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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 22, 2004
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Waterfowl Hunt at State Natural Area Preserves

(RICHMOND, Va.) - The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is accepting applications for a managed waterfowl hunt at Dameron Marsh and Hughlett Point natural area preserves in Northumberland County.

Hunt dates are Nov. 23 and 30, Dec. 14, 21 and 28, 2004, and Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2005. Hunters must apply and be chosen in a random drawing. Application deadline is Oct. 15, 2004.

"These controlled hunts allow us to serve the bird watching public six days a week, while responding to the interests of hunters who previously had no opportunities to hunt on these marshes," said Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Joseph H. Maroon. "This balanced plan gives everyone access to this unique resource and allows us to help manage the wildlife resources on this property."

Successful applicants will be issued a non-transferable permit that must be in possession while hunting. Each permit holder will be allowed up to two guests only. A maximum of four blind sites will be available per hunt day.

A limited number of "walk-in" blind sites are accessible by land but most can be reached only by water. There are no boat launch facilities at either preserve. Permit holders should scout the area in advance for boat launch sites and to become familiar with navigating the area's exposed and shallow waters. Water depth and conditions vary drastically with wind direction and tide.

Hunting is permitted only from assigned sites; however, hunters may use either the stationary blinds provided at each site or their own floating blinds. Floating blinds must be licensed and positioned at a distance no greater than 100 feet from the assigned shore blind site. The use of retrieving dogs is strongly encouraged.

Hunting hours are a half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. Hunting will end at 1 p.m., and hunters must pickup decoys and be away from the blind site by 2 p.m.

Only U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service approved non-toxic shot is allowed. Each hunter can carry only 25 rounds of ammunition per day.

All state and federal migratory bird regulations and laws apply during the hunt. Hunters must possess a federal migratory waterfowl stamp, a state hunting license and a 2004-2005 HIP registration number. To obtain a HIP number, call 1-888-788-9772 or register online at www.dgif.virginia.gov.

In addition, prospective hunters are required to complete a hunter education course in order to participate. Each hunter must carry a valid hunter safety certificate during their hunt.

For information on hunting licenses, hunter safety education classes and hunting regulations, call the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at (804) 367-1000 or visit the DGIF web site at www.dgif.virginia.gov.

For a complete set of hunt rules and to receive an application, call DCR at (804) 225-4856. Applications may also be downloaded at www.dcr.virginia.gov.

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