From the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries - Spring Gobbler Hunting Season Begins April 13
Richmond, VA - The Spring Gobbler Season in Virginia begins April 13 and ends May 18, 2013. A special Youth Turkey Hunt Day will take place April 6, 2013,for hunters aged 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:
- 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.
- Turkey hunters should wear blaze orange when walking to and from their calling positions and when setting up or moving decoys. When you reach your hunting location, tie a strip of blaze orange to a nearby tree to alert others of your presence.
- Choose a calling position that will provide you with a backstop as wide as your shoulders and will protect you from the top of your 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.
- When choosing a calling position, don't hide so well that you cannot see what's going on around you. Select a calling position with a good view of your surroundings and where the sun does not distort what you are seeing.
- Never shoot at a sound or movement. Wait until you have a good, clean shot at a legal bird.
- Never move, wave, or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Instead, call out in a loud voice and remain hidden, until the other hunter acknowledges your presence.
- Never stalk a turkey. Another hunter could be behind that gobble and those birds could be decoys.
- When you harvest a gobbler, carry it out of the woods draped in blaze orange. Otherwise, another hunter might just see the bird and not you.
By taking these basic precautions, hunters protect themselves and protect others. Bring home that gobbler safely, by following these guidelines. Also, remember to tag your bird by notching the appropriate tag on your license before removing it from the place of kill, and check your bird by calling 1-866-GOT-GAME (468-4263) or by using the internet www.HuntFishVA.com.