West Virginia hunters check in 1,131 fall turkeys

Edited from a Press Release
West Virginia hunters check in 1,131 fall turkeys

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Fall turkey hunters checked in 1,131 turkeys this fall from 33 open counties, according to Keith Krantz, wild turkey and upland game bird project leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). 

Leading the state, Randolph County hunters reported harvesting 114 birds, followed by Greenbrier (81), Preston (71), Nicholas (63) and Pocahontas (62) county hunters. Preston County hunters have a two-week season while the others in the top five counties had four-week seasons. The 14 “traditional” fall hunting counties accounted for 56 percent of the total fall harvest, which was very similar to previous years.

All six DNR districts were open to fall turkey hunting in 2015. District 3 led the state with a harvest of 371 birds, followed by District 4 (208), District 2 (196), District 1 (185), District 6 (109) and District 5 (62).

“Fall turkey harvests are driven by a number of factors, including hunter participation, recruitment of turkeys into the population, and availability of hard mast,” Krantz said. “Harvest is relatively low in many of our nontraditional counties because hunters there were likely bowhunting for deer and not fall turkey hunting. Harvest numbers, therefore, may not reflect relative abundance of turkeys in those counties.”

DNR’s annual Mast Survey Report found oak mast to be spotty at best. which likely concentrated birds at localized food sources in many traditional counties. The hunter outlook part of the Mast Survey accurately predicted a turkey harvest similar to the 956 taken in 2014.

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