Turkey Hunting in Virginia

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  • B
  • 175,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 220,000

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $46

    Hunting and turkey license required.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $197

    Hunting and turkey license required. "3-Day Hunt" license available for $60. Non-resident turkey permit also required.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Virginia has a great turkey hunting tradition, spring and fall. Why?

Public land. That’s the real story when it comes to Virginia. Opportunity.

Two things that spring immediately to mind regarding my Old Dominion hunts are plenty of gobbling turkeys to chase, and abundant morel mushrooms for picking when we weren't after birds.

We filled our hats to the brim with the latter, and fried them in butter that evening. 

[Realtree turkey blog: How to Hunt for Morel Mushrooms]

But enough about that. Yearning for the East Coast’s version of wide-open Western spaces? The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in central Virginia covers more than 1.7 million acres of hunting opportunity, not only for spring gobblers, but for small game, fall turkeys, whitetails and black bear as well.

Located near the town of Saltville, the Clinch Mountain WMA offers good turkey hunting too.

Look hard enough, and ask the right people, and you'll find plenty of land to turkey hunt.

And poult production was good to average during recent years, so this should be a productive season for those older gobblers we love to encounter each spring.

Abundant public land gives the state a solid "B" as our Turkey Hunting Nation grade goes, with some 2 million acres available.

According to the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, breeding activity begins in late March and early April. Egg laying starts around the middle of April. Peak nest incubation is normally the first week of May (May 5). Hatching takes place 28 days later, often during the first week of June. Peak gobbling in Virginia normally occurs in early May based on field surveys. 

Turkey Hunting in Virginia (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Fun Facts: Peak gobbling typically coincides with peak nest incubation. Gobbling rates decline as the spring season progresses (tagged birds and hunting pressure are cited factors). 

– Steve Hickoff

2020 Virginia Turkey Hunting Regulations

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.