6:00: Morning News

Fall Turkey Hunting Season Expands in WV


It’s shaping up to be a strong fall turkey hunting season in West Virginia.  DNR biologists are predicting the harvest of fall turkeys will be higher over the 2010 season than 2009.   The prediction is based more on expanded hunting opportunities than on high numbers of turkeys.

For the first time in anyone’s memory a high number of "non-traditional" fall turkey hunting counties will be opened for one or two weeks.

"This year we redid our turkey plan.  We’ve opened up numerous additional counties. It will be the first time any of these counties will be open in recent history," said DNR Game Management Supervisor Chris Ryan. "We’ve got McDowell County open.  Wyoming County‘s open, Lincoln County’s open some of those counties haven’t been open in any recent history."

The turkey numbers have remained stable and healthy in the western counties for several years running.  Game managers felt comfortable adding the counties to the list of fall counties.

Brood counts are down this year.   Field surveys indicate an abundance of young poults hatched during June and July.   The indication is many hens lost their first clutch of eggs in May and re-nested.  Officials say however, the numbers of turkeys remain strong statewide.

The well documented mast abundance will play a role this fall.

"Fall hunters are going to have to wear out a lot of boot leather," said DNR Biologist Bill Igo.  "All that mast is going to have them spread out everywhere."

"Mast conditions definitely affect turkey hunting," added Ryan. "The more you have to eat the more disperse those birds are going to be and the harder they are going to be for hunters to find."

Hunters are encouraged to pay close attention to the counties and season lengths for the 2010 season. Click HERE for the regulations.


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