Hunters who are lucky in the field also can be lucky in the ninth annual Rich Square Fire Department Turkey Hunting Tournament on April 9, opening day of the statewide wild turkey season.
“We give out trophies for first through third, and first place also gets $500 cash prize,” said Johnathan Morris of Rich Square, an event organizer and fire department member.
What has grown into the department’s largest fundraising activity was started in 2007 by Henry Bennett, an avid hunter who became fire chief in 2009 and died of a heart attack late that year, Morris said.
“Henry is the one who came up with the idea originally, and we want to keep it going in memory of him,” he said. “He loved to turkey hunt, and he loved to help other people.”
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A $35 entry includes a Friday night steak dinner that is cooked by the firefighters and features raffles and a rules presentation. About 150 entries were received last year.
“Not everyone actually hunts,” Morris said. “A lot people have started buying the tickets just so they can come eat the meal.”
Legally harvested turkeys can come from any county, though weigh-in is in Northampton County. Entries must be at the fire station by about 7 p.m. for measurement by N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologists.
Scoring uses a National Wild Turkey Federation formula based on weight, length of each spur and length of the beard, Morris said.
“It also gives the wildlife biologists a lot of data,” Morris said. “… That’s important to them.”
For contest information, call Morris at 252-539-2933.
Banquet: The Neuse Chapter NWTF’s 27th banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern. Buy tickets at https://events.nwtf.org/330090-2016/tickets.
Paddling: The fifth Paddle for Hope cancer awareness paddling trip will launch at 6:30-7:30 a.m. April 2 at Anderson Point Park in Raleigh. The eight-day, 208-mile journey down the Neuse River benefits the American Cancer Society. Go to www.hopefloatsnc.com.
Boat show: More than 100 vendors and exhibitors are registered for the Oriental Rotary Club’s eighth Oriental In-Water Boat Show, Nautical Flea Market and Wooden Boat Exhibition April 8-10 at the Oriental Harbor Marina on the Neuse River. Find a list and a seminar schedule at www.orientalboatshow.com.
Hunting: April 12 is the deadline for comment on proposed black bear hunting rules. Submit comments to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at http://bit.ly/19yjlkU.
▪ Comment is due April 10 as the state uses a new method for choosing migratory game bird hunting seasons – including waterfowl, doves, woodcock, rails and snipe. Go to https://ncpaws.org/PAWS/WRC/PublicComments/PublicEntry/PublicComments.aspx.
Photography: Entries are due by noon March 30 for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries photo contest seeking the best shot of an artificial reef off North Carolina.
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