SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Preliminary figures for the 2012 fall turkey hunting season show a harvest of 1,233 turkeys, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The 2012 harvest was four percent higher than the 1,186 birds checked in during the 2011 fall season and three percent higher than the five-year average. Three districts saw increases above average harvests, while the other three districts had slight decreases.
“Fall wild turkey harvests are highly influenced by hunter participation, annual recruitment of young turkeys and hard mast conditions,” said Taylor. “The above-average but scattered acorn crop of 2012 concentrated birds in areas of abundant mast, making those birds somewhat more susceptible to harvest, especially in our non-traditional, fall hunting counties.”
Top counties for 2012 were Greenbrier (139), Nicholas (98), Randolph (91), Monroe (89) and Summers (71). The traditional fall hunting counties, including Preston County, the Eastern Panhandle and the mountain regions of the state, accounted for 56 percent of the total fall kill, which was almost identical to last year. Interestingly, these same traditional fall counties contributed only 19 percent of the total spring wild turkey hunting season harvest in 2012. West Virginia Fall Turkey Harvest, 2008–2012