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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me just say that I am very aggravated with the way the laws are written in regards to waterfowl hunting in VA. I have experienced this first hand myself, spoke with enough people, and been on enough online forums to know that this is something that many waterfowl hunters in VA are unhappy with. If you have lived in Virginia you know that the interstate is the major dividing line for blind laws in Virginia. If you plan on hunting waterfowl east of Highway I-95 you better have a stationary blind, or a floating blind license. How do you get a stationary blind you ask? Simple, if you are a riparian owner you get first dibs on purchasing your blind license. If by a certain date the riparian owner does not claim there blind license then a nonriparian that was previously licensed the year before has dibs. Last but not least, if you are a new licensee you get your chance.
If you have a boat that is also registered as a floating blind you can scout the waters and find a spot to spread your decoys, anchor, shut off your motor, and start hunting. However, the laws states that you must be 500 yards from another blind. In addition, any stationary blind has to be 500 yards from any other blind. So, what is the problem you ask? My problem isn’t so much about what I reiterated from the law book, it’s with the people that take advantage of these laws. For instance, a lot of land owners near water (riparian owners) will purchase a blind license, erect a half @$$ structure and never hunt the blind, because they don’t want anyone hunting near the water close to their shoreline. From experience, these are usually your anti-hunters, or people that just don’t want anyone hunting near their shore line. The state does not check if the land owner is actually hunting the blind or not. I believe this can be done simply by just checking to see if the riparian owner that has a licensed blind actually has a VA state hunting license, state duck stamp, HIPPA number, and a federal duck stamp. If they do maybe they are hunting the blind, who knows. If not then it means one of two things, a.) They are hunting illegally without the proper licenses and stamps, or b.) They are holding others from building a blind that actually want to hunt waterfowl. They just build it to keep hunters away. This is not fair, because it keeps guys like me, which take the time to scout during the offseason trying to find spots to build a blind from doing so.
This is just the start. There is also your waterfowl hunters that aren’t happy with owning two blinds (as stated in the books). They get there cousins, brothers, uncles, great grandmothers to license blinds all next to one another and have a total of 16 blinds on the water. Because they have permission to setup blinds next to one another they don’t have to be 500 yards. I think owning 16 blinds is a bit ridiculous. They have owned the blinds for generations through various family members. Once again younger guys and new waterfowl hunters are very limited in where they can hunt. Especially because the majority of the water east of I-95 is Maryland, you would need a Maryland waterfowl license. With that being said, VA doesn’t have much water, because majority of it is owned by Maryland. Virginia and Maryland have long disputed control of the Potomac River.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the issues regarding hunting waterfowl west of I-95. Well, there isn’t much water to begin with you have your typical ponds, reservoirs, and lakes. With those bodies of water they are usually controlled by the city, county and not the state, at least the ones that are reasonable driving distance. This is what was conveyed to me by various state game wardens. Therefore, it is prohibited to hunt on the waters. You are very limited on the bodies of water that you can hunt waterfowl. Luckily, west of I-95 blind laws don’t apply so you can navigate the waterways and setup shop where you want and hunt waterfowl. The only catch is you have to be at least 100 yards from any occupied structure (home, shed, garage, pool house, etc.). Where does all of this leave waterfowl hunters? Very frustrated! You are left with finding people that will allow you to hunt their blind, finding a guide that has blind spots, or Google mapping all of the bodies of water west of I-95 and calling VDGIF and seeing if hunting is permitted on the water. The other option is to find private ponds, and getting landowner permission. Let’s, just say that is very difficult because it seems like everyone in Northern VA is afraid of someone suing them for getting hurt while hunting on their property, or they just don’t want anyone on their land. Virginia, in my honest opinion is not a hunting friendly state. In regards, to public land, the state does a mediocre job at best in managing them. Most of the public land and wildlife management areas don’t provide good waterfowl hunting, and if they do it’s not that good. Not to mention, it’s like going to the mall during the holidays. The WMA is a parking lot, and you have idiots that shoot anything that moves or makes a move. You better wear your blaze orange!!!
I haven’t hunted other states, and I don’t know how VA compares to other states in regards to waterfowl laws and opportunities that are available. But, VA sucks IMHO! So for those of you that think that there are a lot of people like me who complain but don’t do anything about it. Let me say that I have talked and voiced my opinions to many game wardens. They feel many of our frustrations as waterfowl hunters. I have commuted to Richmond, VA to attend the annual Virginia public comment meetings regarding the waterfowl season, before the Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Seasons staff recommendations are made. The whole thing doesn’t seem to help the slightest bit.
Where does this leave waterfowl hunters like myself? We are left with very limited areas to hunt, and a lot of pressure in the areas that you can hunt waterfowl. I have a few spots that I can hunt west of I-95, but the waterfowl is very minimal, a lot of resident goose. The laws allow for a few to reap all of the benefits, and others like myself to struggle to hunt waterfowl. I had an interesting conversation with my wife the other evening, and I am almost better off hunting resident geese in September here in VA. Then in October going to ND and hunting for a week or two and calling it a season when I get back home and not even bothering with the state of VA when it comes to waterfowl hunting. I know for sure it would make my wife very happy. That is more weekends at home helping out, and her not feeling like a widow.
I just needed to rant and get this off my chest. Every year it’s the same outcome over and over again. If you’re new to hunting waterfowl in VA, you don’t own land with some sort of water that attracts waterfowl, don’t have a licensed blind, or have buddies that either own a blind, or share a blind with like 5 or 6 other people then you are SOL. Good luck with the limited number of areas that your actually entitled to hunt on. Believe me when I tell you that I have scouted and burned more gas then I can imagine trying to find spots to hunt waterfowl. I have knocked on land owners doors asking for permission, looked for blind spots. I have even asked individuals to split the cost of erecting, maintaining a blind, in return allowing me to hunt the blind when they are not using it, or when they have a spot available.
This is coming from someone that has grew up in VA all of their life and has fished and hunted the state for many years. I am 31 now and feel like I had more opportunities when I was younger than I do now. It’s almost like over the years with all of the development, law changes, and times have caused hunting to become more scarce and difficult to do. I have two girls that I would like to expose to the outdoors, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. But, who knows what will be available to them when they are 31 years old, with the rate laws are changing, and land being developed so fast.
 

