Urban archery season begins Sept. 7 in Galax

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By Staff Reports

The Galax Police Department is aiming to remind the public that its new urban archery season will begin Sept. 7.
This action was voted on by Galax City Council earlier this year, in order to help control the overpopulation of deer in the area.
The department’s public notice, issued last week, touched on important rules for the community to keep in mind when the season begins:
• Deer hunting and/or the discharge of archery equipment on city property are prohibited.

• Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is prohibited within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling.

• Hunting with bow and arrow is permitted on any residentially zoned parcel that consists of three acres or more, or parcels with concurrent boundaries that equal three acres or more. Archery hunting is prohibited in all other zoning districts at all times.
A zoning map can be found at www.galaxva.com by selecting the “Galax Map” link at the top of the web page and then selecting “Layers” at the top of the map. Check the “Zoning” box, and the map will show all zoning districts.
It is unlawful to hunt except from a stand elevated a minimum of 12 feet above the ground. Any disabled hunter unable to hunt from such platform must comply with all regulations established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

• You are not allowed to discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley or public place; or towards any building or dwelling in such a manner that the arrow may strike it.

• A hunter discharging a bow must use reasonable care to ensure the arrow does not cross any property line and enter any property on which the hunter does not have permission to hunt.
According to the city code, if an arrow crossed the boundary of a property where the archer does not have permission to hunt, the law assumes that the bow and arrow were not used with  “reasonable care.”
• Discharge of an arrow is permitted only in order to take a deer. No discharge of an arrow shall be made toward any animal other than a deer.

• The hunter is responsible for the disposition of the deer carcass to the local regional landfill. Carcasses must be double bagged.
Field dressing of deer must be by agreement between the landowner and hunter.
• The hunter must obtain written permission from the landowner before hunting and must carry a copy of the written permission at all times while hunting.

• If a deer that has been shot with an arrow leaves the property on which the hunter has permission to hunt, the hunter must obtain permission from any property owner over which the hunter must travel to retrieve the deer.

• It is unlawful to carry firearms while hunting with bow and arrow during the special archery seasons, except as allowed under state law.

• No person may use a dog or dogs to hunt deer in the city.
• In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season and during the late archery season (from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

More information about the season is available at the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries web site, www.dgif.virginia.gov.