PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - An alert for hunters as deer season approaches. Those in Prince George County are encouraged to take note of a few new rules.
There are two major changes. The first, gives hunters more flexibility. It reduces how far a hunter must go into a wooded area. Before, a hunter needed to be 300 feet from a state maintained road while hunting. Now, it's 50 feet.
"When in was 300 feet into a wooded area, in many instances they couldn't detect where the roadway was. It was felt hunters could shoot into the roadway from that distance not knowing exactly where it was," said John Kines Jr., County Administrator.
There's also a new ban on hunting within 300 feet of any occupied building or public gathering place, but there is an exception to that rule.
"If a homeowner gives permission for a hunter to be closer than 300 feet to the home, then they can hunt closer than 300 feet in those instances," Kines said.
County leaders say the new rules are, in part, a result of residents voicing safety concerns.
"The board of supervisors supports hunting and wants the sport to flourish in the county - but they also want to make sure residents and homeowners are protected and that there is a certain buffer area of safety between this types of uses," he said.
These hunters say they don't mind the changes.
"300 feet is as close as you want to get to a dwelling," said deer hunter James Moot.
James moot has hunted for 20 years. He says the new rules will better protect him and others.
These new rules take effect immediately.