• 75°

2009 deer harvest impressive

Chase Eure, 9, shows a squirrel he killed.

Outdoor Columnist
Bob Rudzik

Welcome again, fellow hunters and anglers.

I sure hope you had a great week and the chance to explore the outdoors.

As promised, I have included a picture of Chase Eure, sent in by his father, Steve, with a squirrel the 9-year-old killed. Way to go, Chase!

Chase loves to hunt. He already has one deer to his credit, harvested last season. I’ll be looking for your entry in next year’s Big Game Contest, which I will speak more about later.

On Saturday, I attended the 4-H sponsored Youth Dove Hunt at Deerfield Correctional Center near Capron. Although the initial forecast, obtained by advance scouting of the fields, did not indicate a very positive expectation, once the shooting started, it did not let up for a minute.

What a great time was had by the 25 young hunters and their parents. According to Donald Miller, one of the many volunteers, there has never been an accident or injury requiring even a Band-Aid on any of their hunts. Miller said each hunt is started with a 20-minute lecture on safety.

Donald is also an avid re-loader, who was sure to pick up all of his spent shell casings for re-use. Let me say what we all know; our environment is going to stay clean longer if all of us recycle like Donald.

On Sunday, I attended the Virginia Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association’s 71st Annual Big Game Eastern Regional Championships at Southampton County Fairgrounds. The master of ceremonies was Ken Pickin, President of VPSA.

Overall, the numbers spoke for themselves; there were 204 whitetail deer entered in 13 classes, including the youth class. Out of the 204, 105 were from Southampton, Isle of Wight and Surry counties, and Suffolk.

Four first-place winning kills came from Southampton County. Delaine Babb set a new eastern and state record for his 8-point; James R. Kello secured a first for his 11-point; Troy R. Smith took first place in archery (12 points and above) for his 14-point; Joseph B. Bunn and his 11-point took first in archery (9-,10- and 11-point); and Dustin W. Heard, 12, set a new eastern and state record for his 15-point in the youth class. One first-place winner, Gerald K. Moody, took his 6-point in Surry during the black powder season.

This is a strong indication as to the economic impact the hunters, alone, have on our community and the first-class hunting we have to offer.

Pickin said the size of the deer harvested seems to be increasing every year.

“As far as I am concerned, Virginia can compete with the other states known for their whitetail hunting opportunities such as Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio,” he said.

In addition to the deer, black bear and turkey were also judged and scored.

Also attending was Laura Newell-Furniss, director for Hunters for the Hungry. This is a non-profit organization that is always looking for new financial support as well as venison donations.

The organization has made it really easy to donate venison to this worthy cause. Hunters for the Hungry can be contacted at 1-800-352-HUNT (4868). Laura announced that Hunters for the Hungry has provided over 16 million servings for those less fortunate than us.

In my quest to educate myself on all that is going on in the outdoors, I have come across a source that I need to share. Take a look at www.HuntFishVA.com and download the Outdoor Report. You can subscribe free online.

Until next week, keep your muzzles out of the dirt and the sunny side up; please put safety first and take care of our environment. As far as I know, we only have one planet, and it has to last us and our children forever.

BOB RUDZIK is a soon-to-be Newsoms resident. His e-mail address is greyhound77@cox.net