Mon09012014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Waterfowl hunters: Remove your expired blinds, stakes

Duck blinds are part of the scenery that is often viewed as boaters take rides up and down the local waterways. However, when blinds become an eyesore and are not kept up, they become a hazard to boaters and anglers too.
If you are a waterfowl hunter, you should know that off-shore waterfowl blind stakes must be removed 15 days after the waterfowl season closes. For all intents, our area is now closed to waterfowl hunting. There are some snow goose opportunities on the Northern Neck via the Snow Goose Conservation Order Season; however, by the end of the month even that season closes. Therefore all waterfowl blind stakes must be removed no later than April 12. This is noted on the blind license application and in our waterfowl pamphlet. Waterfowl blind stakes are legal and used in Essex, King George, Richmond and Westmoreland.

VDGIF Conservation Police Officers are planning to enforce the law very soon. It would be prudent to go remove your blind stake if you did not do so already. Also, stationary blinds that have old decals to include 2009 and prior will need to be removed. Blinds should be taken down and the materials disposed of properly. No one should dump the materials in the river.
Officers will begin scouting the rivers and local waters for old blinds and blind stakes. They will photograph the stake or blind and appropriate action will be taken with the owner. Please take the time to clean up your hunting area and remove old blinds and stakes. They can be an eyesore and a hazard to those of us who use the rivers and creeks year around.   
Anglers: Check your batteries before heading to the water.
BoatUS recently sent out a press release about the top five reasons boaters needed a tow last year. BoatUS Towing Services operates an on-the-water boat towing program nationwide. They report that there was an 8 percent increase in calls for tows last year.  
Their theory is that with the economy tight many boaters have tried to get by with less regular maintenance, which in turn has caused more problems.
Out of the top five reasons boaters needed to be towed battery failure was fourth until last year. Now it is the second highest occurring reason a tow is needed. General engine failures were the top reason.
Some boaters don’t maintain their boat battery over the winter or they try to milk every trip out of a declining battery before replacing it. Paying for one tow can equate to the cost of a battery. Also, some boaters purchase cheaper batteries that just will not hold up.
Check your battery now. If in doubt, have it tested. Now is a good time to replace corroded wiring too. If you are interested in joining BoatUS check them out at www.BoatUS.com They have unlimited towing for as little as $58 a year.  

Mark Fike

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