For the benefit of those of you out there who still like to poke around in the woods and fields in hopes of getting a deer for the freezer, I thought I might bring you up to date on what you can and can’t do in the coming deer season.
Due to the wisdom, or lack of it — take your pick — of your board of supervisors, and their written request to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Rappahannock is, for the first time ever, an Earn-A-Buck county.
From the VDGIF hunting regulations, here is what that means, in their words:
During a license year, it shall be unlawful to take a second antlered deer on private lands in Rappahannock County prior to taking at least one antlerless deer on private lands in Rappahannock County, and it shall be unlawful to take a third antlered deer on private lands in Rappahannock County prior to taking at least two antlerless deer on private lands in Rappahannock County.
Got that? That comes to you courtesy of the game management skills and experience of your board of supervisors, when most of the surrounding counties have opted out of the EAB program and the deer kill in Rappahannock County was down almost 25 percent for the previous season. I don’t make the rules, folks, I just report them to you as I see them.
Anyway, if you are a bowhunter, as I used to be, your season starts this Saturday, Oct. 3, and runs through Nov. 13. I have to tell you that some of my best hunting experiences were with the bow and arrow. Fred Bear used to say you can learn more about deer hunting in a week with the bow and arrow than you can in a lifetime with a gun.
If, like me, you like to hunt with a smokepole (muzzleloader), you can start hunting on Oct. 31 and hunt until Nov. 13. Regular gun season begins Nov. 14 and runs through Jan. 2.
I hope you have enjoyed the cooler weather. We might get some more of that much-needed rain this weekend, the weatherman says, depending on this high and that low and whether or not there is enough moisture in the air to let some of it fall to the ground.
Until next time, keep your powder dry and be sure of your target and the background before you drop the hammer. And from one hunter to another, I wish you the very best of luck and safe hunting.