SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Preliminary figures for the West Virginia 2013 fall turkey hunting season show a harvest of 1,013 turkeys, according to Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section. The 2013 statewide harvest was 20 percent lower than 2012 and 12 percent below the five-year average.
Only District 2 in the Eastern Panhandle showed an increase (29 percent) in harvest while the other districts experienced declines. The decline in harvest occurred despite more counties being open for fall hunting than in 2012.
“Fall wild turkey harvests are highly influenced by hunter participation, annual turkey poult recruitment, and hard mast conditions,” said Taylor. “Turkey brood observations this past summer were down slightly from 2012 and considerably below the five-year average. This was expected due to the high amount of rainfall in June and July which resulted in lower poult survival.”
Top counties for 2013 were Preston (77), Monroe (71), Randolph (69), Greenbrier (58) and Pocahontas (55). Despite an increase in the number of counties open to fall hunting, the traditional fall hunt counties including Preston County, the Eastern Panhandle, and Mountain regions of the state, accounted for 63 percent of the total fall kill.