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Brood reports from the DGIF were good, which is positive news after the wet weather we’ve had. I personally saw more hens and poults this summer than usual.
The first firearms season starts Saturday, as some of you know. The question is, do any of you grab shotguns to turkey hunt when you can be hunting deer with your bow or crossbow?
I don’t. I love fall turkey hunting, but I love bowhunting for deer more. The only way I see that changing is if I get a turkey dog, which I’d like to do eventually.
Conservation police officer Ron Henry has spent 26 years working in this region, getting his start as a game warden in Franklin County before moving to sergeant and overseeing law enforcement in Roanoke and Franklin counties.
Henry was recently promoted to colonel, and is now the top DGIF law enforcement officer.
I’m doing a story on this and would like to include an anecdote or two from outdoorsmen who encountered Henry in the field. Got a good story about getting a ticket from the colonel? Or talking your way out of one?
I need it today. Contact me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 540-981-3395.
As I wrote for a feature in Sunday’s Roanoke Times (and as Bill Cochran wrote in his Roanoke.com column last week), the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has released a draft of its Wild Turkey Management Plan. This is the first turkey plan, while the DGIF is already working with management plans for black bears and white-tailed deer.
The plan is available HERE on the DGIF web site. It’s long, but it’s worth reading if you are a turkey hunter.
Among the many objectives of the plan is to increase turkey hunting participation during fall seasons. One possible way to do that, the plan notes, is to increase the overlap of firearms turkey and deer seasons. This will almost assuredly increase the fall turkey kill. Critics of such overlaps have claimed that such overlaps don’t necessarily increase turkey HUNTING, but rather increase turkey SHOOTING.
What do you all think about the state of turkey hunting in Virginia? What could make it better? Does the draft plan address your concerns?
” I took him on national forest in Pulaski County. He weighed 21 pounds, had inch and 3/8th spurs, and a 10-inch beard.
With high winds that morning my cousin Jeff Garwood and I decided to stay in the hollers where we could hear better and try and stay out of the wind. We were in the woods right before sunlight and once the sun started coming up we heard a few jakes and a few great sounding toms but couldn’t seal the deal with them.
At around 9 or 9:30 we had this tom respond to our call and within a few minutes I had my 12 gauge bead right on him. Unlike every other turkey we heard and from what other hunters were saying this tom was traveling alone and not henned up.”
You have GOT to love those 9:30 a.m. gobblers! Congrats to Justin and Jeff!
If you caught my column in today’s Roanoke Times, you know that Virginia’s turkey hunters have set a new spring gobbler season record.
Smashed the record in fact.
Dave Simmons, pictured here with his sons (hunting partner Noah, also pictured below, and photo bomber Willie) contributed to the total with a final day bird, killed in Franklin County thanks to the calling of Dave’s best friend (and cousin) Travis Ferguson.
Bob Ellis with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was kind enough to share the preliminary total for the season (you’ll have to read the column!) with me yesterday. The agency plans a full release today, and after I get it I’ll break down the numbers in more detail.
Those who stick it out can be rewarded.
Jim Forbes killed this nice gobbler a week ago, on the final Monday of the season. He was hunting national forest ground.
I am trying to get my hands on the final turkey tally but understand from DGIF that it might not be released until tomorrow. I would be shocked if the total doesn’t eclipse the previous record of 18,345 from 2002, given that hunters were already just about 1,000 birds shy of the mark early last week.
Congrats to Jim for contributing to the total!
The three hunters who scored were (left to right) Danny Balderson from Waynesboro, Tim Richey from Christiansburg and Chris Shelton from Richmond. Fifteen hunters participated in the hunt.
Wheelin’ Sportsmen provides people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in outdoors activities. Just as importantly, it helps friends and family learn about ways to help their loved ones get outdoors. Having participated as a volunteer in these events I can tell you that they are inspiring for EVERYONE involved.
Congrats to all the hunters, and thanks to the volunteers and generous landowners who allowed hunting for helping make this hunt, and those like it, happen!
“We watched this bird come 1,200 yards last Saturday, cross a creek and a woven wire fence before Wade killed him at 10 yards. When they’re ready to come, they come.”
I know this feeling.
I once killed a gobbler that had come about 400 yards across a field to where I was set up with my friend Carson Quarles. The bird took his sweet time and it’s a miracle my heart was able to take the hour-long wait for him to get within shotgun range.
Congrats to Wade and Walt for what had to be an amazing experience.
As I wrote about in my column in today’s Roanoke Times, Virginia’s hunters are on the cusp of setting a record for the spring gobbler season.
Among those doing their part were Carson and Norma Quarles of Roanoke, who killed their nice birds on family property in Botetourt County.
When I heard the tally through the weekend had already eclipsed last year’s total and was just about 1,000 birds from the record set in 2002 — sorry, but you’ll need to read the column to see the exact numbers — I admit I was a little surprised. Not that the kill is tracking above last year. It’s been tracking above all season. But the previous gap had been 16 percent, and I figured after the rainy and windy weather we’ve had lately that gap would have narrowed.
Thank goodness the DGIF was able to provide actual figures to keep me from putting my speculation in writing! I got out a couple mornings last week and it was slow. May get one or two more hunts in, than that’s it for me.