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Spring gobbler hunting season begins April 13

Youth Day is Saturday

The spring gobbler season in Virginia begins April 13 and ends May 18. A special Youth Turkey Hunt Day will take place on Saturday, April 6, for hunters ages 15 and under. Expectations for a favorable spring season are high as the recent fall turkey harvest was the highest reported over the past five years. 

According to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Upland Game Bird Project leader Gary Norman, “Turkeys enjoyed a good fall season and most areas had good mast crops. Coupled with a generally mild winter, gobblers should go into the spring in good physical condition. Growth of turkey populations have generally been stable with varying densities. Areas with the highest populations are in the Northern Neck and South Piedmont. To improve your chances of success, spend a lot of time in the woods scouting right before the season opens. Gobblers can move considerable distances in March and early April. So do your homework close to the season opener.”

To ensure a safe and enjoyable day afield, the VDGIF recommends the following safety guidelines for spring gobbler hunting:

  1. Because a gobbler’s head is distinguished by its bold white, blue and red colors, never wear white, blue or red clothing—not even socks or undershirts—because a flash of white could be mistaken for a turkey. Even a red bandana or blue snack food wrapper could be misread in the woods during turkey season.

  2. 2. Turkey hunters should wear blaze orange when walking to and from their calling positions and when setting up or moving decoys. When a hunter reaches his hunting location, he should tie a strip of blaze orange to a nearby tree to alert others of his presence.

  3. 3. Choose a calling position that will provide a backstop as wide as one’s shoulders and will protect from the top of the head down. A large tree is best. A small tree will not hide slight movements of your hands and shoulders and these movements may cause other hunters to misinterpret what they are seeing.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 04.03.2013

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