The Virginia Bear Hunters Association was organized in 1967 when bear hunters had been campaigning each year to have bear hunting season separated from deer season. It grew out of the Western Virginia Sportsmen's Association which had done similar work, and put the organization on a state-wide basis. Printed on the first membership cards and still our purpose today,
"Dedicated to the preservation of hunting bear with dogs and to sound wildlife management principles."
Our primary objectives are:
- Fellowship and friendship
- Promote sound bear management principles
- Promote a positive image of the bear hound hunter to the general public
- Work with government agencies to ensure the primary purpose
- Encourage and promote youth participation in bear hunting with hounds
Houndsman Code of Ethics
- I will consider myself a guest of the landowner, either private or Federal, seeking permission, and conducting myself so I will be welcome in the future.
- I will obey the rules of safe gun handling, and will courteously but firmly insist others who hunt with me do so.
- I will obey all game laws and regulations and will insist my fellow hunters do the same.
- I will support conservation efforts which ensure good hunting for future generations.
- I will pass along to young hunters the attitudes and skills essential to a true outdoor sportsman.
- I will strive for adherence to proper wildlife management principles for sustaining big game harvests and populations.
- I will promote fair chase, proper care of harvested animals, humane treatment of all wildlife and do my utmost to protect the young of all game I pursue.
- I will be a positive example of resource stewardship.
- I will do my best to tread lightly while afield, to use only established roads and trails and foremost leave no litter.
- I will strive to invite a young person or nonhunter to participate the next time I go afield.