Taste the Difference of Local Dry Aged Beef from Big Whiskey Cattle Co. 

By Rebecca Maynard

We’ve all heard the phrase “buy local,” and Ruth Almeter of Big Whiskey Cattle Co. in White Post is truly passionate about 
its importance.

Almeter, who owns the Big Whiskey Cattle Co. ranch with her husband, Paul, and seven children, said that choosing to buy even one item from a local farm rather than a supermarket makes a difference.

“The rate at which small family owned farms are disappearing is staggering,” she said. “Supporting local agriculture supports the community, and without that support, farms won’t continue to go.”

Almeter and her husband both grew up on dairy farms and met at a country western bar in Alexandria. 

“I knew I wanted the country life,” Almeter said. “I love the different seasons and the rhythms, like the fall 
calving season.”

“We work hard to raise a quality product from start to finish,” she said. “That begins with great genetics in our herd for things like steak size and marbling, as well as ease of calving and birth weight and size. We graze our cows on our pastures their whole life, creating stress free days for them. In addition to pasture grass, we finish our beef with oats and barley for an extended finish time of 180 days on free choice 
finish feed. 

“We also dry-age the whole carcass 28 days, longer than the industry standard, giving premium flavor and tenderness to every cut. Everyone knows the saying ‘What you put in is what you get out.’ It couldn’t be truer for our beef. We put in extra time, energy, and attention into our herd, and in return we get better tasting beef to offer 
our customers.”

Almeter says beef that is dry-aged has additional off the charts flavor and tenderness. It requires extra time, commitment, and cost, but it is worth it in the end when you slice a steak like butter or bite into a burger packed with flavor. “It locks in the flavor, even ground beef,” Almeter said, explaining that her family loves burgers seasoned with nothing but salt, because the beef has so much of its own flavor.

Not all protein is the same, she explained. Beef benefits from aging after slaughter to promote tenderness and intensify flavor. Most of the beef in the United States today is rushed from slaughter, prepped for transport, delivered to grocery stores and butchered into cuts.

Big Whiskey Cattle Co. delivers locally once a month, with September 6 as the next delivery date. Orders can also be picked up at the ranch anytime, and pricing information can be found at www.bigwhiskeybeef.com.

“We put a lot of love and work into those animals,” Almeter said. “I did not expect to love it as much as I do.”

Banner Year For Smooch-a-Moo Fundraiser

For the third year, Friday evening at the Clarke County Fair included the Smooch-a-Moo fundraiser prior to the livestock auction. Throughout the week, people made donations to “vote” for one of four contestants. And, by agreeing to kiss a cow in front of a standing-room-only auction crowd, the participants this year raised $1,113 for the Clarke County 4-H Volunteer Leaders’ Association. 

Pastor Jonathan Bunker of Berryville Presbyterian Churc won by earning the most money; however, all the Smooch-a-Moo contestants wanted to kiss the cow. They were Virginia State Police Trooper Brandon Trevon “Tre” Taylor, Virginia Senate District 1 candidate Timmy French, and 2023 Miss Clarke County Fair Noelle Whalen. This year’s Moo-cow was Fiesta, a very patient 5-month-old Holstein shown by 12-year-old 
Madisyn Carter. 

Adventures in ChatThing

Keto Pizza Dough For Anti-Diabetes Warriors

By David Lillard

Remember when dietary fat was our mortal enemy? So food companies started loading up foods with sugar and carbohydrates so that they would taste like, well, food?

That’s the way I was eating back in June 2013 when I found myself in the ER having a stent implanted into my right coronary artery. At the time I’d been running three to five miles a day and eating what was considered a healthy diet. My weight hadn’t changed much since I’d graduated high school in 1978. What’s up with that, I asked.

I was otherwise healthy; the doctor administering a follow-up stress test said, “Go climb a mountain. You’re fine. Follow all the orders.”

“You should stop eating meat and dairy,” was one of the first orders issued. “Maybe not altogether, but mostly. And eat mostly grains and legumes, like the pyramid,” he said referring to the USDA recommendations.

So I embraced a largely vegetarian and vegan way of eating. I never completely gave up eating flesh, but I restricted it to a few times a week. I did, however, take the advice of nearly eliminating sugar from my life. Gone were my Sunday night brownie sundaes, the tray of which I typically finished off on Tuesday — making for three nights of brownies.

