Cumberland Times-News

Columns

March 2, 2013

These are spring’s true harbingers

Unfortunately, there is a chronological coefficient to energy, otherwise I would be primed and raring to go for the upcoming season of Hillbilly Surf and Turf, the dynamic duo of hunting and fishing, the cool combination of feathers and fins.

That’s right. I’m talking turkeys and trout, goldies and gobblers.

But that’s enough alliteration.

If your candle can still burn at both ends, I recommend mid-April through much of May as a time to test your stamina and outdoor intensity.

This combo trip is available only during spring gobbler season. In Maryland that means April 18 through May 23, in West Virginia it is April 22 through May 18 and in Pennsylvania April 27 through May 31.

In the past, the typical scenario would be to hunt gobblers in the morning until closing time. In Maryland that would be noon. Then, in the afternoon and evening, get thee to a nearby trout stream and have at some of the stocked trout, mostly rainbows.

However, now that Maryland and Pennsylvania allow some all-day spring turkey hunting, you could vary that approach, fishing early and hunting late, or even do a fish-hunt-fish or a hunt-fish-hunt thing.

So where would a trip like this take place? The options are close to being endless, but here is an example or two.

Many has been the spring trip to the Smoke Hole in Pendleton and Grant counties in West Virginia when I have heard and even seen gobblers. There is a combination of public and private land in that area, so make sure you have permission if the property isn’t owned by either Uncle Sam or Gov. Tomblin.

How about Almost Maryland?

We are blessed here in AM with copious amounts of public terra firma. In Allegany County try a Green Ridge State Forest/Flintstone Creek combo.

If you are in Garrett County, nothing could be more fine than to drop a line into the upper Savage River after having killed a gobbler earlier in the day on the state forest of the same name. Be sure to have your lawyer’s phone number stored in your cell phone in the event you catch a brook trout.

Whether you dine on your catch/kill that night or during some future meal, you have the finest makings for Hillbilly Surf and Turf, even better than copperhead and crappie or racoon, ramps and sunfish.

You know how you can go online about 4 p.m. or so and find out where West Virginia stocked trout that day?

Why can’t the DNR also have online access showing locations where gobblers had been heard recently? That would seem like a license-buyer friendly thing to do.

I mean the DNR wouldn’t have to publish exact GPS coordinates, just something like “numerous gobbles were heard about 7 a.m. in the upper portion of Woodpecker Hollow on Tuesday.”

Here are the 2012 spring gobbler harvests from area counties: Allegany 257, Garrett 368, Mineral 85, Hampshire 119, Grant 117, Hardy 100, Pendleton 94 and Morgan 56.

So go get ‘em. I’ll be relaxing in the PHT,  Pappy’s Hunting Tent.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

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