Central Virginia/Upper James River

by Chris McCotter

Outdoorsmen throughout our region are welcoming Autumn with smiling faces, open arms and with great anticipation for the hunting and fishing opportunities that arrive with the falling leaves.

Many of us have been out enjoying dove season and reducing the groundhog population in order to sharpen our shooting skills for the fast approaching deer and turkey season.

October 1 marks opening day for deer and turkey bow seasons in most of our region. Be sure to check Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources for exact seasons in your area.

October 8 and 9 is Youth & Apprentice Day for turkey hunting. Don’t pass up an opportunity to share the love of hunting with our youth. Show them everything you do from prepping to cleaning your game. Kids are so often immersed in “screen time” that getting out in the woods/fields, sitting quietly alert and in good, safe company is time to be treasured and fondly remembered.
Don’t forget licensed hunters are not permitted to carry or discharge a gun this weekend and are solely responsible for the youth/apprentice hunter’s gun safety.

Speaking of hunting – are you well equipped for the start of the season? High Tech Outdoors not only sells bows and guns but owner Brecht Sprouse is a certified bow technician. Don’t delay and be disappointed when your weapon(s) isn’t ready when the season comes in – get HTO today. Pick up a new sight, some scent blocker, extra ammo and even some lures & tackle for your fall fishing adventures.

James River anglers will find the river running a bit low due to the very dry September. Smallmouth will be transitional this month so watch the water temperature when deciding how to rig your rods. Early in the month, when the water is still warm, the early morning and late afternoon shallow topwater bite will continue. In the latter part of the month the smallies will move to deeper water near points, islands and ledges. Crankbaits, soft plastics and my favorite, the good ‘ole bobber and minnow, should entice bites.

Catfish anglers will be using live and cut bait this month to bring their catches into the boat.
Razorback Guide Brian “Razor” Bodine reports that his deer hunts are booking up quickly. Bodine is the man to call if you’re looking for the trophy “big boy” or you’re hoping to pack your freezer full for the year. Call him today to discuss your hunting goals. Bodine loves father/son or daughter trips. Not only is he a dad and a grandfather but he’s a teacher as well so instruction just comes naturally to him and besides that he’s just darn good company!

James River jet boats are the most preferred rig on the James. Owner, Jim Starkey, has been busy taking orders for the custom rigged Rhino boats that area anglers and hunters just love. Isn’t it time you find out how affordable these durable boats are? Order yours now and beat the spring rush. Call Starkey today and he’ll be happy to tell you all about them.

We are looking forward to the Green Top Outdoor Expo October 1 & 2. If you’ve not attended this event in years’ past then it should be a “must do” for the first weekend of October. The parking lot is transformed for this popular weekend and you’ll find over 225 vendors, fun kids’ activities, product demonstrations and seminars, love music, good food and even prize drawings! Much of the store will have items offered at discounted prices, too. This event is free and sure to be a memorable time for you, your family & your friends.

Happy Fall, Y’all! Enjoy October in the outdoors and please remember to take a kid or two with you when you can.

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