According to preliminary data gathered by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, turkey hunters in West Virginia harvested 12,274 gobblers this spring, which is a 15-year high and a 6 percent increase over 2017.
This year’s harvest also is more than 10 percent above the 10-year average, said Mike Peters, Game Bird and Small Game Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
All but two DNR districts reported an increase over 2017 harvest figures. Districts 4 and 5 were the only two districts with fewer harvested birds this year. Counties in District 1 harvested the most birds again this year with 3,416, followed by District 6 (2,651), District 5 (1,811), District 4 (1,515), District 3 (1,805) and District 2 (1,076).
The five counties with the largest harvest were Preston (553), Mason (468), Jackson (460), Harrison (440) and Marshall (417).
Youth hunters harvested 431 turkeys during the one-day youth season on April 14.
Hunters in District 2 took 1,076 turkey during the spring season, up from 1,030 in 2017 and 933 in 2016. County totals in the district are: Berkeley (162), Grant (160), Hampshire (166), Hardy (150), Jefferson (115), Mineral (148), Morgan (64) and Pendleton (111).
Morgan County turkey hunters kept their harvest totals steady from last year. In 2016, just 54 gobblers were taken in Morgan County.