WV DNR News Release
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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Robert A. Fala, Director

News Release: December 13, 2016


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Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Contact:

Chris Ryan, Wildlife Resources Section 304-293-0057 Christopher.W.Ryan@wv.gov

West Virginia hunters check in more than 2,000 fall turkeys in 2016, up 82 percent from 2015

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.”

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Fall harvest of wild turkeys in West Virginia, 2012-2016.

County

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Barbour

30

0

18

0

29

Brooke

7

9

2

6

15

Hancock

11

8

5

8

6

Harrison

26

20

20

28

41

Marion

15

4

6

19

38

Marshall

28

10

22

9

50

Monongalia

18

24

15

25

30

Ohio

12

9

3

6

21

Preston

63

77

53

71

105

Taylor

11

8

5

2

23

Tucker

25

14

25

13

14

Wetzel

14

2

18

0

40

Dist. 1 Subtotal

260

185

192

187

412

Berkeley

18

36

19

30

21

Grant

31

41

17

38

57

Hampshire

22

41

15

35

30

Hardy

30

34

18

31

27

Jefferson

0

0

0

0

8

Mineral

22

28

16

25

22

Morgan

5

14

15

15

9

Pendleton

46

26

31

25

35

Dist. 2 Subtotal

174

220

131

199

209

Braxton

0

0

0

0

43

Clay

0

0

0

0

12

Lewis

0

8

0

25

21

Nicholas

98

39

88

63

140

Pocahontas

79

57

54

62

49

Randolph

77

59

83

114

116

Upshur

43

28

0

59

92

Webster

58

35

50

48

91

Dist. 3 Subtotal

355

226

275

371

564

Fayette

0

0

0

0

38

Greenbrier

138

64

81

81

74

McDowell

0

33

0

0

30

Mercer

0

0

2

0

27

Monroe

89

71

52

61

61

Raleigh

0

0

0

0

47

Summers

73

42

41

26

29

Wyoming

0

37

35

41

62

Dist. 4 Subtotal

300

247

211

209

368

Boone

0

0

0

0

21

Cabell

12

4

0

0

12

Kanawha

0

0

0

0

38

Lincoln

0

14

0

0

26

Logan

0

0

0

0

25

Mason

41

26

33

43

64

Mingo

0

0

0

0

8

Putnam

21

2

0

19

27

Wayne

0

17

0

0

17

Dist. 5 Subtotal

74

63

33

62

238

Calhoun

14

8

0

0

19

Doddridge

0

0

0

0

12

Gilmer

0

6

0

0

10

Jackson

39

18

37

24

48

Pleasants

5

4

3

6

7

Roane

0

2

12

0

21

Ritchie

0

0

0

0

26

Tyler

6

1

8

15

18

Wirt

23

19

23

17

30

Wood

44

20

31

47

84

Dist. 6 Subtotal

131

78

114

109

275

State Total

1,294

1,019

956

1,137

2,066