West Virginia fall turkey hunters harvest 1,113 birds

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia turkey hunters harvested 1,113 birds during the fall season, according to preliminary figures provided by the Division of Natural Resources.

“As reported in the 2019 West Virginia Mast Survey and Hunter Outlook, this year’s wild turkey brood observations were down slightly from last year, and we predicted the fall turkey harvest would also be lower,” said Mike Peters, DNR game bird biologist.

This year’s fall turkey harvest is only 8% below the 2018 season and the 10-year average. The number of birds harvested this year is on par with a typical fall season. Another contributing factor to this year’s fall turkey harvest relates to mast conditions, which were slightly above the long-term average.

“Good mast conditions can disperse birds across the landscape and make it more difficult for hunters to harvest a bird,” noted Peters.

“This is the fourth year all 55 counties had at least a one-week season and the second year that Sunday hunting was permitted in all 55 counties on both private and public land,” Peters said. “This increase in opportunity seems to be having little impact on our wild turkey populations.”

Leading the state was Greenbrier County with hunters harvesting 65 birds, followed by Randolph (61), Upshur (59), Monroe (56), and Nicholas County (51). All of these counties had a four-week season, except Upshur County which had a two-week season. District 3 harvested 284 birds, followed by District 4 (248), District 1 (186), District 6 (151), District 2 (130) and District 5 (114).

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