Top 50 Hokies Spotlight: Duff Holbrook
Wild Turkey Rocket Netting (Via OutdoorLife)
Herman “Duff” Holbrook is the definition of a Hokie. From the Tidewater region of Virginia to the lowlands of South Carolina, Duff did more for the animal that inspired our beloved mascot than anyone in US wildlife history.
After growing up along the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, Duff pursued his love for the outdoors at Virginia Tech earning a degree in Wildlife Management and Forestry. He later earned degrees from the University of Michigan.
Following his time at Virginia Tech, Duff put his career in wildlife on hold to serve during World War II. Duff served as a B-24 navigator with the Army Air Corps 376th bomb group in Italy. By the time the war was over, Duff flew in 14 combat missions.
Upon returning stateside, Duff took a job with the Georgia Fish and Game Department. He later moved on to the South Carolina Wildlife Department, to work on a project to restore the states wild turkey population.
Duff implemented a cannon-net technique in order to safely capture and relocate wild turkeys throughout the state, and later the region. By taking turkeys from the few areas they were thriving and relocating them throughout the state, the population was able to grow and expand in a matter of a few years. Wild turkeys can now be found in every county in South Carolina, and much of the population throughout the continent is due to the work of Mr. Holbrook.
Duff Holbrook passed away in 2015 at the age of 92, but his work with wild “Hokies” will have an impact for generations.