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Hunters need to know new regs in effect

Staff report

Here is a set of new rules governing local hunters and fishermen for the 2005-06 season.

For more information on any of these new laws, visit the Web site http://www.dgif.state.va.us or call the Chesapeake office at 465-6811.

Regulation

Review Process

The Department has changed the process of setting regulations for fish and wildlife into a single review process.

Regulation amendments will take effect in July 2006.

Special Crossbow License

Legislation in the 2005 General Assembly (with an emergency passage provision) gave the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries the authority through regulation to create a separate crossbow license and to determine during which seasons the license would be required.

Crossbows will now be legal to use by any hunter during the 2005-2006 hunting seasons. A crossbow license will be required of any person using a crossbow during any archery season (including the urban archery season).

The fee for the crossbow license will be $12 for residents and $25 for non-residents, plus the $.50 agent fee.

Blaze Orange Exemption

Legislation in the 2005 General Assembly changed the existing blaze orange firearms deer season requirements.

Effective in fall 2005, hunters hunting with a bow and arrow during an open firearms deer season, in areas where the discharge of firearms is prohibited, are exempt from the blaze orange requirement.

Tagging and Checking Procedures

Reminder: tags on the bear, deer, turkey license (commonly known as the Big Game license) are non-detachable. Instead of removing a tag and placing it on the carcass, successful hunters will only have to cut out the appropriate section (notch) of the license tag prior to moving the animal.

Successful hunters also have a toll free number 1-866-GOT-GAME (468-4263) available to them for checking in their deer and spring turkey kill instead of taking them to a check station.

Elk, fall turkeys and bear cannot be checked by phone. Hunters will continue to have the option of taking their game to a check station.

Hunters must have a check card from a check station to enter an animal in Virginia Big Game Contests.

Mandatory Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp

All waterfowl hunters, those 16 years of age and older, will need to purchase the new Virginia Migratory Water-fowl Conservation Stamp to hunt migratory waterfowl in Virginia beginning with the 2005-2006 season.

The Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp is issued through clerks and license agents who sell hunting licenses and through the automated license delivery system. The annual fee for the stamp is $9.75.