Hunters need to respect property owners, too

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2008

To the Editor:

I recently participated in one of the focus group meetings conducted on behalf of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries with hunters, landowners and other stakeholders who want to help the department achieve a goal of preserving the tradition of hunting — including hunting with hounds —in a manner that is fair, sportsmanlike and consistent with the rights of property owners and other citizens.

An article recently published in The Tidewater News states that Southampton County has joined a growing group of rural Virginia localities supporting the use of dogs for hunting. The VDGIF issues/concerns are with long-range dog hunting, i.e., deer and fox hunting.

The Board of Supervisors for Southampton County clearly does not understand the reason for this study. It is not to do away with hound hunting, but an effort to communicate with hunters and others with an interest in hunting with hounds and to involve them in the process of resolving issues relating to hunting with hounds.

Realize, per VDGIF, only 6 percent of the people in the state hunt and only a part of that 6 percent hunt with hounds.

We as hunters are a minority and need to get along with everyone. I don’t think we want to see what happened in Georgia happen in Virginia.

Charles Jean