Spring turkey harvest in West Virginia reaches 15-year high

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A hunter calls a gobbler during spring turkey season in West Virginia.
A hunter calls a gobbler during spring turkey season in West Virginia. Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce.

Turkey hunters in West Virginia harvested 12,274 gobblers in spring 2018 — a 15-year high and a six-percent increase over 2017, according to preliminary data gathered by the state Division of Natural Resources.

This harvest was also more than 10 percent above the 10-year average, according to Mike Peters, Game Bird and Small Game Project Leader for the division.

All but two state districts reported an increase over 2017 harvest figures: districts 4 and 5 in southern and western West Virginia saw fewer birds harvested this year.

Counties in District 1 in northern West Virginia and its northern panhandle harvested the most birds again with 3,416, followed by District 6 in the mid-Ohio valley, District 5 in the west, District 4 in the south, District 3 in the central and eastern, and District 2 in the east and eastern panhandle.

The five counties with the largest harvests were Preston (553 gobblers), Mason (468), Jackson (460), Harrison (440), and Marshall (417).

Youth hunters harvested 431 turkeys during the one-day youth season on April 14.

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