Big Game Contest expected to set records

Published 12:29 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2010

COURTLAND—A state-record breaking whitetail deer and turkey are expected to be entered in Virginia’s Eastern Regional Big Game Contest on Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Sept. 12, at Southampton County Fairgrounds.

Although Ken Pickin, president of event sponsor Virginia Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association, has heard rumors about the two record-breaking kills from 2009, he would not name the hunters or say where either was taken.

“I can’t,” Pickin said. “It has to show up (for the contest).”

More than 300 deer and 700 turkeys taken by eastern Virginia hunters in the eastern portion of the state are expected to be entered in the 71st annual contest. The event, which also features bear taken in eastern Virginia in 2009, is expected to draw more than 2,500 people.

The contest has been held at different places in eastern Virginia throughout the years. It’s been held in Courtland several times.

“Southampton County Fairgrounds has been very accommodating,” Pickins said. “People over here loving hunting.”

The event will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and reopen at 10 a.m. Sunday. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3; a two-day pass is $5.

Pickin is expecting a lot of turkeys that score in the upper 70s. The current state record is 80.

“There’s rumors there could be one that will score above 80, if it shows up,” he said.

The contest includes 12 classes for deer kills.

“I think it’s possible we could see another record,” Pickin said.

He doesn’t expect any state-record breaking bears, although a bear skull from a 500-pound bruin my be entered. The state-record bear weighs more than 700 pounds.

The deadline to enter an animal is 6 p.m. Saturday. The registration fee is $10. Deer and turkeys checked through the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries’ Got Game system are eligible to be entered. Contestants must have their confirmation number that was issued when the deer or turkey was checked. Turkeys must include a certified weight certificate that can be downloaded from the website.

Pickin expects to see local wildlife in the contest.

“There will be a tremendous number of deer from Southamtpon, Surry and Sussex counties,” he continued. “There will be a lot of people, a lot of friendship and some great hunting stories.”