I tried to follow all the new rules.

Learn to manage stress. Check. Breathing, meditation, sledge hammer — nothing like demolition work to help 
with stress!

Learn to sleep. Check. I went from getting five hours a night to eight. Sleep is good.

Cut back on dessert. Check. Not only were brownies gone, so too the bedtime Cap’n Crunch or Cocoa Krispies. After a couple months, they were long forgotten. Forever. Now it’s just the occasional pies I bake. No other sugar.

Eat a high carbohydrate diet. Check. I ate whole grains, lots of them, whole wheat pasta — a.k.a. cardboard — dense rye bread, lentil beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, lima beans (my fave), pinto beans, you get it. Beans. I don’t mean processed carbs. My ho ho days, ring dings — all of it, gone. I mean whole food carbs. I’d hit 30 grams of fiber by mid afternoon.

I watched veggie flicks over and over. I read the China Study and watched the Forks Over Knives movie. I watched all kinds of films about high-carb, low-fat, vegan living. 

You’re killing yourself

Fast forward. It’s 2023. 
I have no complaints about my plant-based diet. 
I love veggies and fruit. I love to grill some meat and make it last all week. 
I’m good. 

So you can imagine my surprise when, at my intake appointment with a new doc in January, the doc says to me after I get my finger pricked, “What are doing to manage your diabetes?”

My what?

Apparently there is this thing called A1C, short for, “Have I mentioned the three to five miles a day and following the dietary guidelines the way gulls follow a garbage truck?” Mine was higher than modern medicine — the people who were coaching me to my demise in the first place — wanted it to be. Not diabetic. Pre-diabetic is the term. 

I told the doc what I eat, which is what medical science told me to eat. There are a lot of beans involved. Nuts, seeds; I eat like the nuthatches and chickadees I feed in winter. And the rest of it. 

“You’re killing yourself,” the doc says, maybe not in those words but pretty much. “Way too many carbs.” I was eating healthy foods, but too much of it. It’s like eating sugar at every meal. Sugar? Beans and whole grains are sugar? 
Chemically, yes.

Have you ever seen Phineas and Ferb? Their sister Candis does this thing: But, but, but. But, but, but. That’s what I said. But I was told to get 65 percent of my calories 
from carbohydrates!

I’m reminded of a New Yorker cartoon, in which a patient says to her doctor, something like: “So I’ve been following your advice for 20 years, and you’re telling me I’m doomed…”

“You’re killing yourself,” he said again. No bread. No pasta. No sandwiches. Forget it. No fruit. No beans — That was the last straw. Eat meat, protein. “Go get a cheese steak salad. Enjoy!” Go figure.

Fortunately, we live in a place where locally, naturally raised meat and poultry is plentiful. But still, what about life’s most essential food: pizza?

Keto Fathead Pizza Crust from Wholesome Yum

So, I’m doing it. A diet that celebrates chicken wings, sour cream, cheese, eggs, and all things keto. The idea is basically put your body into a state of ketosis, in which your fat cells produce the energy typically provided by glucose. 

But I make one of the world’s best pizza crusts, as I’ve been told by many who have eaten it, including my kids. How to get beyond that?

Introducing Fat Head Pizza Dough, from Maya Krampf  and the WholesomeYum.comwholesomeyum.com/cookbook. This is one of many so-called keto recipes, crafted to keep your blood sugar and A1C lower. Check out the recipes on Wholesome Yum. Maya’s recipe is delicious. You won’t mistake it for a wheat crust; but it’s really good, and you can hold it in your hand without it wilting.

Keto pizza with 
almond flour

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)

2 tbsp cream cheese (cut into cubes)

1 large egg (beaten)

3/4 cup blanched almond flour (they recommend Wholesome Yum, of course)Instructions

Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. (Or for best results, preheat a pizza stone in the oven and line a pizza peel with parchment paper for preparing the keto pizza crust.)

Mix flour and eggs: In a large bowl or in a food processor, mix the egg(s) and almond flour. (A food processor will make a fluffier crust and is easier, but it’s fine to do this by hand if you prefer.)

Melt cheeses: In a medium bowl, combine the shredded mozzarella and cubed cream cheese. Microwave for 90 seconds, stirring halfway through. Stir again at the end until well incorporated. (If you prefer not to use the microwave, melt the cheeses in a double boiler on the stove instead.)

