According to preliminary data released by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), hunters harvested 10,134 turkeys during the state’s spring gobbler season.

The 2021 harvest is 10.43 percent lower than the 2020 harvest, when hunters took 11,320 birds. The 2021 harvest is 10.32 percent below the five-year average of 11,300 and 2.93 percent below the 10-year average of 10,449.

“Even though our turkey population appears relatively stable, we will always experience ebbs and flows in population abundance and accordingly our harvest,” said Mike Peters, wild turkey project leader for WVDNR.

WVDNR field staff observed relatively low turkey production in 2019 compared to the previous five years. Peters said most turkeys harvested during the spring season are 2 years old and that this year’s harvest reflects the lower production in 2019.

2021 Spring Turkey Season Harvest Numbers:

Districts 2 and 4 reported a slight increase in the number of birds harvested during the 2021 spring season compared to last year’s totals. The remaining districts harvested fewer birds. District 1 harvested the most birds (2,298), followed by District 6 (1,930), District 5 (1,701), District 4 (1,673), District 3 (1,484) and District 2 (1,048).

The top five counties with the highest turkey harvest were Mason (364), Preston (343), Jackson (323), Kanawha (299) and Harrison (271) counties.

During the two-day youth season, youth hunters harvested 487 turkeys, 328 of which were taken on Saturday with the remaining 159 taken on Sunday. The youth harvest made up 5.7 percent of the season’s total harvest.