Turkey hunting returned to West Virginia with the fall season’s first split which opened Oct. 14 in all 55 counties.
Two additional splits of the fall turkey season are scheduled to open later in October.
“West Virginia’s fall turkey season is a special time of year and a testament to the rich outdoor heritage and exceptional hunting opportunities our state has to offer the world,” said Brett McMillion, director of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. “Whether you’re new to hunting or you’ve hunted all your life, we want to encourage hunters to get out and enjoy this incredible season and embrace the challenge of pursuing this elusive game bird.”
The first split of the fall turkey season is open through Oct. 22 in all 55 counties. The second split will be open Oct. 30-Nov. 5 and provides an additional week of hunting opportunities in 18 counties (Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wirt and Wood). The third and final split will be open Oct. 30 – Nov. 19 and provides additional hunting in 14 counties (Berkeley, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker and Webster).
Wildlife biologists analyze harvest data from the spring gobbler season to determine what counties will be open for the final split of the fall turkey season. The 2023 spring gobbler harvest was 30.4 percent above last year’s harvest, 12.6 percent above the five-year average, 14.6 percent above the 10-year average and the largest spring gobbler harvest since 2018.
During the fall turkey season, only one bird of either sex can be harvested using a bow, crossbow or gun, including air rifles that are .22 caliber or larger. Hunting hours range from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The use of electronic calls and bait is prohibited.
All hunters 15 and older are required to have a valid West Virginia hunting license and valid form of identification while hunting. Resident landowners hunting on their land do not need a hunting license. A West Virginia hunting license can be purchased at license agents across the state or online at WVhunt.com.
For more information about the fall turkey season, check pages 41-42 in the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available online at WVdnr.gov/hunting-regulations.