ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Here is a round-up of the latest outdoors news from across southwest and central Virginia.

Turkey Numbers

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has released the results of its annual Wild Turkey Summer Brood Survey. Statewide average numbers are down for the eighth straight year, though DWR biologists say turkey numbers remain strong in the commonwealth.

Habitat issues appear to be the greatest contributing factor. Wild turkeys need low, new growth forest for optimal nesting and brooding. The emphasis has been on conserving old growth forest, and that has had an impact on wild turkeys.

DWR turkey managers say the situation will be addressed in the upcoming turkey management plan revision.

Big Bass!

Want to catch a trophy largemouth bass? The DWR says your best chance to do that may be at this time of the year. A new blog entry from DWR Fisheries Chief Mike Bednarski outlines why fall presents trophy bass opportunities.

It comes down to food and fat. Bass go on the feed to fatten up before winter. Vegetation dies off as water temperatures drop, and that gives forage fish less cover. Hungry bass have an easier time finding food.

One tip from the blog: If there are areas with vegetation, fish them. They are likely to hold bait and bass.

Pumpkin Spice Bears

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has released some video that has gotten a lot of views. It shows two black bears at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center gorging on a pumpkin. The bears are given pumpkins on the day after Halloween.

Bears devour a pumpkin at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center (Photo: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources)