Separate incidents over the past few weeks led to two turtle rescue operations, one being in Dixie County while the other occurring in Levy County. They were courageously accomplished by Deputy Manager Woodward and Law Enforcement Officer Valentine.
Being well versed in the painful possibilities of receiving a steel jaw handshake from a turtle, something familiar to all those in the field of turtleology, first things are always first. Prior to the hands on portion of the rescue, turtleologists all know to scan the horizon to quickly determine current climatological conditions in order to affirm the chance of thunderstorms. For those not formally trained in the field of turtleology, it is common knowledge that if a turtle determines your presence is displeasing and elects to inflict a painful bite, the cold blooded speed bump will not release its choppers until a loud clap of thunder. If thunder is not in the forecast, and a long term relationship is not to your liking, additional precautions are warranted. In the case of our two tactical turtle rescue operations, both of us were fortunate to leave with all tactile appendages (i.e. fingers) attached.
Turtle #1 (aka Dixie) decided to leave the stability and security of a government managed facility (wildlife refuge) and try its luck in the fast pace unforgiving world of the private sector (Anderson’s property). Well, our little turtle friend found out the hard shell truth about entering this lustrous lifestyle. Dixie gotta a little too, let’s say, comfortable on the government side of the fence and couldn’t enter through the fence. Oh, but he tried and tried. That’s when Woodward came along and found this little turtle fella paddling air. I tried my best to convince my new friend to stay on the refuge, but I am here to serve. I clipped a couple of wires and away he went. I wish my friend well.
Turtle #2 (Levy) found itself on the side of the road in the same predicament that a lot of us find ourselves, on its back struggling to right itself. How the turtle inverted it’s view of the world will always be a mystery aside to those who speak turtlese. After many attempts, giving up will surely become the viable option, but behold, what is that sound, why it’s a dark grey Ford F-150 bouncing down the road driven by our own Officer Valentine. Springing out of the driver’s side door, and a quick meteorological scan of the horizon, Valentine rapidly assessed the situation, counted her fingers, and flipped the struggling turtle to see another day. After a quick post-action review and an accounting of her fingers, Valentine continued down the road, saving the rest of the world.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the headquarters building is closed to visitors. However, staff are working as usual and the Refuge is open for appropriate recreational uses including boating, hiking, fishing, biking, and birding.
The Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
Hunting Information from the Refuge Manager
The print version of the 2020-2021 Hunt Regulations Brochure is now available. For a digital version,
click on the photo below. A current LSNWR Hunt Brochure, signed by the hunter, must be in his or her possession when hunting. The brochure includes websites to obtain hunting permits and required harvest reports.
For a Summary of the 2020-2021
Hunt Season Schedule,
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