- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown
There is nothing like the feel of a crisp fall morning and the smell of leaves that have fallen in the woods.
Fall in Virginia means hunting season, which, unfortunately, can mean hunting accidents. I am writing to remind everyone that hikers, horseback riders and hunters must all be considerate of one another while sharing the woods this hunting season. All non-hunters are urged to wear some form of visible hunter orange clothing while in the woods during hunting season.
In addition to wearing visible orange, recreational users are encouraged to stay on designated public use trails. Likewise, hunters should follow gun safety guidelines at all times and be considerate of trail users. Hunters also need to be respectful of landowners. If property is posted, it is unlawful to hunt without written permission of the landowner and is punishable by a fine of up to $2500 and/or 12 months in jail. If property is not posted, it is unlawful to hunt without permission of the landowner and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
As a landowner, it can be beneficial to allow hunters to access your property to aid in the management of wildlife. However, landowners should be mindful of granting permission only to those you know are responsible hunters that know the basics of hunting safety, understand the game laws, know the proper handling of a weapon and have a high regard for “hunter ethics.”
Even though the landowner is protected under VA code 29.1-509 from liability for injury or damages, (provided the landowner does not charge a fee for the land use), by permitting only conscientious hunters access to your property reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.
Hunting safety and common sense can be the difference between life and death; Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs before or while handling firearms, always treat a firearm as if it is loaded, and always be mindful of what is in front of and beyond your target before you pull the trigger. Be sure you are licensed and follow the rules of deer tags.
Any questions you may have should be directed to the Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries; 434-525- 7522 or log on www.dgif.virginia.gov.
Enjoy the season and please stay safe!