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Virginia hunters fire back at those who wish to ban hunting with dogs

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Hundreds of hunters gathered Thursday morning to protest a potential ban that would disallow hunting with dogs. The Virginia hunters, dressed in camouflage and orange hats, protested outside of a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries meeting.

They feared the board would vote on a ban or impose limits on where hunting with dogs can occur. The Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance said it organized the dog box rally after it heard of a potential vote on the issue. But no vote was scheduled.

But in fact, once inside the 160-person capacity meeting room, the board told hunters there was not even a proposal to ban hunting with dogs. The board then heard a planned report presentation from the Blue Ridge Lane Conservancy on the impact of deer hunting with dogs.

Plans for the rally started after the Virginia Landowners Association recently expressed disapproval over hunting with dogs citing invasion of dogs on private property, among other issues.

"We want to keep our hunting rights and our heritage," hunter Timothy Ittner said.

Deer Project Coordinator Nelson Lafon said there were no regulatory changes, nor legislative changes in the report.

"It’s basically looking at the issue further and getting people to continue talking to each other," Lafon said.