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10/4/2013 - Accomack Board hears comments on deer hunting with dogs - Click here to print this information

At Thursday nights called meeting of the Accomack County Board of Supervisors, the primary subject was Deer hunting with dogs, but the first order of business was a request from Riverside Memorial Hospital to extend their special use permit. A motion was made to do so and passed with a unanimous vote.

The notice to public hearing reads: Shall the Accomack County Supervisors petition the Virginia board of Game and Inland fisheries to amend the Virginia Hunting Regulations to prohibit deer hunting with hunting dogs in Accomack County.

Twenty eight people spoke for or against this motion, 17 for the motion and 11 against. Comments for the motion were mostly related to property rights disrespect as to hunters and dogs running loose on their property. All of the speakers for the motion told stories about loose dogs, abandoned dogs, damage by dogs and simply the taking away of property rights of landowners. All of these speakers were from Accomack County. The Virginia Dog Hunting Alliance of Virginia was represented by Kirby Burch who was one of the eleven speakers. Several hunt clubs were represented by their presidents or chairmen. Most of the balance of the eleven speakers came from long time Accomack county residents saying they had hunted deer with dogs in Accomack County for many years with some saying it was the "come-heres" that wanted change, with others just saying it was a way of life.

When the Public Hearing was closed Mr. Hart Chairman asked the board if they wanted to vote on the motion. Ms. Thornton spoke first saying she had lost animals from her business from just dogs on the island that were pets and she understood what land-owners were going through. Jack Gray then asked for a delay until he could speak to more citizens. Grayson Chesser then said he too would like to delay the vote until he could think about the issue and speak to residents of his district. Reneta Major then said she had family members with hunting dogs and needed time to think about this issue. Laura Belle Gordy explained that the decision was up to Game and Inland Fisheries and that the Board of Supervisors could only make a recommendation. Kay Lewis comment was that this motion had been on the docket for a long time and any kind of delay was not necessary. Robert Crockett and Ron Wolff made no comment.
After some discussion with the County Attorney Mark Taylor, Ms. Thornton made a motion to vote on this issue at the next regular meeting scheduled for October 16. This motion passed with only Mr. Chesser voting no.

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