Combine: Add the melted cheeses to the flour mixture. Process in the food processor or knead with your hands (depending on the method you are using), until a uniform dough forms, with no streaks. If the cheese hardens before it fully mixes into the flour mixture, you can microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften it.

Form crust: Spread the dough onto the lined baking pan or pizza peel to 1/4” or 1/3” thickness, using your hands or a rolling pin over a piece of parchment (the rolling pin works better if you have one). Use a toothpick or fork to poke lots of holes throughout the crust to prevent bubbling.

Bake: Bake for 6 minutes. (If using a pizza stone, slide the parchment paper from the pizza peel to the stone.) Poke more holes in any places where you see bubbles forming. Bake for 3-7 more minutes, until lightly golden. (Don’t let the crust get too dark at this step, or the edges will burn by the time you cook the pizza with toppings.)

To make keto pizza: Pre-bake the crust as instructed above. Top with sauce and toppings and return to the oven, either directly on the pizza stone or directly on the oven rack (no parchment paper), for about 10 minutes, until hot. If desired, place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese.

For lots of recipes, including gluten free ones, and cookbooks and products you might not find locally, 
visit WholesomeYum.com.

Clarke County Producer Has A TV Comedy

By David Lillard

Some of the most memorable television comedies are rooted in workplace antics. In shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation, the mundane becomes surreal; the quirky becomes absurd. Enter TEETH, a new WebTV sit-com created by Berryville’s Ben Hartland. It features a zany cast of characters played by local actors that inhabit the world of a dentist office. Many of the show’s stories emerge from two local dental offices where Hartland works as a nurse anesthetist. Others come from the cast who are amateur actors, but real-life dental professionals.

TEETH centers around a suburban-raised nurse anesthetist who moves his family to his in-laws’ farm and finds employment at a wacky dental office. He must find a balance between his ineptitude at farm life and a dental office with eccentric patients and quirky staff. Anesthesia isn’t the only element draws from his own life: He and his wife and kids do, indeed, live on the family farm just 
outside Berryville.

They grew from the entertaining stories Hartland would tell friends, stories accumulated from the office. Finally one friend suggested he turn the fodder into a show. Having never written a TV show — or watched a lot of it — he thought, why not? So he wrote an episode. “My friend suggested I write a pilot,” Hartland said. “And I said, what’s a pilot?” Yes, he was new 
to television.

If it sounds a bit like learning to sail while building a boat, that’s just the beginning. The making of the show could one day be a show in itself.

To Hartland’s delight, the pilot got some notice. TEETH one of three winners in 2023 Scriptapalooza TV Contest, earned a top 10 percent ranking on Coverfly, and reached the semifinals of ScreenCraft 
Comedy Competition.

Still, he says, only half joking, “Writing was the easy part.” After he wrote six full episodes, friends suggested filming them. Once again, having never produced a show before, Hartland thought, “Why not?” 

Production meetings started in January, and by May they were ready to go. They would shoot two episodes. Everyone was volunteering their time: actors, editor/cinematographers, producers, and even, eventually, Broadway and national touring actor Michael McCoy. All of them were fitting this in around day jobs as dentists, nurses, and 
dental assistants.

“We learned a lot,” Hartland says. They started editing — not final editing, just rough cuts to turn over to a pro. “I realized it was too much,” he said. Too much that wasn’t what he wanted it to be.

Despite the great excitement and dedication, Hartland and his creative got an answer to the “why not” question. Because you do the pilot first! That’s how you figure out the characters, the holes in the story line, the production issues. It’s what business developers call proof of concept.

So he made a tough decision. “Let’s stop and re-do. Let’s combine Episode One and Two into a new pilot.”

He also learned about the amount of time it takes to write, direct, act, cast, and then edit. “I have a two kids and a farm!” he said, without mentioning a day job.

Twenty actors were involved in filming the new pilot. Now that it’s in the can, it’s in post-production (editing, styling, adding the music, etc.), with a launch planned for October. 

You can be one of the first to watch the pilot, plus you can meet all the actors and crew, by visiting www.teethtvshow.com. Read about the people. Sign up for email notifications. Consider pitching in a few bucks to support a local 
creative enterprise.

