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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Virginia Deer Season Ends (Blog 119)

As I write this, it is 4:40 A.M., and I am preparing to take my son and son-in-law deer hunting in Craig County, Virginia. Today is the last day of the late muzzleloader season.  After killing a deer on Monday, I am satisfied with the amount of venison in Elaine's and my freezer, so I won't be carrying a gun.

The temperature, according to, will be around 10 degrees in the mountains of Craig this morning, and I am not looking forward to venturing out in the frigid air.  Though we will be dressing as warmly as possible,  I wonder how long we will last out in the elements before the car heater beckons.  Making things worse is the fact that the wind is howling.

I started deer hunting on Labor Day Saturday, participating in Roanoke County's first urban archery season.  I was aloft in a tree stand about 30 minutes before sunrise, and the temperature was about 65 degrees.  By the time I descended, the temp was around 80 degrees, and the mosquitoes had begun to eye my skin with increasing aggressiveness.  No need to worry about them today.

I am looking forward to going squirrel hunting on Saturdays in January.  One of the great joys in the sporting life is pursuing wintertime silvertails behind our Botetourt County home.  On a warm, say 40 degrees, Saturday afternoon, I like to sit under an oak tree, reading a book and periodically scanning the area for movement.  If I don't bring home any bushytails, no big deal.


  1. Bruce, I read your article "The QUESTION All Ikes Should Ask" in the 2012 issue 4 of 'Outdoor America' and must say that I agree wholeheartedly with the entire article. The one thing it did not address is one of the major issues cited by many Virginia Hunters (and former Virginia Hunters) for the decline in numbers of hunters and revenue, is access to the woods. With many of us working 5-6 days a week, and/or spending much of the 6th day (Saturday) supporting family/childrens activities, this only leaves half a day to access the outdoors. Many Virginia hunters have chosen to spend their license and travel monies to go out of state where they can access the woods and hunt on both Saturday and Sunday. I believe that modifying the ban on some forms of hunting on Sundays, would siginificantly increase the number of older and new young hunters alike, and infuse millions of $ into the Virginia economy while increasing jobs at the same time. I believe it is time the Izaac Walton League of America takes a stand to support access to the woods for hunting seven days a week.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments and post. I, too, am in favor of Sunday hunting. There is no biological reason for Virginia not having hunting on Sunday. I do think one day we will have Sunday hunting in Virginia. I will past on your comments to my editor at the IWLA.

    2. Many thanks Bruce, and thanks for your literary and conservation contributions!

    3. ..oh and please click on my name Bruce to check out our Sunday Hunting following on Facebook! Thanks.

  2. Great article Bruce. So how can just a few people tell 200,000 hunters that they can not do what hunters in 44 other states can do? right now less than 10 people are controlling hunting in the state of Virginia for their own personal reasons. Why is this allowed? why can Jim Hackett and family, Kirby Burch and Del Lee Ware dictate tot he rest of us what we can not do yet they are all three permitted to hunt on Sundays? Please someone in the Republican party explain this to all who pay a license fee. Not a single senior Republican official can explain this to hunters. And they do not even try.