Lee County Strutters 5th Youth Turkey Hunt A Big Success
On April 1, 2017, the Lee County Strutters chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) held its 5th Annual Youth Turkey Hunt. This program is supported by the 2016 Virginia Wildlife eStore (www.ShopDGIF.com) Grant Program through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. The event was also sponsored by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation District, Liberty Sport and Pawn and Bass Pro Shops.
The youth participants gathered on the afternoon of March 26, 2017 for a pre-hunt meeting to pattern their shotguns and receive information regarding the upcoming hunt. Nine youngsters participated in this year’s event and each hunter was accompanied by adult mentors to provide direction and monitor safety on the various public and private properties located in Lee County.
The hunters gathered very early in the morning on the opening day of Youth/Apprentice Spring Turkey Weekend. Several of the participants had encounters with turkeys in the field and all enjoyed the sounds of gobbling and anticipation of a gobbler coming in. Three of the youth were able to successfully harvest a wild turkey during the hunt.
Each youth hunter received a camouflage hat, diaphragm turkey calls and a commemorative 2017 Virginia NWTF Jakes Turkey Hunt box call. To conclude the event, everyone enjoyed lunch provided by the Lee County Strutters.
Tosh Barnette, JAKES event coordinator and former DGIF CPO, proudly noted that this event had received the 2016 and 2015 Virginia State Chapter NWTF “Best Repeat JAKES Save the Hunt Event” for the Youth Spring Turkey Hunt. The Chapter also recieved recognition for their JAKES Event in September. Tosh acknowledged that the support of the Virginia Wildlife eStore grant allowed the Chapter to expand the event to include more young novice hunters and pass on our treasured hunting heritage and traditions important to the culture of Southwest Virginia.
Record Number of Gobblers Harvested During Youth and Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunting Weekend
Youth and novice hunters reported killing a record 624 bearded turkeys during the special Saturday and Sunday Youth and Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunting weekend, a 4 percent increase over the 2016 total of 598. On Saturday 69% (433) of the turkeys were reported killed and 31 % (191) on Sunday.
The opening of the regular spring gobbler season wekend April 8-9 was also successful for many turkey hunters. In contrast to the snow and cold windy conditions last year, last weekends opening showed a dramatic increase in both Saturday and Sunday harvests.
Spring Gobbler Opening Weekend 2017
Saturday, April 8th 2,019
Sunday, April 9th 1,028
Weekend Total 3,047
Spring Gobbler Opening Weekend 2016
Saturday, April 9th 1,610
Sunday, April 10th 681
Weekend Total 2,291
Share your photos of the fun and excitement of smiling young hunters during the spring youth gobbler hunting weekend April 1-2 with The Outdoor Report and other websites. There are three opportunities to share your photos of smiling young hunters with their trophy gobblers and possibly win some great prizes..
The Star City Whitetails Hunting website is sponsoring the Spring Gobbler 4th Annual Best Photo Contest 2017. Jeff Phillips website founder, invites youth and adult hunters throughout the spring season to simply send in the BEST PICTURE of you and your spring gobbler to jeff@starcitywhitetails or to Whitetails Facebook page and you will be in the running for a great group of prizes. Visit the SCWT website photo contest page for details and list of prizes.
Remember Safety First! Because turkeys have both keen hearing and sharp eyesight, camouflage is worn by hunters. It is essential for every hunter to positively identify their target and the area beyond their target, before pulling the trigger. Most hunting fatalities are the result of the hunter not making sure of his or her target. Be safe and have fun!