Calhoun County had 127 turkeys harvested this
spring. This is roughly one bird harvested per two square miles. In
acreage, its roughly one bird per 1,300 acres. Turkey harvest numbers
have fallen drastically since the mid-1990’s. During those years, we
would top 200 birds harvested annually.
Why is turkey harvest lower than a decade ago? We
have a change in the age structure of our forest. Wet springs hurt next
year’s turkey numbers. Maybe we have less hunters, but I don’t believe
that one. Possibly, it’s the increase in coyotes. Also, coons are
notorious for eating turkey eggs.
Frog gigging season is in. These tasty morsels can
be found along the edges of rivers and ponds throughout the state. It is
also legal to gig rough fish. These are carp and suckers. It is illegal
to gig gamefish, such as bass, catfish, and muskies. Many childhood
memories of mine were created while spitting out bugs in search of
frogs. The light needed for nighttime gigging always attracts bugs.
I’m sure the Little Kanawha River has numerous
trotlines stretched across its current as you read this. It’s a
wonderful way to get a large batch of catfish. Remember, trotlines need
to bear your name and address. They also need to be checked daily. It is
legal to catch gamefish by rod and reel to use on a trotline, but you
must be within the legal daily limit of that species. For example, you
can’t use 20 smallmouth bass on your trotline when the daily limit is
less than 20.
Enjoy the outdoors. The days are slowly getting
shorter. Please send fish photos to
publication in the Chronicle.
Note: Cory is the son of Ronzel and Karen Boothe of Russett. He is a
1996 graduate of Calhoun County High School and is a teacher at Meadow
Bridge Elementary, Fayette County. He resides near Summersville.)