The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


May 31, 2012

Spring turkey kills down 10 percent in West Virginia

Hunters exited West Virginia’s lush forests with a known 8,332 turkeys in the annual spring hunt, and the Division of Natural Resources says it wasn’t surprised the kill fell 10 percent from last year’s harvest.

And, over the past five years, the number of birds taken this year was 15 percent lower.

Again, no surprise to the DNR.

When the agency takes a head count of broods two years in advance of a hunt, the numbers are reasonable indicators of the harvest in the immediate future, the DNR said.

Two years ago, the brood harvest was 28 percent under the previous year, and consequently, this year’s spring kill was lower since fewer Toms were available to the hunters.

While the brood production was higher a year ago, it still came under the long-term average, the DNR said.

“Because future harvests are dependent on brood production and survival, let’s hope for a dry June and a more normal spring in 2013, if there is such a thing,” Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro said.

Greenbrier ranked fifth among the counties in turkey kills with 235, while Mason was first, with 343.

The rest of the Top 10 included Preston, 330; Harrison, 282; Wood, 237; Jackson, 229; Marshall, 227; Upshur, 224; Monongalia, 222; and Kanawha, 213.

In this region, other counties checked in with these numbers:

Raleigh, 185; Fayette, 179; Summers, 175; Monroe, 161; Nicholas, 160; McDowell, 156; Boone, 144; Mercer, 141; Wyoming, 132; Pocahontas, 125; Braxton, 118; and Clay, 75.

Two seasons ago, the kill amounted to 10,209, while 9,216 were taken in the spring of 2011.

The harvest varied little from 2008 to 2009, with 9,929 and 9,787 killed, respectively, in those hunts.

— E-mail:

Text Only
  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 5 — safety

    My brothers in camo, I could not do this series on preparing for gobbler season without talking to you about the aspects of turkey hunting safety. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I have trouble calling myself an expert on anything. Unfortunately, however, I do have a lot of experience in this area.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041314 Ellis.jpg Spring break is an attitude

    Finally, warmer weather has arrived to the Mountain State. I’m told, it’s socially acceptable to be late nowadays and there is even a term for it — being fashionably late. Of course, I have also been told that camo is the new black in fashion. I don’t care much for tardiness, or for fashion for that matter, but I am perfectly content with the weather forecaster’s report as of late. And if wearing camouflage is trendy, I will fit in just nicely at any social gathering.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coming soon to a garden near you: Hummingbirds!

    One of the things I look forward to each spring is the northbound migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds. Until 1997, that meant waiting until one showed up at my feeders. But that year a website (, began mapping hummers as they moved north.

    April 13, 2014

  • Morel mushrooms are a W.Va. delicacy, but be careful

    The morel mushroom is one of West Virginia’s best-known delicacies that grows wild in the woods statewide. Mushroom hunting is a wonderful way to get exercise and be in the outdoors at the same time. There is no expense involved, and a bag is all that is needed.

    April 13, 2014

  • 041014 Turkey Call Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: the mystical world of calling

    Do you think that calling wild turkeys into shotgun range is some sort of art form that can never be yours?

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing is a good way to introduce kids to the outdoors

    Few experiences are more rewarding than introducing a child to the outdoors. I remember teaching my daughters at the age of 3 to recognize the voice of a barred owl — “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all!” They were amazed they could identify a bird without seeing it.

    April 6, 2014

  • ‘A river runs through it’

    He was a natural at reading water. Whether in a kayak, a whitewater raft or a fishing boat, he simply saw water differently than most. He was good, no doubt about it. When I was learning to row a raft down whitewater, I asked him for his guidance. He would sit in the back of the raft coaching me on waters and their currents. With his help, I too began to see the waters differently and read the river.

    April 6, 2014

  • 040314 turkey feather Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step two — scouting

    So you want more hero pictures this year crouched behind a big gobbler fanning his tail out? Either that or the ever popular gripping him around the neck and straining to hold up his 20 plus pounds?

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • 033014 Ellis.jpg Sportsmen’s tax dollars prove very beneficial

    If you enjoy wildlife recreation and conservation, you may want to find the nearest sportsman in your neighborhood and shake their hand. Ultimately, it’s their spending of dollars on the equipment to fuel the passion of the lifestyle they cherish that brings in millions of dollars to our state for wildlife.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo