WVDNR releases spring gobbler season harvest numbers

Hunters harvested 11,650 bearded turkeys during the 2024 spring gobbler season

FARMINGTON, W.Va. — According to preliminary data released by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources on Friday, hunters harvested 11,650 bearded turkeys during the spring gobbler season.

“West Virginia is a great place to go turkey hunting and these harvest numbers are not only an indication of a strong turkey population but a testament to the hard work of hunters,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion. “The WVDNR remains committed to maintaining sustainable wildlife management practices to ensure the long-term health and abundance of turkeys in our state.”

While hunters harvested fewer birds compared to last year’s total of 12,217, the 2024 harvest was above long-term indicators and came in 6 percent higher than the five-year and 10-year average of 10,937 and 10,913, respectively. 

Hunters in District 1 harvested more birds during the 2024 season compared to last year, while the harvest in Districts 4 and 6 was similar to last year. The harvest in Districts 2, 3 and 5 decreased slightly from last year. Hunters in District 1 harvested the most birds (2,748), followed by those in District 6 (2,208), District 5 (1,897), District 4 (1,864), District 3 (1,585) and District 2 (1,348). The top five counties in terms of turkey harvests were Mason (501), Preston (441), Jackson (400), Marshall (337) and Harrison (336) counties.

Click here to see West Virginia’s county-by-county spring turkey harvests for the last five seasons.

During the 2024 season, youth hunters harvested 601 turkeys (353 on Saturday and 248 on Sunday). This was the fifth year of the youth season being two days. The youth harvest made up approximately 5 percent of the total harvest.

The WVDNR is also reminding hunters that there’s still time to report their spring gobbler hunting activity to be included in the 2024 Spring Gobbler Survey. To learn more, visit WVdnr.gov/surveys. To learn more about hunting in West Virginia or to buy a hunting license, visit WVdnr.gov.