The 34 hunters who gathered for the Seventh Annual Old Dominion One Shot Turkey Hunt on April 22 included 10 youth, 12 veterans, and two Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) employees: Stacey Brown, the Deputy Director of Boating, and Tyler Dagliano, a Conservation Police Officer. The One Shot Turkey Hunt is a unique partnership between DWR and The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV) that pairs youth, first responders, veterans, and other hunters with experienced guides on some of the best turkey hunting property Virginia has to offer.
Proceeds from the 2023 Old Dominion One Shot Turkey Hunt will be used to promote hunting and outdoor wildlife opportunities across the Commonwealth and to support the DWR/WFV Virginia Wildlife Grant Program. This year the event raised nearly $30,000. Since 2014, the Wildlife Grant Program has distributed 236 grants totaling $732,000 and supporting 73,000 youth.
The One Shot hunters, guided by experienced turkey hunter volunteers, enjoyed a great morning in the field and harvested nine birds. The winners in each category included:
- Heaviest Bird – Dan Theole, military veteran guided by Adam Williams
- Longest Beard – Andrew Parsley, military veteran guided by Vins Thornhill
- Longest Spur – Michael Wells & Terry Russell (tie), both military veterans guided by David Hennaman and Bryce Miller
- Overall Winning Bird – CPO Tyler Dagliano guided by Matt Watson (Bass Pro Store Manager – Ashland and One Shot Planning Team Member).
“It wasn’t until after the weigh-in that I realized how big a bird we’d gotten. It was a complete shock when we found out I had winning bird. I was not prepared when name was called!” said Dagliano after winning the overall prize. Dagliano hunted in his youth, but had never hunted turkey before participating in One Shot.
“It was something I really wanted to do because it was a great opportunity to learn about turkey hunting from the other side. I’ve done some law enforcement during turkey seasons, but it was really great to be able to learn more about the mindset of hunters I might be speaking to in the field,” he said. “Being able to go out into the woods, see the interaction between the caller and wild game, and see the turkey come out of the woods was really exciting. I thought I could imagine how the day was going to go, but I never expected the jitters and rush I got when I heard the turkey gobble, saw him come out the woods, and put the shotgun up to my shoulder. It’s just an experience you can’t really fully understand until doing it. After this, I definitely want to do more hunting and I’ll be in the woods more this fall.”
Many thanks to Tom Wilcox, Jenny West, and all the One Shot team members for their efforts. Thanks as well to our sponsors, guides, and landowners. And of course, it couldn’t have happened without our partners at Green Top Sporting Goods, Dance’s Sporting Goods, and Bass Pro Shops.
“It’s a very enjoyable activity and it’s a great way to meet people,” Dagliano said of his One Shot experience. “Even if I hadn’t even seen a turkey, it would still have been an overall great experience. Thanks to everyone who had a had in me getting to do this.”