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Edmunds responds to constituent’s letter

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Del. James Edmunds sent the following letter to Tim Davis in response to his letter about fox penning that appeared in The Gazette’s  letters to the editor forum last Wednesday. Edmunds responded by email Monday to Davis’ letter before it was printed in the newspaper Wednesday.)

Hi Tim. 

To allay your suspicions regarding my relationship to Kirby Burch, I met Kirby for the first time when I was running for office.  I am not a member of the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance (nor have I ever been).  I come from a long line of hunters, and my Dad was a houndsman, although I choose to still hunt myself.

I have not received a campaign contribution from The Alliance, but I do not let anyone’s campaign contribution affect the way I vote on issues anyway.  

I do not associate myself with the remarks he (Kirby) made regarding the NRA and the other groups who support Sunday hunting.  

My decision to vote against it is strictly a personal one, and I believe that localities should be given the option to decide whether or not to allow it.  I can assure you that I receive 10 letters to one in opposition to Sunday hunting from my district.

In regards to my support for fox penning, the pens are only used for chase purposes, not shooting. 

I appreciate your passion but know that I share the same passion for the future of hunting myself, and I stand by my remarks as quoted in the Roanoke Times.  There are two very clear sides to this issue, and each is equally as passionate as the other. 

If I recall, the chase season on coon hunting was only extended until 6 a.m.  Those who hunt their respective game at night (starting Saturday night) didn’t want to have to quit at 12 a.m.  

I have not chased with hounds on Sunday.  I don’t have hounds.  Haven’t since 1988.

I too have kids and a son who would rather hunt than eat (he’s 13).  The divide I speak of is the divide that exists among those who want to hunt and those who don’t.  

Understand, as a state, we are in the small minority of people who hunt, so our image needs to be maintained as best we can.  

Regarding the letters I receive, almost all are from hunters.  

I hope this note, although probably not to your approval, will clear up the concerns you have.

James Edmunds



Shame on our school board

To the editor:

First of all, I would like to congratulate Mrs. Hatcher and her daughter for letting the people of Halifax County know what kind of people we have on our county school board and in our school administration who would treat a child the way they did in our middle school cafeteria.

The very idea of throwing away her lunch in the trash can because she owed a lunch tab is unbelievable, and then to offer her water and crackers. That was very cruel and embarrassing.

I think some very, very serious actions should be taken in this matter.

I say fire all of the school board members and don’t start with the chairman, go to the top with the administration and come on down to the bottom.

They are all too educated to be on our school board. They don’t have the wisdom and knowledge and understanding to lead. And now come the apologies. Well, it’s too late. The hurt and damage has already been done to that child.

I know God said to forgive one another, and I do, but I don’t forget.

No one in their right minds would have put such a rule like that in a school procedure.

We the people of Halifax County do not have a school board or administration, we have a jail house school board.

And now my heart goes out to Mrs. Hatcher and her daughter. I have never laid eyes on ya’ll. But you have my love and God’s love. 

I want to say more to this school board, but I can’t because the newspaper can’t print what I want to say to them.

Don’t worry, they, the school board members, will be coming up for reelection soon, and God is still in charge.

“God bless America.”

Robert C. Richardson



Foxhound training preserves clarification 

To the editor:

I would like to clarify to your readers some recently posted misinformation concerning the Foxhound Training Preserves. These enclosures are closely regulated by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The regulations can be viewed online under “permits” on the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries home page. 

I feel that there are a few regulations from this section that I must list to clear up any misunderstandings. These are taken directly from the application requirements but listed so as to clear any discrepancies and may or may not be written as a whole under the particular article of the regulation.  

Fencing requirements, fencing for a foxhound training preserve must be capable of preventing foxes and hounds from entering or escaping the enclosure.

Minimum size of a foxhound training preserve shall be 100 contiguous acres completely fenced.

All foxhound training preserves shall provide the necessary habitat to meet the food, water and cover requirements of wild foxes.

It will be incumbent upon the permittee to exercise good stewardship of the wildlife resources on their preserves. 

Dog – proof escape areas (natural or artificial) shall be available at a rate of 1 per 20 acres of enclosure and must be readily available.

Hunting of any species other than foxes is prohibited within the preserve unless otherwise provided by the department.

Nothing in the permit is intended to authorize the buying or selling of live wild animals. Wild animals are and remain the property of the commonwealth. 

Non compliance with any of the regulations is punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor.

As you can see by just these few regulations there is absolutely no intent in the preserves to kill or harm the fox. Typically the fox goes to ground (hole or escape) or simply cuts and darts to throw the hounds off his scent thus leaving the hounds to continue to hunt for another track.

It is mostly left up to the fox as to how long it wants to be pursued. With that being said, it is very important to understand that firearms are prohibited by the permittee of the Foxhound Training Preserve. 

All too often when the word hunting is used it is directly associated with killing, this is by no means the case pertaining to the preserves. I encourage anyone with concerns to read the regulations, contact the Virginia Pen Owners Association or the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance for more information before jumping to conclusions or uninformed decisions. 

Lastly, all hunters must stand together and fight for our hunting rights no matter what style he or she chooses. I assure you that there are organizations such as the Humane Society and PETA that have heavily funded lobbyists working around the clock preparing legislation and will masquerade it by using emotionally charged propaganda with the full intention of destroying hunting completely. 

We as hunters, all have a dog in the hunt.

Respectfully submitted

Scott and Rhonda Griles