Press Release from W.Va. DNR

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Preliminary numbers show fall turkey hunters checked in 2,066 turkeys this fall, according to Chris Ryan, supervisor of Game Management Services for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). This was the first time in recent history that all 55 counties were open to a fall season.

The fall turkey harvest was up 82 percent from 2015. The top 10 counties were Nicholas (140), Randolph (116), Preston (105), Upshur (92), Webster (91), Wood (84), Greenbrier (74), Mason (64), Wyoming (62) and Monroe (61). The 14 “traditional” fall hunting counties accounted for 37 percent of the total fall turkey harvest.

All six DNR districts had higher harvests compared to 2015. District 3 led the state with a harvest of 564 birds, followed by District 1 (412), District 4 (368), District 6 (275), District 5 (238) and District 2 (209).

“Hunter participation, recruitment of turkeys into the population, and availability of hard mast account for most of the variability in fall turkey harvests,” Ryan said. “Although acorns were more plentiful in 2016, increased reproduction and having more counties open to fall hunting led to a better harvest, as was predicted in the 2016 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook.”

The 17-year cicada, which emerged in 2016 across much of the state, increased poult survival in areas of cicada abundance. This high-protein food source helped in turkey reproduction which was noted by an increased number of broods observed throughout much of the State in 2016, according to Ryan.

“In addition, hunters enjoyed the new season format that enabled them to chase this magnificent bird throughout the entire state.”

Fall harvest of wild turkeys in West Virginia, 2012-2016.
County20122013201420152016
Barbour30018029
Brooke792615
Hancock118586
Harrison2620202841
Marion15461938
Marshall281022950
Monongalia1824152530
Ohio1293621
Preston63775371105
Taylor1185223
Tucker2514251314
Wetzel14218040
Dist. 1 Subtotal260185192187412
Berkeley1836193021
Grant3141173857
Hampshire2241153530
Hardy3034183127
Jefferson00008
Mineral2228162522
Morgan51415159
Pendleton4626312535
Dist. 2 Subtotal174220131199209
Braxton000043
Clay000012
Lewis0802521
Nicholas98398863140
Pocahontas7957546249
Randolph775983114116
Upshur432805992
Webster5835504891
Dist. 3 Subtotal355226275371564
Fayette000038
Greenbrier13864818174
McDowell0330030
Mercer002027
Monroe8971526161
Raleigh000047
Summers7342412629
Wyoming037354162
Dist. 4 Subtotal300247211209368
Boone000021
Cabell1240012
Kanawha000038
Lincoln0140026
Logan000025
Mason4126334364
Mingo00008
Putnam21201927
Wayne0170017
Dist. 5 Subtotal74633362238
Calhoun1480019
Doddridge000012
Gilmer060010
Jackson3918372448
Pleasants54367
Roane0212021
Ritchie000026
Tyler6181518
Wirt2319231730
Wood4420314784
Dist. 6 Subtotal13178114109275
State Total1,2941,0199561,1372,066

 

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