Delegate responds to criticism, defends hunting bills

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Delegate David I. Ramadan (R) of Loudoun and Prince William counties defended two pieces of legislation that he submitted to the Virginia General Assembly on Monday evening, telling The Tidewater News that the bills he enacted are simply common sense laws.

“It’s a private property rights issue that was brought to my attention by a number of my constituents in Northern Virginia,” he said. “They pointed out a law that they didn’t think should still be a law in Virginia.”

The first law, § 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia, would be amended by House Bill No. 2343, and would allow for feeding of certain wildlife on privately owned land regardless of whether it is an open or closed season for hunting or trapping.

As it stands, it is illegal to feed deer from September through January, as the state tries to curb the negative consequences of doing so, such as increasing population and number of accidents. Ramadan, however, sees negative consequences of such a law, and encourages year-round feeding.

“Feeding is allowed for nine months out of the year, which increases the population, but then you cannot feed during hunting season,” he said, noting that Loudoun County has already extended hunting season through March to combat the overpopulation. “That makes no sense.”

House Bill No. 2345 (§18.2-136), meanwhile, has sparked quite the debate, as it will no longer allow hunters to access private and posted land in order to retrieve their dogs. However, Ramadan said that he is doing nothing more than keeping the best interest of his constituents in mind.

“I am a hunter, and I understand where (Western Tidewater residents) are coming from, but I have no dog in this hunt, my friend,” he said, noting again that he’s simply trying to change a law regarding private property. “It was just something that was recently brought to my attention, and as a legislator to my constituents, it is my job to do.”

An avid hunter, Ramadan laughed at the notion that he was pressured by anti-hunting groups — or any groups for that matter — to amend the feeding of game and right-to-retrieve laws.

“There was no pressure from anyone,” he said.

Ramadan also confirmed that he has had contact with specific people who have tried to influence such legislation in the past, but only through a Facebook comment on his personal page, and only after the bill was submitted.

“It’s not a conspiracy, and it wasn’t anything hidden from the public.”

Delegate David I. Ramadan can be contacted at 804-698-1087, or via email at