Hunting in Cumberland

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019


Hunting season in Cumberland County begins with the broken down unmufflered, unlicensed trucks ripping up our driveway from dusk ‘til dawn. The excuse to the incessant trespassing is the hunters are looking for their lost dogs. But the gunshots and spotlighting well after dark reveal the true intent of their seasonal harassment.

Then there’s the cleanup. This starts with the beer cans and assorted liquor bottles in the woods and on the roadsides beginning around Thanksgiving. It continues with discovering butchered deer parts in and around and on our property.

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Lost hunting dogs living on roadkill to survive often wind up as roadkill themselves. Dogs that didn’t prove themselves worthy are abandoned by their hunting owners. Of those, the lucky ones wake up in overcrowded local animal shelters and pounds — doomed to never finding their forever homes but euthanasia instead.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end after the first Saturday in January, the official close of deer hunting season in Virginia. Some hunters, many jobless itinerants, join the crews of tree trimming companies contracted out to oversee easement maintenance for the electrical utilities. This is when the ne’er do wells exact their revenge on anyone that stood in their way during hunting season. If you dared report one of these hunters to authorities for trespassing and/or illegal hunting — and they’re now a tree crew member — learn to expect orchard annihilation under the guise of authority. To destroy a dwarf fruit tree when a taller, diseased pine lies only yards away can’t be chocked up to mere incompetence.

I have lived in Cumberland County for 25 years, yet I still don’t understand many of the family values traditions in Virginia. With the Commonwealth’s current scandals being watched by the entire world, I’m scarcely alone in my contempt. Old times need not be forgotten. They just need to end.

Virginia McCown