SOUTH CHARLESTON – Preliminary data indicates spring turkey hunters harvested 11,210 gobblers this year, according to Mike Peters, Game Bird and Small Game Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Although 9% less than last year, this year’s harvest is still 3% above the 5-year average and 9% above the 10-year average.
Districts 4 and 5, encompassing the southern and southwestern counties, reported slight increases above last year’s harvests with the remaining districts harvesting fewer birds than last year.
Hunters in District 1 in the northern part of the state harvested 656 fewer birds than last year, a 20% decrease. However, the counties in District 1 harvested the most birds again this year (2,762), followed by District 6 (2,362), District 5 (1,839), District 3 (1,659), District 4 (1,521) and District 2 (1,067).
The five counties with the highest harvest were Mason (464), Preston (455), Jackson (447), Wood (362), and Harrison (347).
Youth hunters harvested 357 turkeys during the one-day youth season April 13, which was 74 fewer than last year.