West Virginia’s 2022 fall turkey harvest increased by almost 46% over last year’s harvest, according to preliminary results released by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Fall turkey hunters harvested 1,012 birds this past season compared to 694 birds last year. The fall 2022 harvest was just 0.24% below the five-year average and 9.6% below the 10-year average. Although fewer counties had a two-week season this year due to a decline in the spring harvest, the fall harvest generally remained on par with long-term averages.
Counties with the most harvests were Randolph County (72), Nicholas (65), Greenbrier (57), Monroe (41) and Webster (39), all of which had a four-week season.
Turkey harvest in Pendleton County was 22, compared to 19 last year. This year’s harvest in surrounding counties were Grant (25), Hardy (37) and Pocahontas (34).
All six districts reported increased fall turkey harvests compared to last year, with Districts 1 and 3 reporting more than double the number of harvests. District 3 (Braxton, Clay, Lewis, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur and Webster counties) had the highest harvest with 261 birds, followed by District 2 (Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties) with 187, District 4 (Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties) with 166, District 1 (Barbour, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel counties) with 150, District 5 (Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam and Wayne counties) with 128 and District 6 (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties) with 120.
Fall turkey harvest numbers are influenced by hunter participation, but also depend on the current year’s brood production and mast conditions. This year’s brood survey results were similar to last year’s, resulting in the best two production years in the past five years. While last year’s fall harvest did not mirror the increase in brood production, this year’s fall harvest reflected the increase.