Turkey Hunting in West Virginia

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  • C
  • 90,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 64,000 (estimated turkey hunters)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $35

    Class X Sportsman license, which includes big game privileges.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $151

    Statewide hunting and trapping license, and turkey hunting stamp.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

West Virginians love their turkey hunting, and there's a significant tradition here for it, spring and fall.

That said, biologists and veteran hunters alike will tell you that West Virginia's turkey population is less than it was a little over a decade ago. 

Here's why. Poor poult production over this time period, with inclement weather being the principle blame factor, is in large part responsible for what appears to be a statewide decline in hunting quality.

Biologists study trends, of course, based on available data.

Historically, researchers say overall production was somewhat improved in both 2010 and 2011, though it dropped in 2012. Trends have been similar since. Turkey population estimates have fallen some 50,000 birds since 2013. Not good.

West Virginia isn't the exception here. Such declines in turkey hunting populations have been seen in other states where Eastern wild turkeys roam, north to south. 

As a result, we've graded the state a "C" as in satisfactory.

On an upside, West Virginia does have good public land opportunity with 500,000 state-owned acres and another million under U.S. Forest Service supervision.

The state has places to hunt for sure.

It's also important for traveling hunters to note, spring turkey hunting closes at 1 p.m. daily.

As purchasing a license goes, the system is difficult at best to navigate, with different letter codes representing various licenses and privileges.

A hunter best do some research before purchasing. That's not a huge problem, since tags are over the counter and relatively inexpensive, but it's something to think about.

Hunters killed 10,974 turkeys here in 2013. In 2014, recent data, 9,014 were taken. In 2016, hunters brought 10,369 bearded birds home. We'll update as official data becomes available for last season.

Notable Fact: West Virginia is one of the few states that allows rifles and handguns, in addition to shotguns and bows, for spring turkey hunting.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in West Virginia (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

West Virginia Turkey Hunting 

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.

 

 


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