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Director’s Message

Virginia Bird Hunting

Last year marked the 100-year anniversary of our Department as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Convention. Over the years, the management of migratory game birds has been driven by a number of very successful programs including one of the longest running wildlife surveys in the world (the May Breeding Waterfowl Population Survey), a cooperative and international management program through the Flyway Council Systems, and the implementation of Adaptive Harvest Management to guide waterfowl hunting regulations. As we enter our second century of migratory bird conservation in 2017-18, we are looking forward to a promising waterfowl season. Production forecasts are encouraging, with good habitat conditions reported in northern nesting areas, on the prairies, and locally in Virginia. Dove and other game bird populations are also doing well and, with a little help from Mother Nature, hold promise for some good wing-shooting.

In Virginia, we are fortunate to offer a wide variety of opportunities for bird hunters, including youth and apprentice hunters, from the warm days of September through the cold winter conditions in February. We have also added several new Wildlife Management Areas (including Ware Creek and Doe Creek) in the past several years to provide more public access for migratory bird hunters. Check out these and other Wildlife Management Areas on our website (www.dgif.virginia.gov/wma). So whether you like to chase timberdoodles, jacksnipe, marshhens, dippers, sprigtails, honkers, or some other wildfowl, I hope you have a chance to get out in the field with family and friends this year.

Bob Duncan

Executive Director, VDGIF