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Vesal - Hey I met you at the Rapphanock club day last fall.

I moved here just over a year ago, it is hard to get on the birds. A lot of farms are leased up or no hunting allowed. But with that being said, I have a few farms that produce throughout the entire season. These farms aren't going to just fall into your laps...I worked hard to get sole permission on them (without $ btw). I'm mainly looking to goose and puddle duck hunt.

I haven't even looked into hunting E of 95. Don't care to deal with all that crap. It's truly a pain.

Don't even start talking about Sunday Hunting and how completely absurd that is!!!

If you want to get out and go hunting or train sometime, pm me
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Darn Vesal, can't you keep your RANT's 25 words or less for grimmies sake!! Just kidding, hunting here is tough that is for sure!! :)
 

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Interesting post.
In 2007, while in VA at the Master National, I was reading about the fights, sheriff complaints etc regarding hunters retrieving their hunting dogs from private land. At that time it was the law that you could enter private land to retrieve a hunting dog. The writer said that a large number of big city people were moving to mini farms and were not aware of various hunting laws. There was some kind of push on by the big city folks to repeal that law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting post.
In 2007, while in VA at the Master National, I was reading about the fights, sheriff complaints etc regarding hunters retrieving their hunting dogs from private land. At that time it was the law that you could enter private land to retrieve a hunting dog. The writer said that a large number of big city people were moving to mini farms and were not aware of various hunting laws. There was some kind of push on by the big city folks to repeal that law.
Happens a lot! I was hunting on one of the bodies of water west of I-95 that is allowed. The water is very popular among crew teams and clubs in the area. One September during resident goose I had a group of rowers follow us. They were yelling and making noises with the use of their megaphones. They were basically disturbing a lawful hunt. Another time I Had a lady come out her backyard about 600-700 yards away and use her blow horn to make noise and yell curse words at us. People will call 911 and make a complaint, just to be told that we are not braking the law and that it is our right. Of course the game warden then comes out and checks licenses, stamps, guns, ammo, etc. the whole thing can be a pain in the butt!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Had a warden tell a land owner to put a blind up to stop us from hunting a creek that I own land and live on . He shot at us and told warden he was shooting at the ducks but also said he was feeding them. lol Warden did nothing. I asked if I could hunt my land and warden told me yes. I said the guy at mouth of the creek is feeding ducks the Warden said I would get a ticket. I said so his right to feed the ducks takes away my right to hunt my land and he said I will not answer that. Blind laws do suck but keep looking you will find a good spot.
 

