ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Here is a round-up of the latest outdoor news from across Virginia and the region.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) reports coyote mating season is from now until March. Caution is urged in areas with high concentrations of the animals. Coyotes become more active during mating season, and they are often more visible in populated areas.
Pet owners are urged to be aware. Male coyotes become more territorial during mating season. Adult dogs can be perceived as a threat to territory by male coyotes. Smaller pets can often be targeted by coyotes as food supplies grow short in the winter.
Though coyotes present little threat to humans, if they become aggressive toward people, they must be reported to local animal control and to the DWR.
All-Year Deer Hunting Bill
Proposed legislation to allow year-round deer hunting in Virginia has been tabled in committee by lawmakers in Richmond. The proposal would have done away with deer seasons and allowed deer hunting on private property all year long.
The bill was sponsored by Floyd County Delegate Marie March.
While the bill is not technically dead, lawmakers say it is unlikely to be revived in this legislative session.
A bill to place a two year moratorium on menhaden reduction fishing in the Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay has been tabled in the Virginia General Assembly.
The bill would have stopped reduction fishing for menhaden until a scientific assessment could be made on the health of menhaden numbers in the Chesapeake.
Virginia is the only state on the east coast to allow reduction fishing in estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay.
Sportfishing and conservation groups claim menhaden are being overfished, and that the decline in the forage fish has led to a drop in gamefish numbers.
Omega Protein, which runs the largest reduction fishery on the bay and catches the for use in fish oil and fish meal, refutes the claims of overfishing. The company alleges gamefish numbers are down because of overfishing by sportfish anglers.
Because it has been tabled, the bill is given little chance of being revived for consideration in this legislative session.