Fall Turkey Season Forecast


Turkey numbers in West Virginia are up as the 2008 fall hunting season gets underway in West Virginia.    The fall season in West Virginia is limited to around 15-counties in the mountains and along the Virginia border and to selected western counties where the spring gobbler harvest was at the appropriate level.

"Depends on where they’re hunting, the brood counts this year look pretty good," said biologist Jim Evans. "Statewide there are lots of broods in the south, unfortunately most of the south isn’t open."

The West Virginia DNR limits those southern and western counties.  A fall season is only opened if the spring harvest reaches .75 turkeys per square mile.   

"We have 15 traditional fall hunting counties where we maintain a four-week season.  The rest of the state, excluding Preston County which has its own two-week season, is open if the spring gobbler kill reaches that .75 level." said Evans. 

Although younger hunters in the state don’t remember it, there was a time when fall hunting was the most popular time of the year to hunt turkeys.    However, with the increased opportunities for archery success for deer, turkey hunting participation has waned in recent years.   Still, there are die hards who’ll be there for the duration of the fall season, trying to break up a flock and call back a single young bird.  

"In those mountain and four-week counties we hammer them pretty good," said Evans. "But, in most of those one-week fall season the kill is pretty light and insignificant as far as the fall season goes."

Evans anticipates the harvest level for the 2008 season will be about even with or slightly higher than the 2007 season.  


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