SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Spring gobbler season opens Monday and runs through May 24, according to Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the West Virginia Wildlife Resources Section.
While hunters may kill only one bearded turkey per day, they are allowed two per season.
“Turkeys that are more vocal and prone to come to calls are obviously taken during the first week of the season, but good to excellent hunting can still be had through the end of the season,” said Taylor. “Some of the best hunts take place in the last week, if not the last days, of the season as gobblers that are interested in breeding easily come to calls.”
Since the typical gobbler harvested is usually a twoyear- old bird, the DNR routinely uses the brood reports from two years earlier to estimate harvest trends.
On a statewide level, the brood reports from 2012 were lower than the five-year average, indicating that the statewide harvest may be lower in 2014. There were regional variations.
Hunters in the southern region may not see a decline. Hunters in the mountain and western regions, however, will likely notice fewer birds.
Hunting turkeys over bait is both illegal and unethical in West Virginia, according to Taylor.
Taylor encourages turkey hunters to report any such activity to their local Natural Resources Police officer.
The West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation pays a reward of $100 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons attempting to kill wild turkeys through the use of bait.