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Happens a lot! I was hunting on one of the bodies of water west of I-95 that is allowed. The water is very popular among crew teams and clubs in the area. One September during resident goose I had a group of rowers follow us. They were yelling and making noises with the use of their megaphones. They were basically disturbing a lawful hunt. Another time I Had a lady come out her backyard about 600-700 yards away and use her blow horn to make noise and yell curse words at us. People will call 911 and make a complaint, just to be told that we are not braking the law and that it is our right. Of course the game warden then comes out and checks licenses, stamps, guns, ammo, etc. the whole thing can be a pain in the butt!!!
File a counter complaint for hunter harassment
 

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Charlie,
How are things going? You should come out to the our next training day. Here is a pretty interesting article. Its a almost a year old, but the author does a better job getting the point across. http://www.wildfowlmag.com/locked-o...p-waterfowlers-from-hunting-public-water.html
Things are good! Thanks for asking. I will come out to a training day soon...I'm working through swim by now and in the process of buying a house in Fredericksburg. But I will get out to a training day soon.

If you want to get out during the regular season and hunt let me know. I'm not too sure if I will be able to find much during the September season. But I have plenty of birds and not enough people to help me hunt them.
 

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Maybe change your scouting strategy. Instead of scouting for blind spots scout for birds going into private land, then proceed to try and get permission to hunt that land. You may only get 1 out of 100 to say yes but its so worth it when they do.

I also found that when I talk about duck hunting and dog training non stop I have found random people that will speak and up and say "well ya I have some ducks that go into a creek behind my house." I have found most of my spots that way.
 

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maybe change your scouting strategy. Instead of scouting for blind spots scout for birds going into private land, then proceed to try and get permission to hunt that land. You may only get 1 out of 100 to say yes but its so worth it when they do.

I also found that when i talk about duck hunting and dog training non stop i have found random people that will speak and up and say "well ya i have some ducks that go into a creek behind my house." i have found most of my spots that way.

shhhhhhhhhhhhhh
 

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I feel your pain. I decided a few years ago to not hunt VA. I take my money and time and go where the birds are and the people want me there. MI, and AR are a few places I go. Life is to short to get frustrated looking for a place to hunt. A week in october and a week in Dec or Jan and I am good to go. I probably shoot at more birds in those 2 weeks than I ever did running around Va shooting 1 or 2 a day. I believe I save a little cash doing it this way and alot more fun.
 

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If this court case is found for the plaintiff it will quickly set a precedence for other land owners. Then you can forget about hunting any waters west of I95 too. Although this aticle concerns fishing rights it will also apply to hunting
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/294660
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If this court case is found for the plaintiff it will quickly set a precedence for other land owners. Then you can forget about hunting any waters west of I95 too. Although this aticle concerns fishing rights it will also apply to hunting
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/294660
Just ridiculous! I wish the state would just go ahead and figure this crap out. It a bunch of wasted time and money. This can become very bad for hunters alike. I have heard of owning land, but not water bottom, especially if its a river that many people have access on. Its sad that it has come down to this.
 

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Just ridiculous! I wish the state would just go ahead and figure this crap out. It a bunch of wasted time and money. This can become very bad for hunters alike. I have heard of owning land, but not water bottom, especially if its a river that many people have access on. Its sad that it has come down to this.

I gave up trying to do any sort of public "hunting" in VA.....upland birds, deer, waterfowl.....forget about it. The only way you can hunt without going through so much frustration is to hunt on private land. VA has become like NJ (me being a former Jersey resident, i know from experience)....people from northern NJ fight over what's little left to hunt in the northwestern part of the state while the rest flock south to southern NJ or north to NY state to hunt. Same thing with VA....northern VA hunters have to fight each other to hunt what's little left to hunt while the rest flock south, west to West Virginia, or north to Maryland(which is becoming close to VA in some respect).
 

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If this court case is found for the plaintiff it will quickly set a precedence for other land owners. Then you can forget about hunting any waters west of I95 too. Although this aticle concerns fishing rights it will also apply to hunting
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/294660
Try to keep us posted. I'd be interested to know how it comes out.
 

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Liberal proressive way of thinking, if they can't stop you from hunting all at once they will make it harder and harder for you thru the laws. I was stationed in England for a few years and a person has to be uber rich to even own a legal gun because of the progressive laws. We must take a stand or it will be over for all of us.
 
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