12 charged over illegal turkey hunting in southeastern Virginia

12 charged over illegal turkey hunting in southeastern Virginia
A wild turkey. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - An investigation into illegal turkey hunting practices has netted 12 suspects charged in 47 violations in six counties in southeastern Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance images and executed several search warrants as part of the investigation that also uncovered violations in North Carolina that were referred to that state’s Department of Natural Resources.

The violations of Virginia’s hunting laws included 18 counts of failure to check a turkey, nine counts of hunting after obtaining the bag limit, nine counts of exceeding the season limit, six counts of failing to validate a turkey tag, two counts of exceeding the daily limit, two counts of illegal possession of wildlife and one count of hunting without a license.

Virginia’s spring turkey season ran from April 13 to May 18. Licensed hunters are allowed to harvest three bearded turkeys during the season, but can only kill one in a day. Turkeys must be tagged at the place of harvest and checked-in.

Those charged are as follows:

  • Kyle Bjorkman, 29 of Virginia Beach, charged with failure to check a wild turkey.
  • Jack Gentry, 18 of Virginia Beach, charged with failure to check a wild turkey.
  • Joseph John, 78 of Virginia Beach, charged with failure to check a wild turkey.
  • James Modlin Jr., 43 of Virginia Beach, charged with failure to check a wild turkey and failure to validate a wild turkey tag at the place of harvest.
  • Mark Morrell, 58 of Chesapeake, charged with failure to check a wild turkey, failure to validate a wild turkey tag at the place of harvest, exceeding the season limit of wild turkeys and unlawful possession of wildlife.
  • Alexander Strangways, 28 of Virginia Beach, charged with 4 counts of failure to check a wild turkey and 4 counts of exceeding the season limit of wild turkeys.
  • Thomas Vaughan, 40 of Emporia, charged with 4 counts of failure to check a wild turkey, 4 counts of failure to validate a wild turkey tag at the place of harvest, 7 counts of hunting after obtaining the season or daily limit or wild turkeys, 2 counts of exceeding the season limit on wild turkeys and 1 count of exceeding the daily bag limit of wild turkeys.
  • Drew Wilkinson, 29 of Virginia Beach, charged with failure to check a wild turkey.
  • Matthew Wilkinson, 33 of Virginia Beach, charged with failure to check a wild turkey.
  • Hunter Young, 21 of Virginia Beach, charged with hunting without the proper licenses.
  • Val Rapp Jr, 51 of Windsor, charged with 3 counts of failure to check a wild turkey, 2 counts of hunting after obtaining bag limit, 2 counts of exceeding the yearly bag limit of wild turkeys, and illegal possession of wildlife.
  • James Britt, 43 of Zuni, charged with exceeding the daily bag limit of wild turkeys.

For more information on turkey hunting in Virginia, visit the DGIF website. Anyone who witnesses unlawful hunting is encouraged to report it at 1-800-237-5712.

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