Bedford, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Franklin, Campbell Counties top - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Bedford, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Franklin, Campbell Counties top state for Spring Gobbler harvest

Posted: Updated:

Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries news release

 

Spring turkey hunters reported harvesting a record 19,265 birds during the 2013 season, according to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  The 2013 spring harvest exceeded the previous record harvest of 18,345 birds set in 2002.  The 2013 harvest was 26% above last year's harvest of 15,326 gobblers.  The harvest east of the Blue Ridge Mountains was 23% higher than last year's harvest (12,994 vs. 10,527).  In counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains the harvest increased 31% (6,271 vs. 4,799).  Eighty-seven percent of the birds harvested were adult birds.  Seventy-four bearded hens were reported.  Fifteen percent of the harvest took place on opening day.  By week, the highest harvest took place during the first week of the season (31%).  The weekly harvest was similar through the balance of the season.  Most of the birds were harvested by hunters using shotguns (92%).  Hunters using rifles accounted for 7% of the harvest.  The vast majority of birds were harvested on private lands (92%).   The balance was reported from hunters hunting on federal (6%) or state (2%) lands. 

 

Because the spring harvest is believed to be the best index to turkey populations, the record 2013 suggests a robust turkey population.  However, population levels were not uniform across the state.  Populations in the South Piedmont and Tidewater Regions are believed to be the highest in the state.  Assuming other regions of the state have similar habitats, population growth can be expected in years to come.   

 

Strong reproduction over the past 2 years has helped bolster the turkey population.  Particularly mild spring weather in 2011 appeared to stimulate recruitment.  Birds hatched in 2011 were 2 years old during the 2013 season.  These birds tend to gobble frequently and represent an important part of the harvest.  

 

Weather is also an important factor impacting hunter success rates.  Good gobbling requires good weather.  More birds were killed on Saturdays than any other day of the week.  Fortunately, Saturday weather during the 2013 season was generally mild, conditions that likely contributed to the record setting season.

 

Recruitment and retention of hunters is a critical aspect to the future of hunting.  The Special Youth Season offered a special day for young hunters to enjoy the sport at a time when competition is low.  The season also offered the potential to retain adult hunters to mentor younger hunters.  It was encouraging to announce that nearly 3% of the harvest (522 birds) came during the Special Youth Season.  Harvest in the 2013 Spring Youth Season was comparable to 2012 (4%). 

 

In summary, the 2013 spring season represents a new landmark for spring turkey harvest and population levels.  This robust population status offers Virginia hunters extensive opportunities for high quality turkey hunting.

 

Top 10 Counties for Spring Gobbler Harvest:

1).        Bedford          631

2).        Halifax                        516

3).        Pittsylvania     510

4).        Franklin           425

5).        Southampton   411

6).        Scott                346

7).        Caroline           327

8).        Sussex             326

9).        Campbell         318

10).      Westmoreland 304

 

Top 5 Season for Spring Gobbler Harvest:

1).           2013             19,265

2).           2002             18,345

3).           2003             17,988

4).           2006             17,195

5).           2009             16,661

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Va. Beach mulls arena that could lure NBA, NHL

    Va. Beach mulls arena that could lure NBA, NHL

    The Virginia Beach metropolitan area is one of the largest in the country without a major professional sports team, and numerous attempts to lure one here have repeatedly left sports fans in the area disappointed.
    The Virginia Beach metropolitan area is one of the largest in the country without a major professional sports team, and numerous attempts to lure one here have repeatedly left sports fans in the area disappointed.
  • UPDATE: Police say one person shot on Greenway

    UPDATE: Police say one person shot on Greenway

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:18:05 GMT
    According to Roanoke City Police a shooting suspect is at large after one person was shot on the Roanoke River Greenway near the Ramada Inn on Franklin Road. Police say the victim has non-life threatening injuries. The call came in around 8:55.
    According to Roanoke City Police a shooting suspect is at large after one person was shot on the Roanoke River Greenway near the Ramada Inn on Franklin Road. Police say the victim has non-life threatening injuries. The call came in around 8:55.
  • Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    April 18, 2014 07:19 AM 2014-04-20 00:38:25 GMT
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
  • Henry County Suspicious Activity

    Henry County Suspicious Activity

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:07:16 GMT
    Press Release from the Henry County Sheriff's OfficeThe Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 18, 2014 regarding suspicious activity. Three white males driving a white pickup truck were seen in the area of Glen Court in the Ridgeway area of Henry County. The individuals walked to the back of a residence but a neighbor yelled at them and they left. Entry into the home was not gained. On April 19, 2014, three white males were seen on Andra Drive, also in Ridgeway. A male subjec...
    Press Release from the Henry County Sheriff's OfficeThe Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 18, 2014 regarding suspicious activity. Three white males driving a white pickup truck were seen in the area of Glen Court in the Ridgeway area of Henry County. The individuals walked to the back of a residence but a neighbor yelled at them and they left. Entry into the home was not gained. On April 19, 2014, three white males were seen on Andra Drive, also in Ridgeway. A male subjec...
  • 3 Blacksburg companies raise major capital

    3 Blacksburg companies raise major capital

    Thursday, April 17 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-17 18:29:23 GMT
    Three Blacksburg companies have raised major capital recently.
    Three Blacksburg companies have raised major capital recently.
  • Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office investigates burglary at country club

    Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office investigates burglary at country club

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:16 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:16:02 GMT
    Investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary of the Boonsboro Country Club.
    Investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary of the Boonsboro Country Club.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.