South Charleston, W.Va. - Preliminary figures for the 2010 fall turkey hunting season show a harvest of 1,126 turkeys, according to Paul Johansen, Assistant Chief in Charge of Game Management for the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The 2010 harvest was seven percent lower than the 1,208 birds checked in during the 2009 fall season.

"Fall wild turkey harvests are highly influenced by annual reproduction and hard mast conditions," stated Johansen. "The record acorn crop of 2010 had birds widely dispersed, many in remote, hard-to-access places which negatively affected the harvest in all of the traditional counties. Although there were 15 additional counties open to fall hunting in 2010, the harvest was still below the 2009 tally. Biologists had hoped that the additional open counties would slightly increase the harvest; however, the abundant mast conditions prohibited hunters from achieving the 2009 harvest."

Top counties for 2010 were Greenbrier, with a take of 92; Preston (80), Monroe (59), Randolph (58), and Pocahontas (47). The traditional fall hunt counties, including Preston County, the Eastern Panhandle, and Mountain regions of the state, accounted for 57 percent of the total fall kill. The kill was down 20 percent in these counties. There were 231 turkeys (21 percent) checked in on the opening Saturday of 2010 (19 percent in 2009). The opening week tallied 44 percent of the total harvest, the same as in 2009.

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