WVDNR announces increased 2022 fall turkey harvest

FARMINGTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s 2022 fall turkey harvest increased by almost 46 percent over last year’s harvest, according to preliminary results released by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Fall turkey hunters harvested 1,012 birds this past season compared to 694 birds last year. The fall 2022 harvest was just 0.24 percent below the five-year average and 9.6 percent below the 10-year average. Although fewer counties had a two-week season this year due to a decline in the spring harvest, the fall harvest generally remained on par with long-term averages.

Fall turkey harvest numbers are influenced by hunter participation, but also depends on the current year’s brood production and mast conditions. This year’s brood survey results were similar to last year’s, resulting in the best two production years in the past five years. While last year’s fall harvest did not mirror the increase in brood production, this year’s fall harvest reflected the increase.

All six districts reported increased fall turkey harvests compared to last year, with Districts 1 and 3 reporting more than double the number of harvests. District 3 had the highest harvest with 261 birds, followed by District 2 with 187, District 4 with 166, District 1 with 150, District 5 with 128 and District 6 with 120.

Counties with the most harvests were Randolph County (72), Nicholas (65), Greenbrier (57), Monroe (41) and Webster (39), all of which had a four-week season.

Reporters who wish to report on a specific county’s harvest numbers may download a detailed spreadsheet here.

Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License Giveaway Returns

West Virginia’s lifetime license giveaway is back for a fourth year and hunters and anglers who purchase an annual 2023 hunting, trapping or fishing license in the month of December will automatically be entered into a drawing for a lifetime license and other prizes.

The giveaway is open to residents and non-residents. One resident will win a lifetime hunting, trapping and fishing license, and one non-resident will win a three-night lodge stay at Pipestem Resort State Park with two zipline tour tickets. Other prizes include state park gift cards, cabin stays and gift bags. The prize drawing is sponsored by the WVDNR and the West Virginia Department of Tourism. Winners will be announced in January 2023.

For more information about the giveaway, rules and prize descriptions, visit WVdnr.gov/licensegiveaway.

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