When doves cry

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Dear Ace: I saw that a local school was offering chances for locals to get hunting licenses. Where does one go hunting in Charlottesville? Or, where do hunting enthusiasts in Charlottesville travel to?—Tara Palin

Tara: It would probably be a cheap shot to go through the duration of this article and drop all of Ace’s “g”s, yes? Yes. So that’s why, in an effort to maintain his originality and in the face of good sportsmanship, he’s going to, when referring to “hunting,” drop all of his “h”s, too. Just to keep his readers guessing.

You wouldn’t believe how often Ace gets hounded about untin’. In fact, it’s more than he quite cares to mention, and the volume of questions only increases as it gets closer to Turkey Day. But, the upside of that is that Ace knows just about every good untin’ spot from here to, well, North Carolina, and could shoot his mouth off about it for days, even if he doesn’t condone it. (He knows someone has to kill the animal—he’d just prefer not to think about that as he grabs a big slab of meat from the grocery store, grills it at home and chases it down with a bottle of local brew.)

Speaking of local, you don’t have to go very far to get a holiday bird for your dinner table, Tara. There’s prime untin’ near where you’re standing right now (look out! Heh heh). The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries cares for 35 wildlife management areas, three of which can be found in close-by Nelson, Buckingham and Fluvanna counties.

Now, if Ace were to go untin’, he’d probably pick the James River WMA, which is only about 45 minutes away in Nelson County. Though the other three WMAs that border Albemarle County—Horsepen, Little North Mountain and Hardware River—talk a lot of game, James River boasts deer, turkey, quail, raccoon, squirrel and rabbit. Plus, it’s a good place for dove untin’, and there’s a possibility of spotting some tasty waterfowl for a side dish.

To be fair, Ace wants to assure you that any of the WMAs in this area will have enough wildlife for the whole family. Just think twice before untin’ in Turkeycock. Not too sure what you’ll find there.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 19 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to ace@c-ville.com.

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