State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hunting: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

The forests in the vicinity of New Kent Courthouse, always a famous resort for deer, are said to be filled with this favorite game to a greater extent the present season than ever. Large numbers have fallen at the crack of the huntsman's rifle, and a day or two since one expert killed two at once with a double hand gun.

-Alexandria Gazette, 29 Aug. 1867

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.
"Up until that point, hunting had been considered the right of every person in the state with no fees or bag limits. Now, knowledge of these new rules and regulations needed to be disseminated to the general public and new permits and licenses enforced.
Wardens were hired for every county in the Commonwealth from a list of  'suitable persons' selected and delivered by the town councils. Such willing individuals were provided 'with badges, copies of the game laws, application blanks for hunters’ licenses, notices to hunters to be posted in their counties, and … advised to travel their territories as much as possible.' "*

New Kent has always been one of the outstanding hunting counties of the Commonwealth, not merely in 1867 but down to this day. In May of this year the Department purchased some 2,600 acres in the county in the area of Ware Creek for a new Wildlife Management Area.

*- "A Brief History of Terrestrial Game Species Management in Virginia: 1900 – Present"
      Banisteria, Number 41, 2013 Virginia Natural History Society

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