Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's spring gobbler season will open a week earlier than in past years, running from Monday, April 18, through Saturday, May 14, 2016.

"Hunters should note that beginning this year, the spring gobbler season will open on the third Monday in April and not the fourth, a fundamental season change approved by the Natural Resources Commission last year," according to Keith Krantz, Upland Game and Wild Turkey Biologist for the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section (DNR). Hunters may kill one bearded turkey per day and two per season.

A special one-day youth season will be held Saturday, April 16, 2016, for hunters at least 8 years old and less than 18 years old. Hunters ages 15-17 must comply with all licensing requirements. Birds harvested that day count toward the season bag limit. Check Page 35 in the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary brochure for specific details on this season.

"Hunting turkeys over bait and killing hens is both illegal and unethical," Krantz said. "It disrespects the great sport of spring gobbler hunting and significantly reduces your bragging rights. Also, removing hens at this time of year hurts future turkey hunting."

Individuals observing illegal hunting activity in progress should call 911 immediately. To report the activity after the fact, call a DNR district office or report it online at www.wvdnr.gov/LEnforce/Poachers.shtm

The West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation pays a reward of $200 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons illegally killing wild turkeys.

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