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Hunting in Virginia: Top Spots for Hunting in the Old Dominion State

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By    |   Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 12:19 AM

Virginia hunters account for a good portion of the state's economy in addition to helping manage the state's wildlife habitats. Paying close attention to harvest numbers and environmental changes ensures hunters a good chance at bagging game.

Here are some of the top spots for hunting in the Old Dominion State.

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1. Deer
The five-year average of deer killed in Virginia puts the counties of Loudoun, Bedford, Lancaster and Charles City at the top. These areas averaged between 10 to 12 deer killed per square mile from 2008 to 2012. The agricultural mix of these areas, which include hardwoods and good soils, is the primary reason for such a strong deer population. According to Game and Fish magazine, biologists predict these areas will continue to produce a robust take in the future.

2. Wild Turkeys
After a die-off in previous years, the turkey population was booming in 2013, which was considered a record year for hunters. Game and Fish magazine notes the best hunting in Virginia, based on harvest numbers, are South Piedmont and the Northern Neck. However, hunters should keep in mind that good turkey hunting exists throughout the state. It's just a matter of scouting skills to bag one.

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3. Bears
Bear hunters in 2014 experienced a large harvest, nearly 4 percent over previous years, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Harvest results note the top bear counties during the past two years include: Rockingham, Augusta, Bath and Rockbridge. Regulated bear hunting is the primary way Virginia controls the state's population.

"I think the state's bear hunters can take some of the credit for Virginia's bear numbers rising in many areas," Dave Steffen, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries research biologist supervisor, told Game and Fish magazine. "Many of the clubs and groups let some or most of their bears walk. I've heard of some groups that treed as many as 40 bears and let all but three of them go. Many of the clubs are also selecting to shoot only the older males."

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Virginia hunters account for a good portion of the state's economy in addition to helping manage the state's wildlife habitats. Paying close attention to harvest numbers and environmental changes ensures hunters a good chance at bagging game.
Virginia, hunting, top spots
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2015-19-06
Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 12:19 AM
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