Hammer-Headed Flatworms Have Been Here A Long Time

By Doug Pifer

I was about to open the front gate when I spied a small worm crawling across my muddy tire track. Its golden color made me go back for a second look. Surprisingly, the front end of the worm resembled a hammerhead shark. As I returned with my cell phone to take a snapshot for identification purposes, the worm showed no alarm but seemed to flow over the ground like water. A quick search revealed it was exactly what it looked like, a hammerhead flatworm.

Hammerhead flatworms, recently touted as our latest alien threat, have been in the USA since 1891. It is believed they were introduced here accidentally through imported garden and landscaping materials from Southeast Asia. These creatures are possibly more common than they seem. The first and only one I saw was out and about in the early morning after a rain, which is when most of them are visible in the open. They would be difficult to find during dry spells. 

According to one source, at one time these worms were so plentiful in New Orleans they were used as demonstration specimens in biology classes. Hammerhead worms have become very prevalent in greenhouses throughout the country, so you may already have introduced them into your garden. Because they are voracious predators of earthworms, they are often a nuisance on earthworm farms. 

Gardeners might want to kill any hammerhead flatworms they see. But don’t squash or cut a flatworm into pieces with a shovel. The flatworm can reproduce by regeneration, which means the broken pieces are able to survive and become 
new worms. 

Sexual reproduction has not been observed, but these flatworms are known to lay eggs. Their typical way of reproducing is to regenerate themselves by fragmentation. A flatworm pinches or constricts the rear part of itself until it breaks off. The piece of worm left behind eventually develops a new head and lives on. This leads some people to call the animal “immortal,” which is not 
exactly true.

Here’s the preferred method of destroying a hammerhead flatworm. Wearing plastic or gardening gloves, place the creature in a sealable plastic bag and add table salt or 30 percent (cleaning grade) vinegar. Some sources additionally suggest placing the sealed plastic bag in a freezer for at least 24 hours before discarding to ensure the worm is dead.

Hammerhead flatworms are between four and eight inches long, sometimes longer. Unlike tomato worms which are immature insects, hammerheads are free-living flatworms, related to the parasitic tapeworms and liver flukes. The scientific genus name of this worm, Bipalium, means “two shovels, having a head shaped like a pickaxe.” Also known as broadhead planarians, they have become established in many tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Several species are now found throughout the United States, most commonly in the hotter, more humid regions of the southeast. 

The distinctive, half-moon shaped head contains sensory organs that help the worm locate its earthworm prey. Its method of feeding, rather gruesome, involves secreting a neurotoxin that immobilizes the earthworm. Then the flatworm digests the earthworm directly through the flatworm’s stomach, located on the underside of its body. Flatworms may not be permanent or abundant enough in an area to decimate earthworm populations. They also prey upon snails, slugs, and certain soft bodied insects. 

They also frequently eat each other. Otherwise, they have few natural enemies. The neurotoxin they secrete makes them distasteful or sickening to predators and is their 
only defense. 

The negative label “invasive” is often applied to species that have been introduced into this country. Often invasives out-compete native species, sometimes even diminishing entire populations. In the case of this flatworm, however, the earthworms it feeds upon are also invasive species. Most of the earthworms we see around here are species that have been brought in or accidentally introduced from other countries and have taken over the soil once populated by our native American earthworms.

Why are ratepayers footing the bill for Virginia’s data center buildout?

By Ivy Main

Virginia’s embrace of the data center industry produced new fallout this spring when Dominion Energy Virginia released its latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). With data center growth the “key driver,” Dominion projects a massive increase in the demand for electricity. As a result, the utility claims the state-mandated transition to clean energy is now impossible to achieve. 

Jettisoning its commitment to the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), Dominion proposes to keep running uneconomic coal and biomass plants that were previously slated for closure, build a new fossil gas plant and pay penalties instead of meeting state renewable energy targets, all of which mean higher costs for customers.

As I said at the time, this IRP is primarily a political document aimed at currying favor with a gas-loving governor. It is not a serious plan. For example, a Sierra Club filing with the State Corporation Commission describes how Dominion put artificial constraints into its computer modeling (including limits on new solar) to ensure the plan came out fossil-friendly. Moreover, Dominion’s demand projections are inflated, according to the clean energy industry group Advanced Energy United.But for the sake of discussion, let’s take the IRP at face value. And in that case, I have some questions. How did Dominion let itself get blindsided by the data center growth spurt? Why are the rest of us expected to pay for infrastructure that’s only needed for data centers? Does the Governor understand that his deal to bring another $35 billion worth of new Amazon data centers to Virginia  is driving up energy rates for everyone else? 

