Richmond, VA - Spring Gobbler Season opens April 14 and closes May 19 this year in Virginia. The Commonwealth is home to a strong population of wild turkeys and many enthusiastic turkey hunters. The sharp eyesight and acute hearing of the wild turkey make him challenging game for hunters to pursue. Taking one of these wily birds requires patience, accurate shooting and lots of turkey know-how. Part of the lure of turkey hunting is the strategy hunters must use to outwit them. Before heading into the woods turkey hunters need to take extra preparation time to improve their chances of taking a gobbler.
Familiarize yourself with hunting regulations, specifically those related to the Spring Gobbler Season and to the area where you plan on hunting. You can get a free copy of the Hunting & Trapping in Virginia regulation booklet from the license agent when you purchase a hunting license and a deer/bear/turkey license. Or you can view regulations online at www.dgif.state.va.us the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) web site. Take time to review bag limits, legal hunting hours and tagging requirements. The booklet even contains a sunrise and sunset chart. Also, find out where the check stations are in the area where you will be hunting.
Not sure where to hunt? The Department has more than 20 wildlife management areas across Virginia open to turkey hunting. VDGIF has produced a comprehensive book on the areas that contains maps, directions and detailed descriptions. A Guide to Virginia^s Wildlife Management Areas is available from VDGIF offices. There is a shipping charge if the book is mailed. Hunting opportunities also exist at the national forests, some state forests, some military areas, and in designated areas of some state parks. Contacts for those organizations are listed in the hunting regulation book mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Take a Hunter Education course. Classes are taught statewide and are free. A complete list is posted on the agency web site. New hunters must pass the course before they can purchase a license. For seasoned hunters taking a Hunter Education course provides an opportunity to brush up on their knowledge. In addition, VDGIF offers many hands-on outdoor education programs. A growing group of outdoor enthusiasts are women who want to learn more about hunting, fishing, boating and related outdoor activities. The Department offers several programs designed for women. Five weekend programs geared toward women and families will be held across the state in April, June, September and October. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries web site www.dgif.state.va.us has details and contact information.