Don’t forget your colors this hunting season

Published 11:18 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Except for those few southeastern counties where firearms deer season came in early and for the youth and apprentice hunting weekend for deer, the wearing of blaze orange clothing has not been required so far this hunting season. However, with the muzzleloading season for deer open, hunters need to begin thinking about the legal requirements for wearing blaze orange once again.

During the muzzleloader seasons for hunting deer with a muzzleloading firearm, every muzzleloader deer hunter and every person accompanying a muzzleloader deer hunter shall wear blaze orange except when they are physically located in a tree stand or other stationary hunting location. Of course, when firearms deer season comes in Saturday, Nov. 19, all hunters, unless otherwise exempt, must wear blaze orange when hunting. See the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping in Virginia Digest for details, exemptions and requirements for the wearing of blaze orange.

Virginia Conservation Police Notebook

To increase awareness of the activities of our dedicated Conservation Police Officers, previously called game wardens, the “Virginia Conservation Police Notebook” provides an overview of the variety of activities encountered by our officers who protect natural resources and people pursuing outdoor recreation in the fields, woods and waters of Virginia. These reports are prepared from the officer’s actual field notes by Kim McCarthy, executive assistant to Capt. Clark Greene, acting chief of Law Enforcement Division VDGIF. These CPO reports show the value of concerned citizens, landowners and true sportsmen in providing tips to law enforcement officers on suspected violations by lawbreakers who give other outdoor enthusiasts an undeserved bad reputation. Don’t let the actions of a few outlaws tarnish the reputation of Virginia’s sportsmen!

If you suspect or witness a violation, report it to the Wildlife Crimeline at 1-800-237-5712.

Hunter Faces Multiple Charges After Complaint from Other Hunters

On Oct. 20, a subject called dispatch to report he was harassed while he was hunting in Richmond County. Conservation Police Sergeant Rich Goszka fielded the call and spoke with the subject via phone. The subject stated to Goszka that while he was hunting two other hunters walked under his tree stand. He had a verbal confrontation with the hunters and the subject stated they pointed their bows at him. He stated that what they did was pretty dumb since he had a gun. He further stated that he shot a deer with his muzzle loader and when he went to track it, he was chased out of the woods by unknown persons.

Sgt. Goszka and Sr. Officer Frank Spuchesi went to the caller’s location that evening and his girlfriend stated he was back out hunting and his approximate location was provided. When the officers tried to contact the subject he was not located, but three piles of corn were discovered in the field. The subject was eventually located, but he did not have a gun.

During an interview with the subject he admitted to hiding a shotgun. The shotgun was located and the subject was using slugs and buckshot.

The subject admitted to attempting to take a deer the evening before with the shotgun and placing the bait in the field and hunting deer on this evening and not having any hunting licenses. The subject was charged with hunting deer during the closed season, no hunting licenses, baiting and trespassing to hunt.