Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Virginia Outdoor Report

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Kid's Day Trout Fishing in Madison This Weekend!

The annual Kid's Day Trout Fishing event is this Saturday, March 17th on the Robinson River in Madison County where Routes 600 and 643 cross, near the village of Syria. The event is exclusively for children age 12 and under and will start at 9:00 a.m. This is a joint effort of Graves Mountain Lodge, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and the Rapidan Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Contact Graves Mountain Lodge at (540) 923-4231 for information. This is a great way to celebrate spring with family and friends - take the kids fishing!

Hunters for the Hungry Receives Record Breaking Donations - Tops the Three Million Pound Mark

The generous hunters of Virginia donated 356,054 pounds of venison in 2006, exceeding last year’s record-breaking total by 16,000 pounds. Since the founding of the program in 1991, by the late David Horne, total distribution now exceeds three million pounds of donated venison. Over 12 million servings of nutritious venison have now reached the plates of the less fortunate.

Current Hunters for the Hungry director and long-time employee Laura Newell-Furniss noted, "I think all of us are impressed and pleased with the generosity of Virginia hunters and the financial contributors which have allowed this program to grow into such a success." She continued, "Founder, David Horne, was a caring and intelligent man who, through his work with a nationwide produce salvage program, recognized the need food banks had for lean protein. Being a hunter himself, he also knew that the hunters of Virginia needed to harvest more deer than their families could use to keep the deer herd in proper balance. Being an excellent problem solver, David put these two facts together – the need for the meat, and a vast renewable natural resource and created a charity, which, at the time of his death in 2002, had grown into the largest effort of its kind in the country. We can all be thankful that this wonderful man put his caring and skills together to benefit those in need throughout the Commonwealth." Donations of funds are still needed to pay the costs for processing deer harvested during the extended deer season.

Please consider contributing to Hunters for the Hungry through the $2 check-off when purchasing a license, or at any time through our online Outdoor Catalog.

To learn how you can help, visit or call toll free (800) 352-4868.

Spring Gobbler Forecast Varies Across Regions

Turkey population levels are near record highs for Virginia. Last year 17,195 gobblers were taken in the spring season. Youth hunters took 341 birds on the special youth season hunt. Due to cold rainy springs, reproduction has been down over the past two years. Wildlife biologists do not expect a significant change in the spring gobbler harvest this year. VDGIF Wild Turkey Project Leader Gary Norman noted, "Weather always plays an important role in the spring harvest as good gobbling generally requires good weather conditions. The Department encourages hunters to be safe and identify your target during the spring gobbler season." Only bearded turkeys are legal during the spring season. Hunters can take advantage of all-day hunting during the last two weeks of the season. Afternoon hunting is timed to minimize the incidental kill of female turkeys, which should be nesting at this time. VDGIF annually conducts a survey of spring gobbler hunters. Interested hunters are encouraged to contact Gary Norman at to participate in the survey or call (540) 248-9389.