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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 10, 2003
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Special hunt at Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve

(RICHMOND, Va.) - The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is accepting applications for a special waterfowl hunt at Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve in Northumberland County.

Hunt dates are Nov. 19 and 26, Dec. 3, 17, 24, and 31, 2003, and Jan. 7, 14, and 21, 2004. Hunters must apply and be chosen in a random drawing. Application deadline is Oct. 3, 2003.

"This controlled hunt allows us to serve the bird watching public six days a week, while responding to the interests of hunters who previously had no opportunity to hunt on this marsh," said Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Joseph H. Maroon. "We feel this is a balanced plan that gives everyone access to this unique resource."

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. Blind sites are accessible by water only. There are no boat launching facilities to blind sites from the preserve, nor is there land access. 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 shore blind sites. Floating blinds, if used, must be licensed and positioned at a distance of 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 2003-2004 HIP registration number. To obtain an HIP number, call 1-888-788-9772 or register online at www.dgif.state.va.us.

As with all DCR hunting opportunities, proof of completion of a hunter safety course is required. Hunters must carry a valid Hunter Safety Certificate during each hunt.
For information on hunting licenses, hunter safety education 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.state.va.us.

For a complete set of hunt rules and to receive an application, call (804) 786-7951. Applications may also be downloaded from the DCR web site at www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hunting.shtml.

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