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Spring Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend

By DAVID GRAVELY, sports@southwesttimes.com

Nothing can get a young hunter’s heart pumping like having “the big one” standing right in front of him or her. Many young local hunters will get the chance to feel that feeling this weekend as the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries opens the annual Spring Youth and Apprentice Turkey Hunting Weekend.

Courtesy Photo –
Last Spring, 10-year old Wyatt Tolbert made the most of his shot by taking this beautiful bird as a part of the VDGIF Youth Hunting Day. He harvested the 20-pound gobbler while hunting with his Pawpaw in Newbern. It had a 10” beard and 1.25” spurs. Did you have a good day in the woods? Send your photos to sports@southwesttimes.com.



Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, are the official dates for the spring hunts this year statewide. Each young hunter, is allowed to harvest one bearded turkey this weekend.


Resident and nonresident youth hunters 15 years of age and under, or holders of a valid apprentice hunting license, while in compliance with all applicable laws and licenses, may hunt when accompanied and directly supervised by an adult over the age of 18 who has a valid Virginia hunting license or is exempt from purchasing a hunting license. Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate licenses, unless exempt from purchasing a license.


Hunting hours for the youth hunt are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Turkeys harvested by youth or apprentice hunters count against their daily and season bag limit.


The adult hunters accompanying youth or apprentice hunters do not need a deer/turkey license on this weekend. They may also assist with calling, but they may not carry or discharge a weapon. Adult hunters are required to maintain close visual and verbal contact with and provide direction to the young hunters and should be able to immediately assume control of the firearm, in needed.


Hunters may use modern firearms, arrowguns, archery tackle or muzzleloaders to hunt with. Decoys and blinds are also legal, but it is unlawful to use electronic calls. It is unlawful to use dogs during the spring youth hunt, except to track wounded or dead turkeys. When using a shotgun, it is unlawful to use of have in your possession any shot larger than Number 2 fine shot during the spring turkey season.


Turkeys will be on their roost at night and descend early in the morning. During the springtime, make turkeys will be in search of a female to mate with. Using hen calls to lure the turkey into a decoy setup is one of the more popular means of hunting spring turkeys.


Good camouflage, setting up a good blind and restricting movement will boost your chances of luring the birds in closer. Hunters are encouraged to share their pictures by sending them to sports@southwesttimes.com to be added to our bragging board.


For more information about the spring turkey season or any other hunting related issues, visit the departments website at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting.



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