The staff will present the changes at a board meeting on March 21. Those proposals approved by the board — and this could include proposals made by board — will then go out for public comment. The board will take a final vote later this spring.
The list of proposals is long. Really long. All told, the new regulations language and the rationale for the suggestions take 81 pages. You can find the document HERE.
So, I’m not going to be able to cover all of them here. Just a few highlights.
Remember that post I wrote with the headline “Is it time to pull back the deer throttle?” Well, guess what? The DGIF staff thinks it is.
The proposals call for a reduction in firearms season doe-hunting days in 19 counties, while increasing the doe days in only one county.
The Earn-a-Buck requirement is also being dropped from several counties, including Franklin and Patrick.
Roanoke County still keeps its Earn-a-Buck designation. Importantly, the county is being added to those with a two-deer-per-day limit. Hallelujah! I can now kill the first doe I see during a rut hut, and I don’t have to quit for the day!
On the Earn-a-Buck program, the DGIF staff is revamping the rules to try to eliminate some of the confusion. The rules will now apply on a county-specific basis. For example, if I kill a buck in Roanoke County, I have to have killed a buck in Roanoke County before I can kill a second buck in Roanoke County. That Roanoke County buck won’t count against me when I go hunting in Bedford County. At the same time, killing a doe in Roanoke County doesn’t fulfill my Bedford County EAB requirement.
Another proposal would allow holders of an apprentice license to hunt on designated youth deer and turkey hunting days.
Take a look at the proposals and let us know what you think.