Oh, and while I’m at it, are tech company commitments to sourcing renewable energy just a pack of lies?

Virginia’s data center problem is well known. Northern Virginia has the largest concentration of data centers in the world, by far. Data centers are Dominion’s single largest category of commercial power users, already consuming more than 21% of total electricity supply and slated to hit 50% by 2038. In addition to the new generation that will be required, data centers need grid upgrades including new transmission lines, transformers and breakers, with the costs spread to all ratepayers. 

Residents are not happy. Controversy around data centers’ diesel generators, their water use, noise and visual impacts have spread outward from Loudoun County into Prince William, Fauquier, and even other parts of Virginia as massive new developments are proposed. 

Data center developers don’t build without assurance they will have access to the huge amount of electricity they need for their operations, so they have to start discussions with their utility early. Yet in July of 2022, Dominion stunned the data center industry by warning it would not be able to meet new demand in Loudoun County until 2025 or 2026. The utility said, however, that the problem was not generating capacity, but transmission. 
So, what gives?

Not that it would be better if Dominion anticipated the oncoming tsunami but kept it secret until this spring. You have to wonder whether the General Assembly would have approved hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and tax subsidies for new Amazon data centers in February if legislators understood the effect would be to upend the VCEA and drive up energy costs for residents. 

Some Republicans are no doubt pleased that Dominion’s IRP undermines the VCEA, but they shouldn’t be. Dominion proposes keeping coal plants open not for economic reasons, but in spite of them. These plants were slated for closure in previous IRPs because they were costing ratepayers too much money. Now Dominion says it needs more generating capacity and can’t (or rather, won’t) build enough low-cost solar to keep up with new data 
center demand.

Dominion also proposes to build a new methane gas combustion “peaker” plant that wasn’t in its last IRP, and again the company points to data center growth as the 
reason. Peaker plants are an expensive way to generate power; on average, the cost of energy from gas combustion is about double that of a solar/storage combination, or even triple once you factor in federal clean 
energy incentives.

Keeping the fossil fuel party going instead of embracing more solar isn’t the only way this IRP drives rates higher for customers. Limiting its solar investments means Dominion expects to miss the VCEA’s renewable energy percentage targets by a mile. The shortfall would subject Dominion to significant penalties. The kicker is, Dominion can pass the cost of those penalties  on to ratepayers, too. 

Regardless of your political persuasion, then, this IRP is bad news for 
Virginia consumers. 

It’s also concerning that the driver of all these higher costs and carbon emissions is the high-tech industry that is so eager to be seen as a leader in sustainability. If these tech companies were meeting their power needs with renewable energy, Dominion wouldn’t be able to claim a “need” to keep its old coal plants 
belching away.  

Amazon, the number one beneficiary of state data center largesse, says it is the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy globally. Its website claims the company is “on a path to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.” A map shows it has developed around 16 solar projects in Virginia, adding up to over 1,100 megawatts. That’s great, but the company’s Virginia data centers are such energy hogs that they would need many times as much solar, plus a huge amount of battery storage to meet their 24/7 demand. And of course, Amazon’s demand will skyrocket with that next $35 billion in new 
data centers.

That same map, by the way, shows that Amazon has on-site solar at warehouses and Whole Foods stores all over the Northeast, but none in Virginia. Northeastern states have higher commercial power rates than Virginia does, so on-site solar means bigger bill savings in those states. One cannot help but suspect that Amazon’s commitment to 
renewable energy is really just a commitment to 
cheap energy.  

The Data Center Coalition’s filing in the IRP case does nothing to reassure us otherwise. Instead of chiding Dominion for reneging on its clean energy commitments, the Coalition’s Josh Levi essentially argues data centers are so important it 
doesn’t matter. 

I have no beef with data centers as a general proposition. They are an integral component of today’s economy, and the developments that now drive their explosive growth — machine learning and artificial intelligence — will also help us achieve a zero-carbon future.  

