding with cars. Gray squirrels causing power transformers to explode. Raccoons eating the sweet corn.
A female black bear killed in Giles County during the past bowhunting season was 30 years old, according to biologists of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. That ties a longevity record with another 30-year old female taken during the 2011 firearms season in Tazewell County.
The last thing you’d expect to turn up at a quail workshop nowadays in Southwest Virginia is old Bob White himself.
Go ahead and buy a three-day pass to the Aug. 8-10 Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show in Richmond, because it is going to require a lot of time to take in the huge event.
Smith Mountain Lake has been stocked with 300,388 fingerling striped bass. The tiny fish were released at multiple sites on the 20,000-acre lake with help from members of the Smith Mountain Striper Club. Leesville Lake received 80,664 fingerlings.
Several new laws that impact outdoor sportsmen went into effect July 1. Last week, my Bill Cochran column covered the impact of the most notable one, Sunday hunting. Here are additional new laws:
Dove hunters in Virginia are expected to get additional days afield this fall and winter that will result in the longest season in memory.
Tinley Rose Scharnus, 12 weeks old, of Roanoke, went to be in Heaven with Jesus on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Lucy Thelma Tyree (Thel) Jang, 98, of Los Angeles, Calif. and formerly of Roanoke, passed away Friday, February 13, 2015. Funeral Services will be 2 p.m. Monday, March 2, 2015, at Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary, 3801 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305. Arrangements by Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home, Roanoke, Va., 540-344-1271.
Anna Mae Beulin Boger, 83, of Roanoke, passed away on Thursday, February 26, 2015. She goes to join her beloved husband, Charles "Cliff" Boger. She was born on March 25, 1931 to Roy and Addie Beulin in Elkin, N.C. She was also preceded in death by her sisters, Margaret, Lou Ray, Jean and her only brother, Ralph. Anna and Cliff were both faithful, supportive members of Bonsack Baptist Church since moving to Roanoke after his retirement.
William A. James, 87, of Roanoke, Va., passed away Thursday, February 26, 2015. Arrangements by Oakey's North Chapel, 540-362-1237.