HAMPTON, Va. – With opening day of the Canadian goose season beginning Saturday, there have been many questions raised from both hunters and homeowners regarding migratory gamebird hunting; more specifically, when it comes to hunting from either stationary or mobile blinds located within the Chesapeake Bay.
According to the Hampton Police Department, any hunter wishing to hunt from a mobile or stationary blind located within the Chesapeake Bay must first ensure that the hunting blind from which they are choosing to hunt from has been inspected and is registered with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
In the consideration of safety for all involved, hunters must be mindful of Hampton City Codes 40–17 and 40–20 which can be seen below:
Hampton City Code Section 40–17. — Discharge near dwelling, occupied structure or street.(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge shots, bullets, pellets or any similar thing from a firearm, air gun, spring gun, pellet gun or similar implement within five hundred (500) feet of any dwelling or occupied structure or any street, alley or other public way in the city.
Hampton City Code Section 40–20. — Discharge over bodies of water. (a) The discharge or use of a firearm air gun, spring gun, pellet gun or similar implement over bodies of water within the jurisdiction of the city is prohibited, except from blinds licensed by the commonwealth. The discharge or use of a rifle or pistol or a shotgun while loaded with slugs from such licensed blinds is prohibited. Further, no firearm, other than a shotgun loaded with shot not heavier than double ought buckshot, shall be discharged from such blind and no shot shall be discharged landward within five hundred (500) feet of the shoreline.
Shooting hours, possession limits and other exceptions can be located on the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
The Hampton Police Division’s Homeland Security Boat Unit and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will both be patrolling the waters of the Chesapeake Bay this weekend to assist with any questions or concerns regarding this matter.