I just think data centers should try a little harder to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  

This commentary originally appeared in the Virginia Mercury. Ivy Main is a lawyer and a longtime volunteer with the Sierra Club’s Virginia chapter. A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee, she is currently the Sierra Club’s renewable energy chairperson. Her opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of any organization. 

Conservation Groups Meet At Lake Frederick

Partners of the Blue Ridge Conservation Alliance gathered August 17 at Lake Frederick’s Shenandoah Lodge to learn about the lake’s ecology and volunteer efforts to improve and sustain it. The event was hosted by the Friends of Lake Frederick. FOLF, a 501 (c) (3) organization, augments the efforts of Virginia state agencies responsible for managing Lake Frederick and its natural resources. Partners in the Alliance,   work to protect the natural, scenic, and historic values of the Blue Ridge in five counties from Front Royal, Va., to Harpers Ferry, W.Va. 

Lake Frederick, the 117-acre waterbody, is managed primarily for fishing by Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). The lake is surrounded by the unincorporated community of Lake Frederick, which one day will number over 2,000 residences, two pools and clubhouses, and other amenities. A narrow sliver of Clarke County is adjacent to the community, and the pastoral south end of the county likes directly across from the entrance.

DWR acquired the lake and a fifty foot buffer around the entire shoreline in 1981; the buffer was later enlarged to 100 feet. The lake has a maximum depth of 50 feet and an average depth of 20 feet. Much of the shoreline and the upper ends of the two embankments contain standing submerged timber. Typically, the standing timber is located along the shoreline out to around twenty-five feet from 
the water’s edge.

FOLF volunteers have established a walking trail around the lake — the only such trail around a DWR lake, according to volunteer John Toliver. Toliver and fellow volunteer Marv Davis treated the gathering’s guests to a presentation about the watershed, history of FOLF, their water quality monitoring sites, the nature trail, and their collaboration with VDWR. Guests included Karen Anderson, laboratory and program director for Friends of the Shenandoah River, which has monitored Crooked Run, the stream that feeds the lake and empties into the river downstream.

After the presentation, Toliver guided guests on an interpretive walk to a proposed site of a pollinator meadow on the DWR buffer zone.

FOLF’s long-term vision is for Lake Frederick to be renowned for its natural beauty and recreational value. Their goals are to: construct and maintain the trail and plant native trees in the lake’s buffer zone, sponsor cleanup and other volunteer activities, and educate people about the lake.

Updates for Hunting at Virginia State Parks

Each year Virginia’s State Parks, managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, offer a wide variety of hunting opportunities. Managed deer hunts are key to handling the park’s overall deer management program. Participating hunters are asked to support this effort by following harvest guidelines associated with 
each hunt.  

Safety is an important factor in hunting, so all terms and conditions must be followed, especially when hunting at a Virginia State Park. Terms and conditions address weapon types that can be used, the clothes worn by hunters and a required safety course. Find more information, including terms and conditions and hunt maps on the website: 

Virginia State Parks Hunting Terms and Conditions: 

  • To make a reservation, visit https://
    reservevaparks.com/Web/  to participate. All reservation hunts have a $15 reservation fee. Hunters must have an email and create an account in order to reserve a hunting date and location. It is encouraged that you do this well in advance before the reservation period opens, as it can take some time for the account information 
    to process. 
  • Hunting and camping are permitted only in designated areas. 
  • Virginia game laws apply in all designated hunting areas. 
  • All state park hunts require proof of completion of a hunter safety course. This is beyond the requirements of State Hunting Regulations. 
  • Hunters are required to wear a Blaze Color (Blaze Orange or Blaze Pink) hat and vest 
    while hunting in any park. This is beyond the 
    requirements of State Hunting Regulations. 
  • All hunts will have a go-live day in September and the sales begin at 9 a.m. so be sure to review this grid for more details on hunt locations and dates. All hunts have special regulations. 
  • Hunting opportunities range from open hunting in designated areas to managed deer hunts. Hunters can also reserve stands or zones on a first-come, first-served basis using the 
    online system. 

For those interested in applying for a hunting opportunity who do not have access to the internet, call 1-800-933-7275 and select option 5. Please be advised that customer service representatives may not have access to all the hunt details.  Hunters are strongly encouraged to apply online for the best experience. 

For more information about hunting opportunities and programs in Virginia State Parks, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hunting