The special youth one-day spring gobbler season is today and the 2014 spring gobbler season starts on Monday.
All resident youth hunters from 15-17 years of age must comply with all of the licensing requirements, which includes the completing of a hunter education or safety course. Youth hunters who have lost their hunter education certificate may obtain a duplicate from their local West Virginia Division of Natural Resources District Law Enforcement Office.
According to a news release this week, the DNR is in need of more wild turkey survey cooperators. The WVDNR started this statewide survey among spring gobbler hunters in 1983. From the data that I have been shown, the various hunters record the items of interest by the day. This includes the number of gobblers heard, called in, missed, and harvested. Wild turkey biologists are also interested in the number of other wildlife observed by hunters and their most memorable experiences during the current hunting season.
All of this information is tabulated and compared with previous years. It all sounds like a good way to track wild turkeys and other wildlife populations. It also gives hunters an opportunity to express their opinions about other details to the state's wildlife biologists.
Spring gobbler hunters in this area who would like to be a part of this program should contact Tammie Thompson at the Elkins Operations Center at 304-637-0245. This individual can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241. Upon receiving the forms, the hunter needs to complete their daily observations and survey questions and mail it back to the DNR. Their report should be included in the following year's publication.
n n n
TROUT STOCKINGS:?The following lakes and streams in this area were stocked with trout for the week of April 14-18: Dry Fork in Randolph and Tucker Counties, Mill Creek (Belington) Reservoir in Barbour County, Right Fork of the Buckhannon River in Upshur County, Shavers Fork at Bemis in Randolph County, the lower and upper sections of Shavers Fork in Randolph County, Spruce Knob Lake in Randolph County, Teter Creek Lake in Barbour County, Watoga Lake in Pocahontas County, and the Williams River in Pocahontas and Webster Counties.
Anglers are reminded the daily creel limit for trout is six per day, and the total possession limit (total number of trout that can be possessed by one person) is 12.
From a DNR law enforcement news release from this week, two residents of Harrison County were charged and have pleaded guilty on April 2, 2014, to violations of West Virginia's trout fishing laws. DNR police officers discovered a total of 321 trout at their homes, located at Wallace. The two outlaw anglers would fish Curtisville Lake and Huey Run Lake, both located in Marion County, where they would catch and keep large amounts of trout.
The two would transport their catch back to their residences, where they would clean and wrap the trout placing them in the freezer. Seventy-five trout from the winter/spring of 2012 were found, along with 90 trout from the winter/spring of 2013 and 156 trout from 2014. The two appeared in the Harrison County Magistrate Court where they entered guilty pleas on all charges. In summary, the outlaw anglers had to pay a total of $660.50 each. This includes the fines for the trout violations and court costs. I think my father was right when he told me in my youth that 90 percent of the sportsmen and women in the state want to build up the populations of fish and game, but the remaining 10 percent who just plain don't care can still do a lot of damage.
West Virginia anglers should be grateful to landowners throughout the state. Without their consent and generosity, fishing would be highly restricted to state and federal lands. Most stream closures are usually the result of sheer disrespect for private property.