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Photo: Fall Turkey Hunting Time

Childhood experiences make Fall Turkey Season something to look forward to.

Growing up on Elk River, I consider myself blessed. Being fortunate enough to travel across this country and abroad, I have yet to run into a place or a region that I thought was an equal or a better place to spend my childhood.

Not only was I lucky that my parents picked an ideal location for a kid who spent most of his days daydreaming about critters and the places they lived, but I was also born into a family with a natural mentor — my brother. Having an older brother, by four years, meaning that he had enough experience in life to show me the ropes or at least clue me in to which directions the ropes were in. The fact that he, too, had a passion for all things outdoors was another extremely fortunate situation to grow up in.

Being four years older than his knobby-kneed brother, meant he got to experience things first and report them back to me. I hung on every word and in fact, I can still hear his wisdom in my thoughts and actions today.

A prime example of this is every year at this time, I recall a story he told me about a trip to the Mon Forest he went on with his college roommate and his family.

The family had an annual camping/hunting trip in which cook and sleeping tents were erected making the ideal portable hunting camp in the middle of the wilds of West Virginia.

Some of the camp guests were bowhunters, some squirrel hunters but a couple of them were turkey hunters — fall turkey hunters. Being an avid squirrel hunter and accomplished bowhunter already, that bit of news didn’t land on me surprisingly.

But fall turkey hunters, with their calls and shotguns hunting in the big woods and country in the Mon Forest — I was intrigued, to say the least.

I hung on every word about his adventure and took mental notes about every detail he would spare about the turkey hunters.

I stored that information in my mind under the chapter titled, A Must Do. I am happy to report, that chapter has been replaced with memories of hunting turkeys in the fall and all the wonders the sport has allowed me to witness over these many years of doing so.

I am a life-long turkey hunter thanks to my brother’s story and my desire and curiosity about the bird and the people who choose to hunt them.

If you have that same curiosity, perhaps these words can be your mentor. If so, I snagged the following details from our DNR about the fall turkey season here at home.

  • Open Oct. 9-17 — All counties
  • Open Oct. 9-17 and Oct. 25-31 — Brooke, Hancock, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Upshur, Wood
  • Open Oct. 9-17 and Oct. 25 — Nov. 14 — Berkeley, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Webster

If you have a West Virginia lifetime hunting and trapping license, you’re all set for the fall turkey season. If you need to renew your license or already have a Class A hunting and trapping license, make sure you also purchase your conservation (Class CS) and big game (Class BG) stamps. Buy them today at WVhunt.com or a licensed retailer near you.

Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the fall turkey season. You may hunt with a bow, crossbow, or gun. Shooting hours start 30 minutes before sunrise and end 30 minutes after sunset. For more information about West Virginia’s fall turkey season, check pages 41-42 in the 2021-2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

Chris Ellis is a veteran of the outdoors industry. His book “Hunting, Fishing and Family from The Hills of West Virginia” is available at www.wvbookco.com. Contact him at chris@elliscom.net.

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