West Virginia Hunters Harvest 8,332 Spring Turkeys

Posted on 05/31/2012

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Preliminary harvest figures for the 2012 spring gobbler season are in and West Virginia hunters checked in 8,332 bearded turkeys, according to Frank Jezioro, director of the Division of Natural Resources. This year's harvest is a 10 percent decline from the 2011 harvest and a 15 percent decline from the previous five-year average.

Biologists have long recognized that the brood counts two years prior are fairly accurate predictors of harvest since most of the kill is composed of two-year old birds. Brood production in 2010 was 28 percent lower than 2009; therefore, the 2012 spring harvest was lower because fewer birds were available. Brood production was higher in 2011 but still below the long-term average.

"Because future harvests are dependent on brood production and survival, let's hope for a dry June and a more normal spring in 2013, if there is such a thing," said Jezioro.

The 2012 spring kill is the lowest since 1989, when 7,245 birds were harvested by hunters. While all the other districts saw a decline in harvest, hunters in District 1 (northern counties) registered a 7 percent increase over last year. The southern districts saw the greatest reduction in harvest, with Districts 5 and 4 declining by 25 and 21 percent, respectively.

The top counties were Mason with a kill of 343, Preston (330), Harrison (282), Wood (237) and Greenbrier (235). Rounding out the top 10 counties were Jackson (229), Marshall (227), Upshur (224), Monongalia (222) and Kanawha (213).


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