The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 31, 2012

Spring turkey kills down 10 percent in West Virginia

By Mannix Porterfield
Register-Herald Reporter

— 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: mannix@register-herald.com