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Friday, April 12, 2013

Dog Deer Hunts Still On Schedule … For Now

 ACCOMAC — The earliest Accomack County could see any change in regulations regarding the practice of deer hunting with dogs would be 2014, according to the county attorney.

Accomack County Attorney Mark Taylor recommended the Board of Supervisors consider holding a public hearing either this summer or next summer on the issue of whether deer hunting with dogs should be banned in the county.

Supervisors took no immediate action on the recommendation.

A ban would have to be accomplished by amending Virginia’s hunting regulations.

The Board of Supervisors agreed to revisit the issue, a decade after that body last discussed it, after three men spoke against the practice during a public comment period in February.

It is too late to try to add Accomack County to the list of Virginia counties where dog deer hunting is prohibited this year, because the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, the body that decides hunting regulations, already met earlier this month to formally receive staff recommendations on changes for this year, Taylor said.

“They like to get that kind of request along about September,” he told the board, adding the BGIF “would like to see it come to them as a request from the locality, preferably based on public input.”

If officials were to hold a public hearing this summer and make a recommendation by September, it would be the 2014 deer hunting season before any changes took effect.

The issue generated vociferous debate back in 2003 when, after a crowded public hearing, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to recommend the state continue to allow the practice in Accomack County, but prohibit it during the first 10 days of deer season and also extend the season by 10 days.

State hunting regulations currently allow dogs to be used for deer hunting in Accomack County, without those restrictions.

Northampton County is among 12 localities east of the Blue Ridge Mountains where it is not allowed. Deer hunting with dogs is not allowed anywhere west of the Blue Ridge in Virginia.

Madison and Greene counties prohibit dog hunting during the first 12 days of the firearms deer season.

Written By:  CVVAUGHN

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